Opposition to HB 1188 Grows

Yesterday the editorial boards of both the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Pueblo Chieftain came out against the ‘Right to Trespass’ bill, HB 1188. In the case of the Chieftain, the board switched from their original position of supporting the measure, to opposing it, saying…

…the bill does not preserve the status quo, nor clarify any law… The bill, as written, could have severe economic consequences to farms, ranches and resorts located next to rivers. So we’re happy to change our tune and urge that this bill be scuttled during this year’s legislative session. (emphasis added)

The Gazette penned one of the best arguments against the bill that we at the Pulse have heard yet.

Politically, it’s a no-brainer to take from the few and give to the many. The many can easily outvote the few, which rewards politicians for redistribution policies… Nowhere is this phenomenon more in play than with Colorado1188, which would take private property rights from a few and give them to the public. House Bill

Responsible commercial outfitters, understanding the truth about floating in Colorado, have negotiated arrangements with landowners. Some contracts have involved compensation, and others have merely involved good faith agreements enforced with neighborly handshakes…

But that’s not enough for boaters, commercial and private. They demand nothing less than absolute freedom to boat down any creek that will float a kayak or inner tube, regardless of whether they have any legal right to do so…

This bill would prevent the landowners from seeking compensation for lost business and opportunity, freeing rafting companies to profit off land they don’t own without paying reasonable overhead for the commotion they cause and without so much as having to work out a reasonable arrangement with the landowners…

Legislators should kill this ill-conceived bill, which negates private property rights in favor of a collaborative attempt to resolve the conflict fairly. (emphasis added)

The Pulse would like to thank the editorial board of the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Pueblo Chieftain for their courageous positions in favor of protecting private property rights in Colorado.

Background on HB 1188 can be found here on the Pulse and here, at Coyote Gulch a most excellent blog on Colorado water issues.

(Photo: josue salazar)

3 responses to this post.

  1. […] by Shawn Martini in 2010 State Session, Action ALERTS. Leave a Comment As we reported earlier, the Colorado Springs Gazette has courageously opposed HB 1188, the ‘Right to […]


  2. […] Posted by Shawn Martini in 2010 State Session, Private Property. Leave a Comment The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel has published an opinion column which opposes HB 1188 the ‘Right to Trespass’ bill and has issued a house editorial calling for the measure to be killed. The Sentinel now joins the Pueblo Chieftain and the Colorado Springs Gazette in opposing the bill. […]


  3. Posted by Karen Wiles on March 19, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Dear Representative,

    House Bill 1188, the controversial ‘right to pass’ bill, represents a clear attack on private property rights in Colorado. It has been made worse through the amendment process and deserves to be killed. This started out as a ‘portage bill’ for commercial raftersand now encompasses a million acres on every water way in Colorado with no limitation of use of landowners property. There is no‘right to float’ guaranteed in the Constitution of the United States or of Colorado. There is no legal precedent for granting such an expansive‘right’ where none now exists.

    How would you feel if a right-of-way was placed through your backyard with no way of limiting who or what can use it. HB 1188 does precisely this. It places no restrictions on the rafter and floaters who would enjoy this new ‘right to float’ and puts the entire burden on landowners.

    Please stand up for private property rights and oppose HB 1188. There is a better way and HB 1188 is NOT it. Vote NO. This is another way for government to take over individuals rights.


    Karen Wiles
    Grand Junction


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