Curry hopes for compromise on rafting measure

A long-delayed, oft-debated measure to allow commercial river rafters to float through private land will head to a special legislative committee.

When House Bill 1188 cleared the Colorado House in mid-February, it allowed rafters to cross private property but limited how often people can make contact with land.

When the Senate debated the bill in March, however, the measure was reduced to a study, and then by a nongovernmental panel that focuses on water issues rather than recreation or landowner rights.

As a result, its chief sponsor, unaffiliated Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison, got the House to vote 41-21 Friday to send it to a conference committee of three representatives and three senators. There she hopes a compromise can be drafted.

There are 24 proposed ballot questions addressing the issue, and Gov. Bill Ritter even got involved in trying to negotiate a compromise. At issue is the right to float on publicly owned water versus concerns over private property rights.


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