U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner is taking on the Interior and Agriculture Departments with an amendment to the budget bill that would protect Colorado’s privately held water rights and permits from what now days appears to be constant federal overreach.
The measure is needed to block ongoing efforts to snatch our preciously held water through nefarious means, as these agencies are intent on trying, like their groundwater grab, and new rules for ski resorts that effectively force the industry to hand over water rights in exchange for permits.
Coloradans have also watched as the Forest Service attempted to assert bypass flows on ditches that go through national forests. It seems like a constant attack on supremacy of state water law, which is essentially the lifeblood of Colorado.
Gardner said during a floor speech Wednesday that the amendment he authored recognizes the long-standing authority to manage water according to state law and protects against federal takeovers.
“Coloradans know best how to manage their own water resources. The ability of Coloradans to rely on state recognized water rights has been the foundation of Colorado agriculture, small business, outdoor recreation and local economies since the formation of our state in 1876. My amendment would protect states’ ability to govern their own water laws, and protect existing water rights and permits from any future meddling by the federal government.”
Gardner noted that the federal government had a long history of yielding to state water law, to make sure that state water law was supreme.
Unfortunately, “other agencies have continued to seek their ways to impose a water right at the federal level without going through the same water law system that other people in Colorado do. People who by right, by law and by our constitution have the rightful ownership of water rights and permits.”
You tell ‘em Cory!
Watch the whole floor speech: