Research on the process of policy change often involves a direct or indirect analysis of the roles of policy entrepreneurs and the mass media. In Colorado, beginning in 1998, twelve communities decided to obtain water rights for recreational in-channel purposes such as kayaking and whitewater rafting. These water rights stirred political controversy within some communities in Colorado related to spending public monies, appropriate uses of water, and the role of recreation in local economies. A multi-methods cross-case research design was used to examine the policy process within 18 Colorado communities. This project includes analyses of media influence, expert and citizen involvement, and the role of these factors in promoting awareness about recreational water rights as well as policy change in this policy venue.