Tag: federal water rights

House GOP tries to heist federal water rights

Radical anti-environmental GOP leaders seek to privatize water

Tenmile Creek flows through the White River National Forest near Frisco, Colorado, helping to sustain aquatic ecosystems. bberwyn photo.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Anti-environmental House Republicans are at it again, this time trying to pull of one of the greatest heists of all time by passing a law that would ban agencies like the National Park Service and the Forest Service from exerting any control over water flowing off federal lands.

House Resolution 3189, the so-called Water Rights Protection Act, wouldn’t actually protect any water; instead, it would open the door for more private development of water for fracking and urban development by prohibiting “the conditioning of any permit, lease or any other use agreement on the transfer, relinquishment, or other impairment of any water right to the United States by the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture.” Continue reading “House GOP tries to heist federal water rights”


Ski industry sues Forest Service over water rights

A water-rights showdown between the U.S. Forest Service and the ski industry is looming in federal district court.

NSAA claims illegal takings; agency says it wants to ensure long-term viability of ski area operations

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The veneer of partnership between the U.S. Forest Service and the ski industry cracked this week under the weight of a serious disagreement over water rights.

The National Ski Areas Association Monday filed a lawsuit try and block the agency from changing permit language relating to the ownership of water rights associated with the development and operation of ski areas under federal permit.

At stake are millions of dollars worth of water rights that originate on national forest system lands. A dispute over the ownership of those water rights has been simmering since the 1980s, when the Forest Service developed permit language requiring resorts to assign ownership of certain water rights to the federal government. Continue reading “Ski industry sues Forest Service over water rights”