Access to/from streambeds is a different issue than Use of streambeds. The Lake Fork issue is Use of and, possibly for the fence across the river, Criminal Obstruction of Highways as found in the Colorado Revised Statutes.
As written in the previous Lake Fork threads, I have recently been directly and intensely involved in the 2009 Utah legislature's "Recreational Use of Public Waters on Private Streambeds" legislation that, fortunately, went down to defeat that was, mistakenly, not based on the 2008 Utah State Supreme Court Conatser v Johnson unanimous ruling finding for the right to the Use of (touching) private streambeds incidental to recreational activities. Rather, the basis of the legislation was about Access to/from.
Here are specific issues and legislative solutions that the Colorado state legislature, American Whitewater and this thread's readers may address...
A) Private and Public Access to/from Public Beds
B) Public Access to/from Private Beds
C) Private Access to/from Private Beds
D) Public Use of Private Beds Incidental to Recreational Activities
Yes, of course, Cooperation by talking between private and public interests is a great first solution. However, it serves only the individual local issues and does not solve the overall statewide issues.
If a statewide solution to clarify the access to/from and use of issues is your goal, then write, phone and/or meet Colorado Representative, Speaker Pro Tempore and House Chair of Livestock, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Kathleen Curry of Gunnison at email@example.com
(legislature is out of session now so, if you send an email, confirm that she got it and/or send it again at the start of next session in January, 2010 and confirm receipt then, too) and/or your local Representative and/or Senator the following or reworded in your own words:
Honorable Representative Curry (and/or your local Colorado Representative /Senator),
There is now a potential and direct challenge to recreational access to/from and use of the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River near Lake City. Cooperation is a local and temporary solution. However, clarifying and permanent statewide legislative solutions are needed.
Below are the "Recreational Access & Use Issues With Solutions So That All Win", both public and private interests. Additional supporting information is available. Will you please reply with your interest and reference in advancing these issues and solutions for the benefit of all Coloradans?
Thank you for your efforts,
Your Phone Number
1) Clarify RECREATIONAL USE of PUBLIC WATERS Over PRIVATE BEDS. --> SOLUTIONS: A) Use the Statutory Basis as an underpinning to clarify existing or create new law such as Premises, Emmert, AG Opinion, Trespass, Portage, etc. B) Create a Colorado Access and Use Guide so that all Coloradans learn and understand the recreational livestock control, property management, access and use issues. C) Establish an informal or formal Access and Use Advisory or Policy Making Forum, Board or Commission so that all Coloradans learn and understand the access and use issues . D) Use the Colorado Constitution and the Public Trust in the State's Waters as an underpinning to clarify existing or create new law. E) Use Navigability as an underpinning to clarify existing or create new law. F) Use the Equal Footing Doctrine and Public Trust in the State's Stream Beds as an underpinning to clarify existing or create new law. G) Use other Sources of Authority as an underpinning to clarify existing or create new law such as Adverse Possession and State Navigability. H) Use the 2008 Utah Supreme Court Conatser v Johnson unanimous ruling to clarify existing or create new law.
2) Clarify RECREATIONAL PRIVATE and PUBLIC ACCESS to/from PUBLIC BEDS --> SOLUTIONS: A) Establish a Colorado Footbridge Access program. B) Revise the Wildlife Habitat Stamp program funding to include cost effective access improvements such as footbridges and boat slides.
3) Clarify RECREATIONAL PUBLIC ACCESS to/from PRIVATE BEDS, LIVESTOCK CONTROL and PROPERTY MANAGEMENT --> SOLUTIONS: A) Adopt and model the Montana Bridge Access Law enacted April, 2009 B) Modify or maintain existing Colorado Obstruction of Highways and Criminal Obstruction laws.
4) Clarify RECREATIONAL PRIVATE ACCESS to/from PRIVATE BEDS. --> SOLUTION: Expand the existing and voluntary CDOW hunting Walk In Access program to include fishing and boating.