Nov 15, 2012 8:24 PM by JD Downing

The ski industry and water rights

DENVER (AP) - A ski industry group says the U.S. Forest Service went too far with a water-rights clause in some resorts' permits to use public land.

A rule introduced last year required the resorts to transfer some water rights to the federal government to keep their permits. The Forest Service says the water should stay connected to the land, not the resort operator.

The National Ski Areas Association sued in January, arguing the rule allows a takeover of property that ski areas acquired legally through state water courts.

The Denver Post reports that in oral arguments before a federal judge Thursday, the association said the Forest Service overstepped its authority. The Forest Service argued it made the change to prevent resorts from selling the water rights.

The judge didn't immediately rule.


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