Abandonment protest

Ross Reservoir was placed on the abandonment list for 2010 and after protesting the action with the local Water Department and not convincing them of our claim, we have decided to go to the next level; District Water Court. The original WR applied for was 32 AF in 1911. Later in 1911 a plan was developed that would store over 500AF of water in the three bodies of water consisting of Ross, what is now called Hidden Lake, and the finger lake to the South of Hidden Lake. That plan was never developed and what eventually replaced the 32AF that was actually built was a 21 ft dam containing 165 AF (built 1958/59). The adjudication was 1939 allowing this to happen. That dam failed drastically in 1962 and what remained was the original dam that held 32AF. Our protest of the 165AF on the abandonment list was submitted to the courts in the Fall of 2012. 


On January 3, 2013 I received a Judgment from the District Court of Routt County, CO preserving 32 Acre Feet of storage in the Ross Reservoir. This is very good news. With the approval of the Forest Service (not yet obtained), we will be able to re-construct the original dam (1911) to a height of 8-10 ft. It is to our advantage to rebuild the dam at this height as it is below the jurisdictional height of 10 feet. This allows us to avoid the very expensive need to present engineered plans before construction. The control of 32 AF of water will help the ranch in severe drought years as we experienced in 2012. In normal years the dam will provide a serviceable spillway to protect the dam from the spring water that continuously runs over the dam. We also preserve any water rights associated with the reservoir coming from Crosby Creek. In addition, we now have a strong argument to re-construct the gate at the head of the Ross Ditch which will allow us to divert water at a higher contour and, in turn, allow us to take the water all the way to the higher North Forest pastures.