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State Lawmakers Delay Vote on Whitewater Parks

State lawmakers are delaying a vote on whether to limit the amount of water whitewater parks can lay claim to.

Senate Bill 62 would mean that future water parks would be able to claim rights to up to only 350 cubic feet of water per second.

Mountain communities and kayaking outfitters argue that the "one-size-fits-all" approach won't work because the width and depth of rivers vary so greatly that in some areas it wouldn't produce rapids that would attract visitors.

After hearing over three hours of testimony today, the House Agriculture, Natural Resources & Energy Committee deadlocked over whether to send the bill to the House Judiciary Committee. The committee plans to vote Wednesday.

The judiciary committee would review whether the water limit was constitutional considering a ruling last week by the state Supreme Court.

The court ruled that state officials exceeded their authority when they recommended 250 cubic feet of water for a kayaking course on the Gunnison River rather than the 270 cubic feet requested. The court ordered a Water Court judge to send the case back to the officials for proper analysis.


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