Porzak Browning & Bushong LLP

Statement of Practice

Civil Trial Practice, Public Lands Law, Water Rights, Water Quality, Real Estate, Land Use, General Business and Business Litigation, Appeals.

Water Rights and Innovative Water Supply Projects.

Water rights and innovative water supply projects We have developed and implemented complex water supply plans for clients such as the Arrowhead, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Durango, Heavenly Valley, Keystone, Vail and Winter Park ski areas and resorts; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Michael Douglas and his Wildcat Ranch development at Snowmass; the City of Golden, the Snake River Water District and the Towns of Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs and Vail; numerous metropolitan and special districts, including the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District and the Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, which together provide water service to over 60,000 people in the Vail Valley; as well as numerous smaller developments, ranches, businesses, ditch and reservoir companies, and water providers. This work has included complex water acquisitions, adjudication of augmentation and exchange plans, and water right analysis. We have successfully tried over 200 cases in the Colorado Water and District Courts, and argued over 35 cases before the Colorado Supreme Court. We negotiated the first federal contracts from the Green Mountain and Ruedi Reservoirs and secured complex agreements with the Cities of Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver to provide firm annual yield for West Slope projects. We have also been instrumental in obtaining millions of dollars of loans from private and public entities for water projects such as Clinton Gulch and Eagle Park Reservoirs.

Back to Top »

Recreational Water Rights

Recreational Water RightsOur firm pioneered the successful adjudication of the first large scale, in channel water rights for purely recreational purposes. In three separate precedent setting cases before the Division Nos. 1 and 5 Water Courts, and ultimately before the Colorado Supreme Court, our firm succeeded in obtaining recreational water rights of 400 c.f.s, 500 c.f.s., and 1000 c.f.s. for the communities of Vail, Breckenridge, and Golden, respectively. Subsequently, we obtained recreational water rights for boating parks in Chaffee County, and the cities of Salida, Buena Vista, and Steamboat Springs, including the State's largest recreational in channel diversion of 1800 c.f.s. in Chaffee County. Other clients include The American Whitewater Affiliation and the Colorado Whitewater Association.

Back to Top »

Groundwater Matters

Groundwater MattersWe have adjudicated rights to millions of acre-feet of groundwater from the Denver Basin, obtained Water Court approval for groundwater remediation projects, and secured approval for numerous developments utilizing groundwater wells. Our clients in this area also include the Greenland Ranch, Anschutz Corporation, Sundstrand Corporation and numerous private land developers. Our firm also adjudicated the first case to apply produced water from oil and gas operations to beneficial use and handled the Republican River Basin in litigation between surface right owners and groundwater pumpers.

Back to Top »

Real Estate

Real EstateWe have handled real estate matters ranging from large ranch acquisitions to multi-million dollar commercial and residential developments. We have prepared land use covenants, homeowner association documents, development agreements, annexation agreements, financing documents, construction contracts and all other documentation associated with real estate development. We have also negotiated and prepared conservation easements and non-development agreements on numerous properties in Colorado. Our clients include McStain Enterprises, the 200,000-acre Three Forks Ranch in Colorado and Wyoming, Shadow Creek Ranch in Summit County, Caribou Ranch in Boulder County, Alpine Mountain Ranch east of Steamboat Springs, Crystal River Ranch near Carbondale, Flattops Ranches near Toponas, Eagle Pass Ranch near Heeney, Sunny Ranch near Aspen, Wildcat Ranch near Snowmass, and Meadowdale Ranch in Larimer County.

Back to Top »

Environmental Matters

Environmental MattersOur environmental expertise allows us to handle all environmental issues related to water and real estate matters. In the area of water quality, we have obtained discharge permits, defended violations of discharge permits, represented many clients before the Water Quality Control Commission, and have been instrumental in developing water quality standards, control regulations, and legislation. We have also successfully represented clients in matters involving environmental impact statements and NEPA compliance, endangered species, wetland issues and 404 permitting, hazardous waste cleanup under CERCLA, toxic tort litigation, ground water contamination, environmental audits, indemnification agreements and general compliance with environmental regulations and permitting. Representative clients in this field include the City of Greenwood Village, City of Golden, Colorado Department of Transportation, Durango Mountain Resorts, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Little Thompson River Watershed Group, Three Forks Ranch, Town of Breckenridge, Vail Resorts, Inc. and Wildcat Ranch.

Back to Top »

Land Use Matters

Land Use MattersIn addition to handling land use matters for our real estate and water clients, we have represented numerous clients in hearings before county and state land use commissions and boards. Representative clients and projects include representation of James Guercio and his Caribou Ranch before the Boulder County Commissioners regarding special use and development permits, representation of Young Life before the Grand County Commissioners regarding construction of new recreational facilities, representation of Vail Resorts, Inc. regarding numerous developments and projects before the Eagle County Commissioners, representation of the Pine Brook Water District before the Boulder County Commissioners regarding the construction of a water dam and reservoir, and representation of McStain Enterprises on numerous annexation, subdivision and land use applications along the Front Range. In addition, we have represented numerous clients in land and real estate related litigation, including King Capital, Inc., Ticor Title Insurance Company, Vail Resorts, Inc. and other businesses and individuals.

Back to Top »

Mt. Everest

Mt. EverestBefitting our firm's strong ties to the recreation based industry (ski areas and resort communities), which forms the heart of our firm's client base, in 1990 Messrs. Porzak and Browning reached the summit of Mt. Everest (29,028 ft). In achieving this feat, they became the first American lawyers to climb the world's highest peak. Two years later, Glenn Porzak went on to become one of the first persons to climb the so called Seven Summits, the highest point on each of the world's seven continents.

Back to Top »