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Regarding Canyon Properties On The Banks Of The Big Thompson River

To The Editor:

Come one, come all! Parking is now open directly along and on the banks of the Big Thompson River.

The canyon properties being sold by Larimer County have a new requirement for a 14 foot access road with a 10 foot easement along the bank of the river. No restrictions, no supervision, open to all the public.

This is being very successfully ram-rodded by the fishing clubs. They don’t have to lobby hard as many of the members of Parks and Recreation, sitting in the decision-making seats, are members or owners of fishing clubs and enterprises, and all members demonstrate prejudice toward the fisherman which often opposes the interests of the residents of the canyons, It appears that there are NO representatives of actual home-owners, or the canyon residents, on this board or on the board of Commissioners. Please be aware that this includes the North Fork of the Big Thompson as well as all the streams that feed into it.

Everyone who loves the canyon – all residents, fishermen, commuters, tourists-close your eyes and see it in your mind. See the vans, cars, trucks, tail-gate set-ups, parked in front of the river. See the debris, the toileting issues, no boundary recognition between one lot and the next, un-familiar rules varying from one parcel to the next, arguments, self-preservation-policing responsibilities heaped on home-owners – with no physical, legal or emotional support from anywhere.

Our deck is only eight feet wide and we have plenty of room to have a party there. 10 foot would even be roomier. And, not all ‘parties’ are the same. We don’t play loud music, shout and holler, leave our cans and trash……

Just for fishermen?

1) Not all people who come up to use the river are gentlemen anglers (to whom I am closely related and am exceedingly fond of). Who really patrols for licenses, permits, or will be able to handle the inevitable disputes. Give our officers a break, here!

2) And it isn’t going to be just used by the occasional fisherman. Anyone will be able to use it. In reality, the fishermen can be negatively impacted as well. They too will be subject to any un-good, less desirable advantage taken of this easement.

Quite by accident my husband and I found out that there was a Parks and Recreation meeting last Tuesday night at which this would be “discussed.” We went and some of us were able to state some concerns. I saw and confirmed that among the seated members was the attitude of ‘we are tired of your repeated complaints, get over it. We’ve made up our minds and this is what we are going to do.’

The orange stakes are today setting along the river bank at the west end of Drake. Take a look. The precedence is set. We have to wonder where it will evolve to from here. Appropriation of even “private” river frontage? Let your mind roam. What special interest group is next? Beyond the river-edge what other area is appealing? Big Thompson and then the Poudre? They can pretty well do what they want unless we speak now.

We discovered that this right-of-way and 10 foot easement, though it is actually happening at Drake, is not set in stone – Yet. It is being done but does not have official approval.

Please voice your opinions with the Parks and Recreation Department. If you have questions, you can call me, (president of the Big Thompson Canyon Association) at 667-3239, or other well-informed members at 532-3898 or 667-6465.
Dianne Honstein

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