River Access Task Force Submits Recommendations to Colorado Governor

posted February 2, 2011
by Nathan Fey

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Colorado - On July 26, 2010, Governor Bill Ritter, Jr. issued Executive Order B 2010-010, thereby creating the Governor's River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force. The Task Force met five times and discussed historical sources of conflicts, historical solutions between boaters and landowners around the state, and ways to efficiently minimize and resolve future conflicts.

During these meetings, the Task Force heard presentations by representatives of the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and the Yampa River Legacy Project, both of which are administered by the Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation, and by Nathan Fey, AW's Colorado Stewardship Director, and by Mike Mitchell, owner of Queen of the River Consultants. The Task Force also solicited and received public comment at the Salida and Glenwood Springs meetings.

While the members of the Task Force have not always agreed on the sources of river-use conflicts or how to resolve them, the Task Force members are unanimous on two points. First, conflicts between members of the boating public and landowners can and should be minimized and resolved where possible. Second, nothing in this Final Report should be understood to endorse any stakeholder's side of the right to float dispute.

The Task Force has attempted to objectively describe historical conflicts and solutions to those conflicts, and has offered recommendations to ameliorate or resolve conflicts between landowners and boaters.

The Report includes a description of the conflicts between boaters and landowners that arise in a variety of contexts, potential solutions, and a vision for a cost-effective, timely process for resolving disputes when they arise.

The Full Text version of the report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Colorado Stewardship Director
Nathan Fey
1601 Longs Peak Ave.
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-859-8601


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Associated Projects

  • Colorado River Access (CO)
    The decades old debate over public use of waterways in Colorado continues, and AW is working to protect the rights of all paddlers to enjoy Colorado's Rivers.