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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

City water rights legal spending to exceed $100K

Courtesy of Wilderness Workshop

The City of Aspen is working to retain conditional water rights to build reservoirs on Maroon and Castle Creeks, and the court battle could get expensive.


The city spent nearly $30,000 in January on legal assistance associated with water rights. Margaret Medellin, with the city’s utility department, said this is mostly dedicated to the conditional rights Aspen owns on the two iconic creeks.

In water court, the city faces opposition from 10 individuals and organizations, including the U.S. Forest Service and Pitkin County. Aspen has $130,000 budgeted this year for legal fees and would need to go back in front of council for approval of any additional expenses.

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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