Tag: water rights lawsuit

Colorado: West Slope water users take sides with National Ski Areas Associaton in legal battle over water rights

Amicus brief reinforces NSAA  complaint against federal agency

A lawsuit over water rights could affect many ski areas in Colorado.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY —The ski industry has some new allies in its legal challenge to a new Forest Service ski area permit requirement affecting water rights.

The Colorado River Water Conservation District, the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, the Ute Water Conservancy District, the Eagle Park Reservoir Company and the Clinton Ditch and Reservoir Company have joined in the lawsuit with an amicus brief that was accepted by the U.S. District Court of Colorado a few days ago, according the Colorado River District attorney Peter Fleming.

The Amicus Brief doesn’t raise new issues, but reinforces the legal points already made by the National Ski Areas Association in its original and amended complaints and serves to make the court aware that the disposition of the case will stakeholders other than the ski industry, Fleming said. Continue reading “Colorado: West Slope water users take sides with National Ski Areas Associaton in legal battle over water rights”


Forest Service responds to ski industry water-rights lawsuit

Ski areas claim takings; agency says it’s protecting a public resource

Ski areas and the Forest Service continue their legal tussle over water rights.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service has responded to the ski industry’s lawsuit over water rights, claiming it has every legal right to attach certain requirements to ski area permits ensuring that the water originating in streams on public lands remain dedicated to continued ski area obligations.

In the response, the Forest Service said:

“The 2012 ski area water rights clause speaks for itself and is the best evidence of its contents. Defendants deny any allegations contrary to the plain language and meaning of the 2012 ski area water rights clause. Defendants deny any violation of the Constitution, federal law or regulation.”

Read the entire Forest Service response on the Summit Voice Scribd.com feed.

The latest skirmish in the long-running water war started late last year when the agency inserted a new water rights clause into standard ski area permits. The clause replaced language developed in 2004 that gave ski areas more absolute control over the water. According to the Forest Service, the 2004 language could have enabled resorts to sell off some of their water rights. More background here. Continue reading “Forest Service responds to ski industry water-rights lawsuit”