Baumgardner resolution against federal water permit requirements passes committee

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Randy Baumgardner

— A Sen. Randy Baumgardner-sponsored water rights measure unanimously passed out of the Colorado Senate Agriculture, Livestock & Natural Resources Committee on Thursday.

House Joint Resolution 13-1004 calls on the U.S. Forest Service to rescind a 2012 directive that stipulates water rights revert to the federal government upon termination of a special-use permit.

The Forest Service directive also prohibits a lessee from reapplying for the permit and from receiving compensation for developing the water rights, according to a Colorado Senate news release.

“We need to send a strong message to the federal government that Coloradans oppose policy that revokes the legitimately acquired water rights of our ranchers, farmers, ski areas, communities and businesses,” Baumgardner, R-Cowdrey, said in the release. “This further expansion of government tramples upon our property rights and sovereignty and must be stopped.”

The resolution is supported by the National Ski Areas Association, Colorado Ski Association, the Associative Governments of Northwest Colorado, Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado River Water Conservation District, Colorado Water Congress, Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, and Vail Resorts.

The resolution now goes to the Senate floor for consideration.

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