Letter: Valance, Please remove the rock | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Valance, Please remove the rock

Respect for recreation

As a resident of Grand County I recently noticed once again the complete lack of respect for recreational enthusiast by the railroad. While driving through Byers Canyon I noticed an extremely large rock deposited into the river bed of Byers Canyon. You can obviously see there was a slide and the railroad just rolled this rock into the river bottom. I’m an avid whitewater rafter and at higher CFS levels of the Colorado River include Byers Canyon to be an enjoyable run. I believe the rock will now create a huge pour over with extreme hydraulics at levels above 3,000 CFS (levels ideal for boating Byers Canyon) turning a class IV-IV+ rapid into a dangerous and deadly class VI. But we shouldn’t expect anything less from the railroad because they have been littering our river banks with metal, waste, ties, oils, and rebar from here to Cisco, Utah for years. Next time you float down the Colorado River near the tracks look around.

My first question is this: did the railroad apply for a “Recreational In-Channel Diversion” or RICD with the CWCB (CO. Water Conservation Board)?

I’m going to say NO!

What is an RICD? C.R.S. 37-92-102 Article XVI sections 5 and 6 will explain this in full. Basically this statute allows for groups, organization or individuals an avenue to build kayak parks. My Second question is: as part of the description of an RICD therein it states a Reasonable Recreation Experience is to be created. What if it takes away from a “Reasonable Recreation Experience?”

In 2006 as part of Senate Bill 06-037 (section 6 from above) it basically asks does a RICD “impair” Colorado from developing consumptive beneficial use of its entitlements (use of the public river). I would say the giant rock does.

Here is how I see this, somewhere a fat cat with a monocle and diamond cane with his feet on the desk is saying “who is this peasant writing letters to the editor?” “Rock in the River?” Hahaha “who cares!”

All while are local, state, and federal elected EMPLOYEES cower in the corner “please don’t beat me again Mr. Railroad man!”

So if you’re like me and you’ll be spending time enjoying floating the Fraser or Colorado River from here to Utah, when you see a train, stand up and let the railroad know they’re number 1!

Craig Valance


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