Feb 12, 2010 4:47 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rafters rights vs property owners rights

The Colorado House of Representatives has given preliminary approval to a bill that would give commercial rafters the right to navigate the state's rivers and limited rights to use the riverbanks to avoid obstacles.

The measure by Rep. Kathleen Curry of Gunnison and Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton attempts to clarify rafters' rights when using rivers that cross through private land. An out-of-state developer has threatened legal action against commercial outfitters using a river that cuts through his land if they touch the riverbanks or river bottom.

The bill passed by the House Friday says outfitters may float on rivers with a history of commercial rafting activity. It ensures that accidental contact with land isn't considered trespass.

The Senate will also consider the bill.


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