Briefs for April 13, 2013: Baumgardner resolution passes out of committee |

Briefs for April 13, 2013: Baumgardner resolution passes out of committee

State Sen. 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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Residents reminded about burn guidelines

The Northwest Colorado Fire Management Unit and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office would like to remind readers about guidelines for agriculture and debris burning.

Grasses are green, but brush and timber are not, and the dead vegetation in grass and brush will carry fire through green plants and can pose fire control issues, according to a news release.

Follow these recommendations for safer burning:

■ Contact the Sheriff's Office in advance at 970-824-4495 or 970-824-6501.

■ Don't burn on windy days and know the forecast weather for your burn day (available at

■ Notify your neighbors so they don't call in a fire report.

■ Have a shovel and water nearby to extinguish the fire.

■ Dig a fire line where you want the fire to stop.

■ Never leave a fire unattended.

If an agricultural or debris fire damages private, state or federally managed lands, you could receive a fine or be held responsible for the costs.