High and Dry

Gary Boyce's ballot initiatives went under, but he'll most likely resurface.

To Entz, the fact that Boyce got these measures on the state ballot in the first place was a pillaging of the state's political system, proof that money can buy a button under the fingers of Colorado voters. "It's the worst abuse of the ballot-initiatives process that I've ever seen," Entz says. "It's the first time an individual company has had enough money to put issues on the ballot to destroy the economy of the San Luis Valley."

And Boyce says it won't be the last. "As far as these two initiatives go," Boyce says, "I think it's just the beginning, and I don't see how I'm going to put the genie back in the bottle. Like my old football coach used to say, there's always next year. Hell, it took Doug Bruce three runs to get the TABOR Amendments passed; something like this, it could take four. But frankly, I'm tired of this political stuff, and I'm glad the election is over. It's time to get back to business."

Which Boyce says could mean heading into the state's water court and applying for the water he's after, though he's not offering any timetables for doing so. Nor is he ruling out a return to the political arena. "If we have what I perceive to be unfair attempts to destroy my business through bills in the legislature, I would indeed be forced to defend myself," he says.

Entz, who's being forced from office this January by term limits, doesn't think this is the end of his constituents' water battles, either. "Oh, he'll find something to harass us over," he says of Boyce. "Somebody will fly over his property or we won't cross the street just right, and he'll have us back in court before long."

Boyce believes that in spite of his resounding defeat, he may have won at least a piece of his most recent battle. "I think we were very successful in that we made people aware that there's something out of kilter with the water policies in the San Luis Valley," he says. "They'll start figuring these things out, and pretty soon the chickens will come home to roost.

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