Originally Posted by hkbeliever
KB52 had it right. His attorneys are advising him with regard to defending the Adverse Possession and Prescriptive Easement arguments by the rafting companies with a 20+ year history of use that meets all the criteria of the law.
I very much doubt that's the reason. Giving somebody permission certainly eliminates any claim for a prescriptive easement, but so does any attempt to prevent the unauthorized use. If he didn't make some previous effort that I'm not aware of he first covered that base in the letter telling the rafting outfitters that they couldn't float through his property. Talking to the sheriff about his options to prevent floaters is another action he's taken. I'm not sure what the time period is in Colorado, but he would have to fail to make an effort to prevent the (alleged) trespass for at least the next 10 years before any claim for a prescriptive easement could succeed. I'm pretty sure he can call the sheriff and complain every now and then and each time he does the clock starts over. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that his lawyers really believe, and are advising him, that he can prevent people from floating. There's no point in worrying about a prescriptive easement when there's already a public easement for navigation.
That last point suggests that pressing a claim for a prescriptive easement wouldn't be in the best interests of floaters, except perhaps in regard to use of the banks for portaging. There's a reasonable argument that by making the claim you'd be implicitly agreeing that you'd don't already have the right to float through private property.