Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mesa County Commissioners meet with U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton

Commissioner John Justman, left, and U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton talk Wednesday. 

Clockwise from bottom left: John Justman, Scott Tipton, Scott McInnis, a representative from Tipton's office, Pete Baier and Rose Pugliese (and Nina Atencio's hands). 

The Mesa County Commissioners today met with Rep. Scott Tipton. Some topics discussed:

  • Commissioner Rose Pugliese thanked Tipton for his comments about the Thompson Divide on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He offered an update on the issue. "We've been really clear that we need to be looking out the windshield," Tipton said. "Perpetuity is something we need to be cautious with. We will look at legislation along the lines of what we had originally agreed to, what the counties have agreed to. I'll stand up for anybody's private property rights. We need to be incredibly cautious when looking at any permanent withdrawal." Commissioner Scott McInnis pointed out that the oil and gas crisis may lead to fewer grants and other federal and state funding.
  • Commissioner John Justman asked Tipton for an update on Waters of the United States under the Clean Water Act. Tipton said, "We've got an incredibly strong case that it's an overreach of the federal government. We passed through my 'Protecting Your Water Rights Act,' but this has some broader implications as well."
  • Commissioner Pugliese told Tipton that the U.S. Forest Service on the Grand Mesa will be doing a Travel Management Plan. She asked Tipton to keep that on his radar.
  • Commissioner McInnis told Tipton about the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado. "It's a good organization that's picked up a lot of momentum," he said. Tipton said he would attend an AGNC meeting soon. "You guys are our best resource, our best source of information," Tipton said. 
  • Pete Baier, Mesa County Deputy Administrator of Operations, said he would like to see an economic study of the value of public lands. Tipton mentioned the SCRUB Act, which the House recently passed.

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