The Colorado Farm Bureau is extremely disappointed in the make-up of Governor Ritter’s River Access Dispute Resolution Taskforce. A cursory level of research shows that the political orientation of the task force appointees is clearly one-sided, with one of the Governor’s appointees a signatory of an online “9-11 Truth” petition and many more being directly involved in rafting, outfitting and recreational related enterprises.
“In addition to the Governor making some questionable appointments to this taskforce, I am most disappointed that he clearly and purposely chose to alienate the organization whose members stand to potentially lose the most from this process. The Colorado Farm Bureau represents a large majority of riverfront landowners in Colorado, but our nominees to the task force are absent from the list of voting appointees,” said Alan Foutz, President of Colorado Farm Bureau. “It is disappointing that one of the organizations that was most engaged in the debate surrounding HB- 1188 is excluded from this process.”
In addition to a lack of diversity in political philosophy and vocation, the Governors list is also lacking members who live and work on the land of Colorado’s Western Slope.
“Over half of the members of the taskforce reside in Front Range communities. It is apparent that the Governor is not serious about creating an equitable process that will yield fair and workable results for all parties involved. It shows his lack of seriousness about the issue,” continued Foutz.
The task force is scheduled to hold several meetings over the next year to develop a process by which disputes over river access can be mediated on a stretch by stretch basis. The taskforce will provide a final report with recommendations for the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 31