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Colorado State Policy February Update

Posted: 02/10/2020
by Ian Stafford

Colorado has less than 90 days left in its legislative session, and there is plenty of work to get done. Here is a brief write up on some of the legislation we are tracking that will impact Colorado's rivers. Along with giving an idea on legislation to keep an eye on, please consider joining our AW Capitol Visits that are taking place this session.

Legislation To Keep An Eye On

HB20-1037 - Augmentation of Instream Flows: This bill authorizes the Colorado water conservation board to augment stream flows to preserve or improve the natural environment to a reasonable degree.

* What it means for you: This bill will put more water in the river. Originally created with the Cache La Poudre in mind, this bill has been amended to take the entire state into account and has a keen interest in being utilized by the Upper Gunnison River Water Conservation District.

* Current status: Passed the House unanimously with a 63-0 vote. Assigned to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

HB20-1095 - Local Governments Water Elements In Master Plans: The bill authorizes a local government master plan to include goals specified in the state water plan and to include policies that condition development approval on implementation of those goals.

* What this means for you: The State Water Plan's goals will have to be taken into account when a city or county is developing master plans for the future. This is important because recreation/environment are one of the pillars of the Colorado Water Plan

* Current Status: Will be voted on in the House this week

HB20-1072 - Study Emerging Technologies For Water Management - The bill declares that new technologies, such as blockchain, telemetry, improved sensors, and advanced aerial observation platforms, can improve monitoring, management, conservation, and trading of water and enhance confidence in the reliability of data underlying water rights transactions.

* What this means for you: Developing a more efficient approach on water management will allow dam operators to have a better idea of inflows, which will provide greater clarity for when spills will take place. Being able to predict further out when spills will take place will allow the public to have a better idea when rivers will be flowing.

* Current Status: Referred unamended to the House Appropriations Committee out of House Rural Affairs & Agriculture Committee.

Capitol Visit days

Our official Capitol Visits are off and running, and we couldn't be more delighted by the outcomes. Last week we had an AW member and local outfitter co-owner join us at the Capitol to meet with Representatives and Senators, alike. These visits provide AW members and friends of the organization with the opportunity of coming to the capitol, meeting with your elected officials, and an experiential moment of how the political process works.

Please consider joining us on the following dates...

* Monday, February 24th, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

* Monday, March 2nd, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

* Thursday, March 19th, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

To join in on one of these capitol visits, please RSVP right here!

We understand that these dates and times will not work for everyone. If you're interested in visiting the State Capitol but can't make any of these times, please feel free to reach out to our Colorado Policy Strategist, Ian Stafford (contact info below).

3. Resources

Colorado Policy Pathways - American Whitewater's approach toward working on policy at the state level in Colorado

Colorado Primary Election Info - You're one-stop-shop for information on the Colorado Presidential Primary on March 3rd

Colorado Find My Legislator - A great tool to give you the best contact information to contact your state legislator

Colorado Bill Tracker - Curious what the status of a bill in the Colorado legislature is? Check out this great tool to track its progress through the statehouse

Federal Find My Legislator - The best way to find how to contact your two senators and federal representative

Voter Registration - Are you positive you're registered to vote? Check your voter status in 30 seconds

Outdoor Alliance Advocacy 101 - If you're curious about how to get more involved at the federal level, check out this great series from our friends over at Outdoor Alliance

American Whitewater
Ian Stafford
Boulder, CO 80305