Bennet: Permanent Solution Needed for Ski Area Water Rights

Plans to Introduce Bill to Give Certainty to Colorado's Water Community

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today welcomed the U.S. Forest Service’s proposed rule intended to address water rights for ski areas operating on national forest lands. Bennet is encouraging Colorado stakeholders to submit feedback on the rule to the Forest Service during the 60-day public comment period.

“Water is the lifeblood of Colorado’s economy and environment – whether it be for our world class ski areas, our $40 billion dollar agriculture industry or our cold-water trout fisheries,” Bennet said. “We’re glad the Forest Service reconsidered their 2011 water rights clause, and we look forward to reviewing today’s proposal. Moving forward, we will work with Coloradans, the Forest Service, and other Members of Congress to introduce a consensus bill based on today’s proposal that provides certainty and clarity on this issue for Colorado’s water community.”

The issue over water rights for Colorado’s ski areas has been ongoing for years. The Forest Service proposal is intended to help ensure public winter recreation opportunities on Forest Service lands are available in the long term.

The Federal Register Notice for the proposal will be available on Friday June 20, 2014. The public will have 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the proposal.