Senate OKs diversion of private-land rafter bill to study group

DENVER — A measure that would have allowed rafters to float through private land but was sidetracked in committee and turned into a study has cleared the Colorado Senate.

Although it’s headed back to the House so it can take final action on House Bill 1188, its chief sponsor, unaffiliated Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison, isn’t yet sure what she’ll do.

Curry said Monday she’s faced with three options:

Accept the bill as rewritten and allow the Colorado Water Congress, a nongovernmental water rights entity, to study the idea;

Ask the House to adhere to its version of the bill, which allowed rafting through private land, a provision that likely would lead to the bill’s death; or

Force the measure into a conference committee of three representatives and three senators and try to iron out a compromise.

Curry said she’s still talking to the rafting community to determine which route to take.

She said she’s not sure whether some senators would even accept a compromise and is trying to determine if it’s worth the fight because she’s not sure she can get the needed votes in the Senate, which approved the study idea, 21–14.

Curry said proponents of the idea are considering taking the matter to voters in November.


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