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Getting to work on water

Watershed ordinance spurs committee meetings this week

Board members wanted

The Routt County Cooperative Extension Office is seeking volunteers to serve on its advisory board, which meets four times a year and assists the office with bringing agricultural education to Routt County residents. The Routt County Board of Commissioners appoints members to the board for three-year terms.

If interested, contact Extension Office Director C.J. Mucklow at 879-0825, CJMucklow@co.rout..., or P.O. Box 772830, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

Letters of interest should be received no later than March 6.

— A committee formed to address a watershed protection ordinance begins meeting today, after an outcry from rural landowners who demanded a public review of a law that could limit future agricultural activities on some Routt County lands.

Steamboat Springs City Manager Alan Lanning has completed formation of the multi-faceted Watershed Protec-tion Committee, which includes Routt County Cooperative Extension Office Director C.J. Mucklow, who also is president of the Routt County Cattlemen’s Association; Kim Vogel of the United States Forest Service; local attorney Michael Holloran, who lives and owns land on a potentially impacted section of Colorado Highway 131; Mike Zopf, Routt County’s director of environmental health; Lyn Halliday of Steamboat Springs, and at least one other rural landowner or water expert.

The committee holds its first meeting at noon today in Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.



The proposed ordinance appeared on a City Council agenda in December and immediately drew opposition from ranchers and rural landowners.

The ordinance would create a new chapter of the city’s Revised Municipal Codes to increase regulations regarding water-related activities in rural areas that affect Steamboat’s water supply. Although its authors – including Boulder water attorney Glenn Porzak and Steamboat Springs city attorney Tony Lettunich – said current ranching activities would not be affected by the ordinance, which would primarily give Steamboat a valuable tool to regulate future large-scale construction projects in Steamboat’s watershed, some ranchers have called the regulations draconian and excessive.



The Steamboat Springs City Council tabled the ordinance in December and discussed it with the Routt County Board of Commissioners in January. During the past several weeks, Lanning created the committee, which will examine possible impacts from the proposed ordinance and could recommend changes to the City Council.

Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said Monday she would like the committee to question whether such an ordinance is needed.

“I’m hoping that’s where we can start from,” she said.

The city’s proposal also has drawn a response from the Colorado Department of Pub-lic Health and Environment, which is hosting meetings in Steamboat on Thursday and Friday to discuss the issue and outline the department’s Source Water Assessment and Protection Planning, or SWAPP, program.

“With recent news of the city of Steamboat Springs developing a plan for its water protection, the (department) would like to inform people in Northwest Colorado about the benefits of their SWAPP program,” coordinator John Duggan said in a written statement.

“Every public and private water supplier in the county has been invited to these meetings,” added Mucklow.

Thursday’s meeting is at 2:30 p.m. in Centennial Hall. Friday’s meeting consists of a series of small sessions from 9 a.m. to noon in the Routt County Courthouse Annex, 136 Sixth St. Both are open to the public.

Mucklow asked that people interested in attending the Thursday or Friday meeting RSVP by calling 879-0825.

– To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com


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