Baxter Pharr: Stop the river pirates
Recently I read with interest the account of the Texas-based landowners who were trying to prevent commercial rafters from crossing “his” property on the Taylor River in Colorado. The Taylor River is a beautiful and pristine whitewater gem on the western side of Cottonwood Pass that has been commercially rafted and privately boated for years by local boaters. Now rumor has it that landowners have strung barbed wire across the river below Taylor Park Reservoir. This is similar to the razor wire that has killed many deer and antelope throughout Montana and New Mexico by leaving them to starve after their necks have been broken.
Commercial rafting has created hundreds of jobs across our state and brings in tourists from around the world to fuel our local resort economies. Now those dollars are threatened by a few wealthy out-of-state landowners. A bill proposed by Christine Scanlan and others to allow commercial rafting to continue on these waters was recently killed by these rich and powerful special interests proving once again that Colorado has the best democracy that money can buy. Any boater (whether commercial or private) should know that you never trespass on private property when you put in, take out, or float down the river. Now it is time to put this issue on the November ballot. Please e-mail Christine Scanlan at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her you support a ballot that allows commercial and private boaters to continue running rivers throughout the state as long as they don’t trespass onto private property along the shores (except for emergency scouting). Your actions will help save an industry that creates hundreds of seasonal jobs and pumps abundant tourist dollars into our resort economies.
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