Water leaders across Colorado are thanking U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner for his hard work protecting our most valuable natural resource! 

Water is vital to western life as we not only need access to clean drinking water, but water for agriculture, wildfire mitigation, wildlife and Colorado’s outdoor recreation economy.

Much of Colorado’s water supply comes from snow-melt, and much of that originates on federal lands. Sen. Gardner understands the federal government needs to work with Coloradans as neighbors — not as landlords. 

Kent Holsinger

A staunch advocate for water rights, he believes the federal government should be deferential to state water law while working constructively on infrastructure projects that benefit Coloradans and the West.  

Wildfire is a significant threat to our forests and our water supplies. Sen. Gardner passed an innovative bill to modernize wildland firefighting to make our firefighters and our communities safer.

Gardner won $28 million in federal funding to help start construction of the Arkansas Valley conduit to bring drinking water to over 50,000 people in southeastern Colorado.  

Cynthia Coffman

At the same time, he stood up to federal overreach on Waters of the U.S. — which would have imposed federal government jurisdiction over ditches, canals and even dry arroyos.  

The senator also secured authorization of the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan to help protect Colorado against powerful and thirsty downstream states like California and Nevada. 

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

Gardner supports local conservation programs like the Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Program and the Purgatoire River Conservation Plan and continued tax-exempt status for water districts that develop additional income from sources like hydropower production.   

A key supporter of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), Gardner spearheaded legislation that permanently authorized this important measure for the first time.  

Just recently, conservationists lauded Sen. Gardner for securing President Trump’s support for permanent funding for the LWCF.

He has long been a supporter of the Platte River Recovery Program and the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program that protect and recover listed species while providing Endangered Species Act compliance to thousands of Colorado water right holders.  

As a key member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Sen. Gardner has broad authority and oversight on water resources and management, as well as the federal agencies that regulate them. 

For these reasons and more, we support Sen. Gardner and thank him for all of his hard work protecting Colorado’s water.  

  • Hal Simpson, former State Engineer, Colorado Division of Water Resources
  • Don Ament, former Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture
  • The Hon. Wayne Allard, former U.S. Senator for Colorado
  • The Hon. Hank Brown, former U.S. Senator for Colorado
  • The Hon. Cynthia Coffman, former Colorado Attorney General
  • The Hon. John Suthers, former Colorado Attorney General
  • The Hon. Scott Gessler, former Colorado Secretary of State
  • The Hon. Mark Hillman, former Colorado Treasurer
  • Kent Holsinger, former Asst. Dir. for Water, Colorado Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Eric Wilkinson, Joan A. Green and the Hon. Jerry Sonnenberg, South Platte River Basin
  • David Mendenhall, Andy Colosimo and Ralph “Terry” Scanga Jr., Arkansas River Basin
  • Kathy Hall and David Merritt, Colorado River Basin
  • T. Wright Dickinson and Mike Camblis, Yampa River Basin
  • Robert Bray and Randy Carver, San Juan and Dolores River Basin
  • Don Shawcroft and Cleave Simpson, Rio Grande River Basin
  • Steve Anderson and Dick Bratton, Gunnison River Basin
  • Marc Arnusch, Colorado Ground Water Basins 
  • Dennis Coryell, Republican River Basin
  • Jimmer Baller, North Platte River Basin
  • Carolyn Durand, Laramie River Basin

Kent Holsinger is the Manager of Holsinger Law, LLC. He previously served as Assistant Director for Water at Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources.  

The Colorado Sun is a nonpartisan news organization, and the opinions of columnists and editorial writers do not reflect the opinions of the newsroom. Read our ethics policy for more on The Sun’s opinion policy and submit columns, suggested writers and more to opinion@coloradosun.com.

Cynthia Coffman

Special to The Colorado Sun

Kent Holsinger

Special to The Colorado Sun Twitter: @kentholsinger