Wildlife managers hope legislators will pass a bill early in 2018 to provide the money needed to continue boat inspections to protect Colorado waters and infrastructure from invasive zebra and quagga mussels.
Last spring, Larimer County and state officials scrambled to piece together money to pay for inspections at Carter Lake and Horsetooth Reservoir, which are free of these harmful mussels, after a court ruling shrunk state funding for the program.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife, which traditionally paid for the inspections statewide, came up with $100,000, and the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources and Northern Water each pitched in the same amount. The county manages recreation at the reservoirs, while Northern Water manages and distributes the actual water to farmers and municipalities.
However, members of the Northern Water Board stressed at the time that their contribution was a one-time deal and that the state would need to find another, permanent source of funding for the future. Click on the following sentence to access the full story.
The legislation also would increase the penalties for boaters who launch on lakes and reservoirs without an inspection from $50 to $100 and continues existing severance tax appropriations for the program.