Monday, September 11, 2017

What Colorado Lawmakers say about Water Rights and Public Land Issues

By: Briseida Holguin

The Club 20 fall conference over the weekend brought Senators and Representatives from the state and from Washington D.C. to the Western Slope. Water rights and public lands are two topics that both Republican Rep. Scott Tipton and Republican Sen. Cory Gardner from Colorado discussed in detail. Relocating the Bureau of Land Management is a high priority for Gardner, "If your in Washington D.C. you're a thousand miles removed from 99% of the acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management," Gardner says he has had great conversations with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to move this forward. Along with public lands Tipton says protecting the state's forest will save Colorado from having fires and says the House of Representatives recently passed the Resilient Federal Forest Act. "To be able to go in and to treat those forests, to be able to bring them back to life, to be able to cut down that dead timber. Let's look at the positives of what can happen when we are actively managing these forests in responsible way," Tipton said. Both lawmakers also find themselves on the same page about water rights. "In Colorado water is a private property right," Tipton said. "The federal government should not be able to dictate to Colorado what a Colorado water law or permit is allowed to be," Gardner said. ..more

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