In this 1994 spring edition, James Lochhead compares the growing conflicting feelings for the government, and particularly natural resource and water policy. On the one hand, he reflects on the ever increasing frustrations with the "takings" legislation introduced in the legislature that year. On the other hand, he reflects on the need for responsible government regulation.
In 1988, James W. Ziglar, Assistant Secretary of Interior for Water and Science, reflects on the reorientation and reorganization of the Bureau of Reclamation in 1988. He remembers a quote by Edmund Burke, the noted Irish statesman: "A state without some means for change, is without the means of its conservation."
The Colorado Water Congress was created in the Summer of 1958. We have created a new column in our Enews entitled "Throwback Thursday." To move forward, sometimes you have to look back and realize how far you have come. As we work towards our upcoming Summer Conference, let's look back at how we celebrated our 40th Annual Convention and the topics being discussed then.
Check out the full Colorado Water Rights editorial from 1998.
Gardner, hatch, bennet, heinrich, & Udall introduce legislation to protect endangered species in upper colorado river
Washington D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Tom Udall (D-NM), introduced the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act of 2017. The legislation will continue to fund the Upper Colorado and San Juan fish recovery programs through FY2023, and aims to protect four primary endangered species in the Upper Colorado River Basin.
“Protecting endangered species living in Colorado’s natural habitat can be done in a responsible manner, and I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation,” said Gardner. “Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program is a great example of a partnership between federal, state, and local agencies to promote conservation. It’s important we provide adequate resources to this project to ensure our partners on the ground have the necessary tools to protect these endangered species.”
“I’m happy to join my Western colleagues—including Utah’s newly elected Representative John Curtis—in introducing this commonsense legislation. Our bipartisan bill builds on the successful conservation efforts on the Upper Colorado River, encouraging the federal government to work in cooperation with Western states,” said Hatch. “This proposal will help guide the sustainable usage of our water resources in a way that fosters both species recovery and responsible development.”
“The Endangered Fish Recovery Programs are exemplary of the successful, collaborative conservation championed in the West by states, tribes, federal agencies, and other stakeholders,” said Bennet. “This bipartisan bill provides the resources to continue recovery efforts in the Upper Colorado River and to ensure that these endangered fish species are protected for years to come.”
“The San Juan and Upper Colorado River Fish Recovery Programs are vital to rebuilding our native fish populations that are an important part of our state’s heritage,” said Heinrich. “We cannot allow these important conservation programs to lapse and threaten the progress we’ve made up to this point. This bipartisan legislation will ensure federal, state and local agencies have the resources they need to continue protecting endangered species in the Upper Colorado River Basin.”
“The San Juan River Basin is an important region in New Mexico’s ecology, and I am pleased to introduce this bipartisan legislation to continue the collaborative efforts to help protect the area's endangered species,” said Udall. “The most successful way we can balance the needs of water security with species conservation is to work collaboratively with local, state, Tribal, federal and non-governmental partners to find solutions. This initiative has been an excellent example of how we can conserve natural habitats by working together.”
Representative John Curtis (UT-3) introduced the House companion legislation.
CWC supports the bipartisan efforts in both the House and Senate to provide funding for the Endangered Fish Recovery Program through 2023, and will submit letters of support for both pieces of legislation by tomorrow, December 1st, 2017.
A huge Thank You to Tom Pitts, who has worked tirelessly to further protection for endangered species in the Upper Colorado River.
Edited by Emily Brumit
On Monday, June 12, EPA held a conference call regarding Waters of the United States (WOTUS). Participating on the call were Mark Pifher and Ian Lyle (NWRA).
The call began with a short PowerPoint giving historical and background information on the Clean Water Act, the Rapanos decision, and the recent Clean Water Act Executive Order. The meeting then shifted towards questions and comments (posted below.)
“The agencies are implementing the Trump Executive Order in two steps to provide as much certainty as possible as quickly as possible to the regulated community and the public during the development of the ultimate replacement rule.
The agencies are aware that the scope of CWA jurisdiction is of intense interest to many stakeholders and therefore want to provide time for appropriate consultation and deliberations on the ultimate regulation.
In the meantime, the agencies will continue to implement regulatory definition consistent with the SWANCC (2003) and Rapanos (2008) decisions, pursuant to the sixth circuit stay of the Clean Water Rule.” (EPA PowerPoint)
Do you have any additional information that the EPA should be aware of? Do you have any other approaches that you would like the agencies to consider?
If so, please share your comments with CWAwotus@epa.gov cc: Hanson.Andrew@epa.gov by Monday, June 19, 2017. COn
By Emily Brumit
Yesterday, Wednesday May 10th, was the final day of the 2017 Colorado Legislative Session. This session was a successful one for the Colorado Water Congress and Colorado’s water community. We could not have reached our goals without our contract lobbyist Dianna Orf and her firm, Orf & Orf, P.C. A huge thank you for their daily efforts at the Capitol for the past 120 days.
The CWC tracked 34 bills this session, and took positions on 27. Of those 27, the CWC State Affairs Committee voted to support 19, to oppose four, and to monitor four. The bills that we did not take a position on are bills on which we could not reach a 2/3 consensus vote.
Of the 19 bills that the CWC supported, only one did not make it through the legislative process. Of the four bills that CWC opposed, only one, SB17-117, passed through both houses and has been signed by Governor Hickenlooper. For a more comprehensive look at the bills CWC took positions on this session, check out our Bill Status Sheet, which I’ll update as the Governor signs legislation.
HB17-1321, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Financial Sustainability
HB17-1321 was postponed indefinitely, or “killed” on May 4th in the Senate Finance Committee. The CWC State Affairs Committee voted to support the sections of this bill (Sections 19-23) that related to protecting waterways from the spread of aquatic nuisance species. The bill was designed to provide continued and increased funding for the Division of Parks and Wildlife (CPW). It authorized increased fees and licenses issued by CPW and its vendors as set by Commission rules, not to exceed set amounts. It also sought to add a fee for an aquatic nuisance species sticker which would have worked similarly to a boater registration sticker. As introduced, the bill prohibited the use of money from increased fees for acquisition of interests in real property including water. This provision was amended in committee and caused significant controversy during floor debate. The bill also intended to allow CPW to grant up to 25% of funds from the sale of state migratory waterfowl stamps to nonprofit organizations to implement the North American waterfowl management plan. The use of fees to acquire fee title in additional property was a significant issue in the Senate, and ultimately contributed to the downfall of the bill in Senate Finance.
The services for Ray are as follows. Please note that Ray's family has requested any donations or memorials be sent to St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church (contact Rectory Office at (719) 562-8778 or Democratic Party (donate here).
Lie in State
Date: Thursday, May 4
Time: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location: Roselawn Cemetery Chapel
1706 Roselawn Road
Date: Friday, May 5
Time: 10:00 am
Location: St. Mary’s Catholic Church
217 E. Mesa Avenue
Date: Friday, May 5
Time: Following Mass
Location: Roselawn Cemetery
1706 Roselawn Road
Celebration of Life Reception
Date: Friday, May 5
Time: 12:30 pm
Location: St. Joseph’s Hall*
917 East B Street
*Please note St. Joseph’s Hall is not the same as St. Joseph Church
Ray with Christine Arbogast and the late Sam Maynes
Colorado has lost one of our great water leaders. After a three-year remission, Ray’s lymphoma
came back with a vengeance. He passed away peacefully late Sunday evening.
Ray was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1968 at the age of 27. He was elected to the Colorado Senate in 1970 and was elected Senate Majority Leader in 1973. He remained in that position until 1978, at which time he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman Kogovsek was re-elected twice, serving three terms in all. He returned to the sprawling 3rd Congressional District every weekend, and spent much of the weekends traveling throughout the district to listen to constituents. Although he reveled in the personal contacts he made, the travel and divisive Washington atmosphere led to his decision not to seek re-election in 1984.
The following year, Kogovsek & Associates, Inc. was established with key staff member Christine Arbogast in an ongoing commitment to the West and to Colorado - its natural resources, its human resources and its future. In over 30 years of consulting, primarily at the federal level, Ray and Christine have worked on responsible water resource management and development, transportation, Native American issues, appropriation of federal funds for a wide range of programs and capital projects, and the use and protection of our public lands.
Ray was awarded the Wayne Aspinall Water Leader of the Year in 2003 by the Colorado Water Congress, our highest award.
Please keep Linda and Ray’s family in your thoughts and prayers.
Special thanks to The Pueblo Chieftain for providing substantial content for this blog post.
See additional articles here and here
"I told Ray not long ago that he would never know how important he had been to Southern Colorado, to the people in the 3rd Congressional District, to all the young people he had mentored over the years. He had such a great sense of humor. He was always willing to cross the aisle to work with anyone for the good of our state."
Former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colorado
"I've lost my good friend and so has Pueblo. He was a good legislator and good lobbyist for Colorado. It was impossible to know Ray and not consider him your friend.”
Fellow Democrat and lobbyist Wally Stealey
"Ray never took politics personally. He had such joy. He was the role model of a good legislator in my mind. He was always a solid Democrat but understood that Democrats don't have all the answers either, so he was willing to reach out and work with Republicans and anyone.”
Former Governor Dick Lamm
by Doug Kemper, Executive Director
Every year, the CWC Board meets five times to conduct business and has one retreat to work on matters of great organizational importance. There are 34 board members, which is quite a few. And this sometimes makes it difficult for individual members to be meaningfully involved.
CWC’s Strategic Plan is designed as a remedy. Board members have new opportunities to shape CWC’s future and ensure Strategic Plan objectives continue to serve as our compass. Subgroups of the Board, called Oversight Committees, will actively monitor our progress and help as needed.
The CWC Board most recently met on April 20 - the first major board meeting since adoption of the new Strategic Plan. Energetic discussions covered each of the five strategic goal areas: Communications and Partnerships, Policy Development and Advocacy, Education and Networking, Finance, and Governance.
For the present, the primary focus is on Communications and Partnerships. And that topic was front and center during the April Board meeting. Brian Werner (Chair) and Paul Fanning (Vice Chair) of the Communications Committee led a discussion on planned work products.
The first group of communications products is our Enews (mid-week), webinars (the first Wednesday of the month at noon), and enhanced website content (see especially new content on initiatives prepared by the Water Stewardship Project). Members can expect a trial error process for a while as we seek to find communication products that are timely and useful.
Our goal is to augment your participation in protecting the interests of our member organizations. This serves to benefit the entire Colorado water community. Your feedback will be the key to success. Next month, we seek your opinions on communications products and priorities.
Members desiring to get involved with the new Communications Committee, can expect to hear soon about opportunities.
Next up, the CWC Board retreat in mid-June. The Board will work on a detailed Communication Plan – to be presented at the Summer Conference.
by Mark Pifher, Colorado Water Congress Board Member
Edited by Chane Polo
As most people are aware, in June of 2015, the Obama administration issued a final rule entitled "Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States,'" also known as the WOTUS rule. The Colorado Water Congress and the National Water Resources Association, along with many other water organizations and other public and private entities, had filed extensive comments on the draft rule. The final version of the rule did reflect some modifications made in response to those comments, but failed to address all concerns, including those related to the future treatment of ditches and canals, the automatic treatment of "all" tributaries as jurisdictional, the elimination of isolation determinations, and the use of the "aggregation" concept relative to similarly situated waterbodies in a basin. Upon issuance, the rule was immediately the subject of numerous court challenges in both federal district courts and courts of appeal.
In addition, the Order contained a directive to the effect that any proposed replacement rule "shall consider interpreting the term 'navigable waters'... in a manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Scalia in Rapanos...," i.e., it should consider limiting jurisdiction to what would ordinarily be described as traditional navigable waters (TNWs). Finally, the Order also directed the agencies to notify the Attorney General of this pending review so that the Department of Justice attorneys could both so inform the courts and take any other appropriate actions, e.g., ask the courts to stay any further proceedings pending the promulgation any rule rescission and/or revisions.