Summer 2018 Update
This spring I wrote to you providing an update on the CB Ranch water court case and asking for your help. We needed to raise an additional $3,000 for our lawyer fees. If we could raise $1500 amongst ourselves, San Isabel Land Protection Trust would match our donations $1-for-$1. I’m so excited to share that we did it! We raised over $2,200, and San Isabel has matched us $1500, bringing us to over $3700 total. All of the money will go toward paying our attorney fees. Thank you to everyone who donated! A special thanks to San Isabel Land Protection Trust staff and board for not only the financial support, but the hours of time, service and care you continue to put forth to all of us here in Coaldale.
The next status conference for the CB Ranch water court case is August 31. Security must respond to all objectors. Security is currently reviewing our proposed covenant agreement. We’ve gone through a couple of rounds of negotiations this spring/summer and we hope that we are close to a final agreement.
I will provide an update as soon as I know more. Fingers crossed.
This summer, those who live along Hayden Creek have experienced a significant reduction in water flow in the creek due to the drought– a lack of precipitation. Over in the Big Cottonwood Creek drainage, at times we are experiencing unprecedented volumes of water and resultant damage to homes and land because of the flash flooding which has been an ongoing reality since the 2016 Hayden Fire.
And when we look out on the CB Ranch we see a whole lot of brown compared to last summer when the ranch was looking much greener. Why is this? What has changed on the CB Ranch from this summer to last?
In 2017, we had much more precipitation compared to this year, allowing the seed that was planted by Security Water District to grow (and the weeds) – making it more green. While this year we’ve had very little precipitation, resulting in the brown that we see.
Did you know?
-The decreed water that Security purchased has not yet changed from an irrigation water right to a municipal water right. Once the water court process is completed as decided by the court, Security will then will be allowed to use their water for the needs in their community.
- To conduct the required engineering as required by the state of Colorado, Security has to stop irrigating the CB Ranch to prove the consumptive use on the ranch. Irrigation ceased in 2017. But where did the water go? Security's water right (the water they are entitled to this year from the CB Ranch) has primarily remained in Hayden Creek and flowed into the Arkansas River. One could even say, this has benefited the fishery and other water users, as the water didn't leave Hayden Creek to be diverted to the ranch, but rather remained in the creek.
-With your help, the Coaldale Alliance, in partnership with San Isabel Land Protection Trust, has been working on a covenant agreement (an enforceable agreement in court) to ensure that the ranch is properly revegetated, and weeds and erosion mitigated. But as we all know, even in a drought year, non-irrigated lands will go brown. I just look to my own very brown property to be reminded of that!
Our community continues to experience great change. And with each turn of the road, I continue to be in awe of the incredible resiliency of the people, land and wildlife who call Coaldale home.
Thank you again for all who have donated and who continue to give their time, dollars and hearts to the CB Ranch efforts and our other community needs.
If I may answer any questions with regards to the CB Ranch water court case, please do not hesitate to contact me.
With the greatest of appreciation.
for the Coaldale Alliance
PO Box 155
Coaldale, CO 81222