Letter: How will landowners be impacted by filing?

This is a letter sent to the chairwoman of the Interbasin Compact Committee:
As a property owner and resident of Western Colorado for much of my 67 plus years, I would like to let you know I found your presentation in Grand Junction thought provoking. You raised interesting questions that should receive serious consideration by citizens of Western Colorado. Thank you for taking time to address the Western Colorado Joint Roundtable meeting.
Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District filed an application for finding due diligence with the District Court, Water Division No. 6, Routt County, state of Colorado, Steamboat Springs. Subsequently they published notices of their filing in the Rio Blanco Herald Times.
Yellow Jacket’s Legal Notices named the Livingston family ranch as property that would be “impacted” by their filings.
Since none of the identified projects are located on the Livingston property, I have asked the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District, the simple question; “How our property would be impacted by their filings?” The request has been made:
• In phone conversations to the president of the board and two additional board members the week of April 5.
• At a public meeting on April 17.
• In a letter sent to Yellow Jacket by our attorney on April 28.
• In numerous e-mails and phone conversation between our attorney and council for the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District.
To date YJWCD has been unable and/or unwilling to answer the question. When I asked the question, I expected a straightforward answer. Much to my surprise, the only response I have received is an invitation to meet sometime in the future with one of their board members and the lawyer that formerly represented Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District. The implication was that at the meeting I would be allowed to “ask them questions.” I find this an unsatisfactory response to what seems to me to be a straightforward and rather simple fundamental question: How our property might be impacted?
As an adjunct to their filing, the Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District has applied for a grant through the Yampa, White, Green River Roundtable and the Colorado Water Conservation Board to perform a feasibility study on their projects. Our attorney advised me in a phone message on June 3 the “grant would be finalized” this week.
At this time of tight budgets and serious fiscal constraints, it seems to me irresponsible to invest additional state funds with an organization that has been unable to answer such a fundamental question regarding their plans. It is difficult for me to understand how an organization can do a credible Feasibility Study if they have not identified the potential impacts of their proposed projects.
I have previously indicated through my attorney to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the scope of the CWCB Grant has changed throughout the grant process. This, combined with the Yellow Jacket District’s inability to accurately determine the impacts of their existing decreed projects, is a cause of great concern for landowners whose property and water rights could be detrimentally impacted by the district.
I respectfully request you withhold final signing of the grant until Yellow Jacket Water Conservancy District can “organize their records,” so they can tell us as to how our property might be impacted.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Joe Livingston
Meeker