WaterU.S. Rep. Scott Tipton is gearing up to reintroduce a bill this week that would protect Colorado from federal water grabs wherein bureaucrats are either trying to steal the property outright, block access, or use extortion like a common felon.

Tipton initially ran with the bill during the last legislative session and it passed the House with bipartisan support.

However, the gridlocked Democratic-controlled Senate was too busy doing nothing to consider the bill, so it died a sad and lonely death.

Now that the upper chamber is under Republican control, here’s hoping we can see the legislation completed, because the “Water War” headlines are becoming far too common.

These are some of the sneaky, thieving, conniving little plans attempted by the Forest Service during the Obama administration.

First there was the ski permit scam. Bureaucrats in Washington told ski areas they would not approve future permits unless the companies transferred their water rights to the federal government.

We believe that is called extortion, a noun, which is the practice of obtaining something of monetary value through force or threats.

This swindle would also apply to marinas, recreation residences, summer resorts, and water facilities—every entity with special use permits.

Tipton didn’t mince words Tuesday during a Capitol Hill hearing when he had the opportunity to challenge a Forest Service official about their predatory behavior.

“These same nefarious tactics have been used in attempts to hijack privately held water rights associated with agricultural production in the heart of rural America, where farmers and ranchers rely on these rights to secure loans, as well as irrigate crops and livestock. This federal water grab has broad implications that have begun to extend beyond recreation and the farming and ranching community, and are now threatening municipalities and other businesses.”

Then there is the “Groundwater Directive” that the Forest Service is wielding to grab control of water on adjacent land by claiming it might impact their holdings.

That’s an interesting trick. Can we reverse it when the Forest Service refuses to clear dead trees off public property, a fire threat that could destroy our adjacent property?

Honestly guys, don’t you have some forest fires you should be battling, pine beetle infestations that need clearing, a trail that could use some maintaining? You know, your job?!


Tipton is right about one thing, the Forest Service is not going to cease in these efforts until Congress hangs a bright red stop sign on a piece of legislation and dangles it in the federal government’s faces.