Colorado Water Law and Water Rights

Navigating through the complex water laws of our state can be a challenge.  However, our library can help.  Our collection contains a number of publications that can help Coloradans understand water law and water rights in our state:
This is just a sampling of the hundreds of documents in our collection relating to water law and water rights in our state.  Search our library's web catalog for additional publications and resources.


GIS Maps and Data

The Colorado Demography Office offers a number of resources regarding population data.  Some of these have been explored previously in this blog.  Today, however, I wanted to highlight their GIS maps and data, located on their State of Colorado: GIS Directory website.  This site gathers many of the Colorado state agencies' GIS maps together in one place.  You can either view data by agency in the pull-down menu, or type a keyword search in the search box.  For example, if you type "population" in the search feature, you will get a list of GIS resources that includes both State of Colorado sites and external links that have been added by Demography Office staff.  Check out this helpful resource if you are searching for GIS data on a wide variety of topics including not only demographics, but natural resources, corrections, health, transportation, and more.  You can find more resources, such as thematic PDF maps, interactive maps, census data, and GIS shapefiles, at the Demography Office's GIS Maps and Data website.


Colorado Education Statistics

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has many resources for finding statistics on Colorado K-12 education.  For current statistics, see CDE's Colorado Education Statistics website.  Here you can find statistics on school and district staff, pupil membership, graduation rates, dropouts and attendance, race and ethnicity, and more.  For older information, search our library's web catalog -- we have many resources going back several decades.


Revenue Forecast

On December 21 the Governor's Office and the Colorado Legislative Council both issued their respective quarterly revenue forecasts.  The Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting released its Colorado Economic Outlook projected that the state's economy will "continue to steadily grow, though not at the robust level experienced in 2014," according to the Office's press release. Meanwhile, the Colorado Legislative Council (the bipartisan research agency of the State Legislature) released their own quarterly forecast with similar projections.  However, the Governor's Office predicts a General Fund increase of 2.1% for FY2015-16, while the Legislative Council predicts that "revenue is expected to be sufficient to allow General Fund operating appropriations to increase 4.1 percent."  Time will tell which agency's prediction is correct -- in the meantime you can review past forecasts from our library:  click here for past issues from the Governor's Office, and click here for past issues from Legislative Council.


Livestock Brands

Ranching has been a significant part of Colorado's history, and the branding process began long before Colorado was a state.  Colorado's territorial government first established agencies for brand inspection back in 1865.  Today, these responsibilities lie with the Brand Inspection Division of the Colorado Department of Agriculture.  They inspect livestock, take in reports of missing or stolen livestock, deal with fencing and open range issues, and maintain a list of all of the state's brands, both current and historical.  These lists are issued every five years in the Colorado Brand Book, which is available to view in our library back to the 1972 book.  We also have the monthly new brands lists that are issued by the agency, as well as their monthly report of missing or stolen livestock.  You can learn more about the history of livestock branding in Colorado by viewing this video from the Colorado Department of Agriculture.


Investor Alerts

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) wants to make sure that investors make wise choices when choosing to invest in what they call the "next big thing" -- three products currently making news but are not tested by time.  These include marijuana, binary options, and digital currency.  DORA's Division of Securities have issued a new publication, The Next Big Thing:  Are You an Informed Investor?  Check out this fact sheet for important things to be aware of if you plan to invest in any of these three products.



Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Capitol Buildings

For those interested in Denver's architecture, one of the treasures of our library collection is a 1940s publication entitled Colorado Capitol BuildingsThis booklet, prepared by the Colorado Writers' and Art Programs of the Works Progress Administration, is undated but contains a dedication to the armed forces by Governor Ralph Carr, who served between 1939 and 1943.  The booklet presents a "historical sketch of the Colorado Capitol and associated group of buildings."  When the Capitol was first completed, it was considered large enough to hold all state offices indefinitely.  However, after only a few decades of growth it was apparent that additional space would be needed for State offices and functions.

The first to leave the Capitol was the State Museum, for which a new Neoclassical structure was built between 1912 and 1915 at the corner of 14th and Sherman.  The museum had previously been housed in the basement of the Capitol.  The new structure was designed by Frank Edbrooke, the same architect who finished work on the Capitol.  (It had been begun by Elijah Myers).  Today this building is the Legislative Services Building and houses the Joint Budget Committee and the State Auditor's Office.

The second building, at Colfax and Sherman, replaced a large home that had belonged to William Byers, founder of the Rocky Mountain News.  The new building, completed in 1921, was the first building constructed to house state offices; it was therefore named the State Office Building.  Over the years, a number of state agencies have been housed in this building; today it is home to the Colorado Department of Education and, as a part of that Department, the State Publications Library.
Also Neoclassical in style, the building features an impressive atrium of checkered marble, brass fixtures, and a colorful stained glass skylight.  The building underwent a significant renovation in the 1980s; plans for the renovation can be viewed in our library.

By the 1930s, Neoclassical government buildings were declining in popularity, so the next building constructed to house state offices, the Capitol Annex, is of modern design, simplified but with suggestions of Art Deco.  The smooth exterior is composed of Colorado Yule marble.  This building is located at 14th and Sherman across the street from the old State Museum building. 

Each of these three buildings are described in the 1951 booklet, along with photographs.  Of course, a number of other buildings have been constructed since that time for state government use.  The State Museum (now History Colorado) is on its second building since moving out of the 1912 structure; several office buildings were constructed along Sherman Street both north and south of the Capitol; and other offices are located around city and the metro area, outside of what is now known as the Capitol Complex. 

The little booklet is a gem in that it not only gives a history of the Capitol and its first three annexes, but it also tells the story of some of the earlier buildings used to house state government before the construction of the present Capitol, and how it came to be there.  A promotional publication, it also includes a page on Colorado tourism as well as a listing of the state symbols and emblems.  Colorado Capitol Buildings is available both digitally and in print from our library.  For additional information about the Capitol and surrounding structures, search our web catalog using search terms "capitol building" or "capitol complex." 


Animal Health in Colorado

One of the divisions of the Colorado Department of Agriculture is their Animal Health Division, which is "responsible for animal health and disease control activities in Colorado."  Their website includes many resources including updates on diseases and conditions such as vasicular stomatitis and avian influenza.  Other resources include tips on controlling predators; information on the Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Laboratory; emergency preparedness and response; the Pet Animal Care & Facilities Act; and more.  The website also contains a handy tool for determining the rules for importing animals to Colorado.  Under the Animal Import Requirements section of the homepage, you can match a location with a species to determine the exact rules for importing that species into our state.  You can also select by species to determine the rules for moving animals within the state.


Colorado Judicial Learning Center

The State of Colorado's judicial branch offers a fun, unique way for all ages to learn about the state's judicial processes -- the Judicial Learning Center.  Developed in partnership with the Colorado Supreme Court Library, "the Learning Center is a 4,000-square-foot museum-style space that is full of interactive, fun, and informative exhibits," according to their website.  The Learning Center's website also contains a number of helpful educational resources, including curricula information for schools, lesson plans, and more.  Some of the Learning Center's interactive exhibits include an animated wall demonstrating the development and application of the Constitution; video interviews of judges; demonstrations of the legal process and court hierarchies; games where the visitor can be the lawyer or the judge; and a touch-screen map of Colorado where visitors can select counties, districts, water divisions, or tribal lands. The Judicial Learning Center is a hands-on, experiential way to teach kids, visitors, new Coloradans, and anyone else about the Colorado court system.

The Learning Center is located in the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center and is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm. 

The Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center is located a 2 E. 14th Avenue (on 14th between Broadway and Lincoln) in downtown Denver.  Photo courtesy Colorado Judicial Branch.


Time Machine Tuesday: 1882 Colorado Earthquake

Earthquakes in Colorado?  Yes, earthquakes are certainly possible in Colorado, and on November 7, 1882, Colorado was hit by an earthquake thought to be centered in the northern Front Range.  A century later, in 1986, the Colorado Geological Survey published a report, An Interpretation of the November 7, 1882 Colorado Earthquake by Robert M. Kirkham and William P. Rogers.  The report stated that "this earthquake was probably the largest to occur in Colorado during the period of historic record.  A similar-sized event today could have significant impact on modern structures, possibly causing serious property damage and perhaps injury or death."  The report analyzes the historic writings of the time, including newspaper articles, to get an idea of the intensity of the earthquake.  It speculates on how the event was covered in the press -- or not.  Finally, the report draws conclusions about the earthquake's causes.

You can find more resources on Colorado earthquakes by searching our library's web catalog

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