Commercial river rafting is at the forefront of a Colorado Senator's bill to guarantee rights of river users; however, what is at the core of this engagement is the centuries old dilemma of who should hold the rights to ephemeral, transitory resources and access to those resources?
Water, it would seem to me, is one of the most 'public' of all resources. If a body of water is navigable, land owners should have no rights to restrict the public --- the ultimate 'owners' --- the use of that water. It appears the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee wisely amended the bill to read that "all' users were protected and not just commercial rafters.
This is a small, but critical step to ensure that the trend is toward more openness and more access and away from exclusivity and privatization of a public resource.
"rafters over property owners"
- River Rafting bill floats forward at Capitol - KDVR (view on Google Sidewiki)