The public has a right to enjoy the Oxbow Park and Reserve river access. The real issue is that we, as a group, love Durango too much. We all moved here, or stay here, to value the outdoors and the opportunities it gives us to recreate and see and observe wildlife. We have filled in the wildlife habitat with our homes and go into habitat with our recreation.
There is getting to be too many of us. The Oxbow area is special, and many of us who do not live in the neighborhood would enjoy an opportunity to share it. The public voted for a sales tax for trails and open space, the GOCO grant was written to include access, the property is owned by the city. In Colorado, residents have a right to float rivers and to use public roads to access the site.
I believe we need to compromise and come up with a reasonable solution. Here is what I think we should consider: 1) Complete the trail to Oxbow. 2) Have legal public parking at Oxbow. 3) Have clean, functioning restrooms and changing rooms at Oxbow. 4) Have a seasonal closure of the conservation easement section at Oxbow. 5) Have a river put-in and turn-around for private boaters (make sure a dory can back into the river). 6) Allow a commercial put-in for vans only until July 1 each year.
Casey D. Lynch