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By Ozarkian
Good luck yall. The little red is lined with subdivisions and boat docks and there are plenty of stories of landowners yelling, throwing rocks and firing warning shots at anglers. That'll be a fun time when it comes to a head. :wink
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By Ajax
Bobwhite wrote:Man, we don't know how lucky we have it around the upper Midwest. Most farmers over in Wisconsin allow public access to fishermen. Hats are off to the good ones. I hope things get sorted out in court, out your way...
Yes indeed... Michigan's law is similar to Montana's. The navigable rivers ( around 90% of the good water) belong to the people to float or wade. I didn't know how good we had it until I started fishing the west. Good luck in your quest.
Willi wrote:
fishsnoop wrote:

Thanks for posting this folks. We meet one last time tomorrow with the Gov's office then the Waterways Task Force, we will see where it goes. Check the site for updates and any help out there is more than welcome. Check out the site and click on the paypal button if you can afford a 5 spot or more we could use it.

I sent in a donation.

How were you able to get such an organization started?

Colorado has a lot of groups that peripherally are involved in access issues (rafters for example), but none that is invested in pushing the issue.

Anyone know why there isn't this type of organization in Colorado (my state) or Wyoming?

The answer to that question is a bit uncertain, Willi. I'll offer my thoughts: The biggest hurdle to the whole process here in Colorado is that our rivers are already so commercialized. Fishing, rafting and hunting are big business, and riparian land is worth big bucks. We have several distinct groups of public users and several distinct commercial users, for the most part, their interests are tied together. All benefit from things like water quality improvement, habitat and so on, and for the most part the commercial interests work side by side with the public interest for the common benefit of the resource. Once the issue turns to access all that good will goes out the door. As far as access goes, everyone is in it for themselves. Time and time again I'll hear the question asked "why doesn't Trout Unlimited do something?" Every time I laugh. You see, the guys that really run TU are the same guys that we're fighting access battles against. True, these guys represent maybee 1% of the total membership of TU, but in terms of influence, that same 1% holds 99% of the influence over the direction the organization.

I go on this TU rant a bunch these days. I've given enough to them that I feel like I've earned the right. I know hundreds of others that have done the same and by-and-large get nothing in return. The 99% of the membership is getting screwed by the other 1%. Maybee it's time for a little TU Tea-Party.

There are a few other organizations lending a hand in the effort, but none with anything like TU's muscle, and none strictly dedicated to the issue of access. I've put in some time with a bunch of these groups and they're all doing their own thing, none of them work together much.

That's my take on our situation. Colorado has a decent shot at un-fucking our stream access, we just need a well supported effort that can see the job through. I've been given cost estimates that run around 250k to do this trough the courts. None of the little cliques can pull together that kind of bread on their own. I think that until the little groups all get on the same page, or, god - forbid TU should get off it's ass and represent the other 40 or 50 thousand members in the state it's going to be tough to pull off.
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By fishsnoop
An update if you haven't seen the emails....1 down 1 to go and If you decide to fight for your state, do it in the State Courts for the betterment of all. Today we meet with State AG's office and Sovereign Lands officials to discuss repercussions and management of similar waters.

USAC Prevails in Weber Case

Today is an historic day for Utahans and, in particular, the members of USAC. This afternoon, the Utah Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the Utah Stream Access Coalition and confirmed that the Weber River is navigable where it crosses over the "one-mile stretch" of landowner defendant's properties.
In the decision, the Court acknowledged the statehood-era use of the Weber River to float logs from the headwaters in the Uinta Mountains downstream to Echo where they were taken out and used for commercial purposes such as construction of railroads, prop timbers for Park City mines, saw timbers and cordwood. "We conclude that there was sufficient evidence to support the district court's determination that the relevant stretch of the Weber River was commercially useful on a regular basis, and not merely in an occasional season of high water. And we deem that evidence sufficient to establish navigability of the river where it crosses the property at issue in this case."
In recognizing the utility of log drives to determine navigability, the door is open to apply this standard to other similar-sized and useful rivers throughout the state. USAC looks forward to these future discussions with the state to address the status of these waters. Please give the state time to digest the decisions and issue appropriate guidance to anglers as to where they can and can't fish before you grab your rod and reel.
When the time does come, we want to remind you of these very important points:
Please respect private property. 
Pick up trash if you see it. 
Stay below the ordinary high-water mark, and never, ever trespass to get on or off the water.
This is a resource that belongs to all of us, and it's of utmost importance that we be impeccable stewards of that resource. Don't be that guy (or gal) that undoes all we've worked for.
Many, many individuals contributed to fighting for our rights, and we thank you for what you've done. In particular, we express our deep gratitude to our counsel on this case, Cullen Battle and Craig Coburn, who masterfully wove the history and the law into a strong, cohesive cloth. 
Finally, while this is a significant win, we are still awaiting the final ruling in the Public Waters/Provo case. We expect that ruling in the near future, and will update you with further information as we receive it. The legislative session starts in January, and may very well be an active one for us. Now would be a perfect time to get in touch with your legislators before the busy season begins.
We thank you for your continued support. We hope that you will join us in celebrating this victory. Give thanks, reflect on what we've been able to accomplish, and look forward to the things to come. We look forward to seeing you at the General Membership Meeting on 11/28.

Thanks again for your continued support.

Board of Directors
Utah Stream Access Coalition
User avatar
By Adams
Woot! Congrats fishsnoop.
Utah outdoor peeps could use some good news today.
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