Farming was driving force for water law

February 24, 2009

By Chris Woodka – Pueblo Chieftain

“The mineral wealth brought people to Colorado,” said Colorado Supreme Court Justice Greg Hobbs, recounting the gold rush of 1859 on Friday at the annual meeting of the Ditch and Reservoir Company Alliance at the Pueblo Convention Center. “The persons who remained were the farmers who dug the ditches to feed the miners. The cities grew out from the ditches.”

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Moffat County Commission acts on Shell water filing

February 21, 2009

Steamboat [Springs] Pilot & Today – By Collin Smith

If the water court approves the request, Shell would draw 375 cubic feet of water per second from the Yampa River through two diversion points between Maybell and the base of Cross Mountain. The company plans to construct a 45,000 acre-feet reservoir south of the river and pump water to facilities in the Piceance Basin.

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Harvesting rainwater has an effect downstream

February 20, 2009
by on February 19, 2009

Re: “Water bills back saving on rainy days,” Feb. 10 news story.

The Colorado General Assembly is considering two pieces of legislation that would allow homeowners to install systems to capture rainwater for residential uses. Harvesting rainwater off the roof can be an eco-friendly practice, reducing the need to deliver water to the home from other sources, a process which can damage streams and aquifers and require use of significant energy.

But Coloradans should recognize that, in some cases, precipitation captured in a cistern would otherwise seep through the ground to a nearby stream for the benefit of fish and wildlife habitat and senior water rights. A large residential development with home rainwater cisterns might appear “green,” but could actually further stress an already depleted stream.

Recognizing the impact rainwater cisterns can have on streams, House Bill 1129 requires the proponents of rainwater harvesting projects to replace the water they remove from the system. In this respect, the bill provides a measure of protection to other water users and the state’s streams. The bill also favors cistern projects that include other water conservation measures, a smart provision in a semi-arid state with growing water demands.

Drew Peternell, Boulder

The writer is director of Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Water Project.

Drilling on Colo. refuge delayed until August

February 19, 2009


Lexam acquired the mineral rights in the 1990s in what was then the 97,000-acre Baca Ranch. The land was later acquired by the federal government to preserve the terrain and geological features responsible for the sand dunes. Some of the land became part of the national park, with the rest becoming the refuge in 2004.

Fountain Creek restoration must please all players — including trout

February 17, 2009

By J. ADRIAN STANLEY – Colorado Springs Independent

Because CDOT is contributing funds, state law says the Colorado Division of Wildlife must review the plan and ensure the animal environment isn’t damaged. So far, the wildlife folks aren’t pleased. Neither is Jack Hunter, president of the Cheyenne Mountain chapter of Trout Unlimited, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving and creating trout habitat. He says the partners ignored his organization’s tips on improving the environment for fish.

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Rites of spring: Arrival lauded

February 13, 2009
Initial hatch a sign of things to come

As with many treasured objects, the smallest often are the most precious. So it is with early insects.

Feds pare Colo. gas-lease sale

February 10, 2009
67,000 acres nixed

By Mark Jaffe
The Denver Post
Among the areas of concern were 16 parcels identified by the wildlife division as nesting sites of sage grouse or grouse-production areas. Trout Unlimited also protested the sale of 60,000 acres of prime cutthroat-trout habitat.