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Dan NjegomirDan NjegomirJuly 17, 20173min216

Colorado 3rd Congressional District U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton has tried twice before to bar federal agencies from pressuring farmers, ranchers and a host of others into turning over their privately held water rights in order to secure federal permits and leases. Tipton’s most recent effort sat in the Senate and never got a vote.

Maybe the third time will be the charm; the full U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation last week that included Tipton’s Water Rights Protection Act. Says Tipton in a press release from his office:

“Federal attempts to manipulate federal permit, lease, and land management processes to circumvent long-established state water law and hijack privately-held water rights have sounded the alarm for non-federal water users. These attempts have been nothing more than an effort to further federalize water resources, erode state authority, and pave the way for unilateral mandates on state water resources.”

The press release explains that Tipton first went to bat on the issue a few years ago when a couple of Colorado ski areas, Powderhorn and Breckenridge, sought to renew permits for operating on federal land and were told they had to cede water rights they owned.

Additionally, the Bureau of Land Management has attempted to require farmers and ranchers across the West to turn over their privately-held water rights in order to renew their grazing and agriculture permits.

Says Tipton:

“Short of legislation codifying long-held state water law and priority-based systems, and to prohibit uncompensated takings, the federal government can continue its attempts to take water rights or restrict water users from accessing them. Water is the most precious resource we have in the arid west, and I’m glad that so many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle recognize the importance of providing western water users with permanent protections from federal overreach.”


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Mike McKibbinMike McKibbinMarch 5, 20175min387

If you ride your bike along busy streets or even highways, you're probably aware of what "rolling coal" means. For those who don't, a bill before state lawmakers may not matter, but those who do are pretty excited. The Colorado Independent reported the legislation would impose a $100 traffic fine on motorists who change their vehicles, usually either with an alternate tailpipe or smokestack, to blast exhaust smoke at another driver, bicyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian or other human target as they pass by.