Go Back   Mountain Buzz > Whitewater Boating > Whitewater Kayaking

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-02-2005   #1
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Right to float issue heating up in Steamboat Springs.

Check out Sunday’s article in the Steamboat Pilot (http://www.steamboatpilot.com/section/news/story/29926).

Looks very similar to Lake Fork of Gunnison: Cannibal Outdoors’ case, and could provide clarity to the ongoing question of the navigability of Colorado’s rivers and our ability to “trespass”, by floating either privately or commercially over private property within the river bed.

A very interesting topic and one to keep a boater’s eye on.

kentv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 139
No doubt, we were just talking about this. Seems to me that their beef is that commercial outfitters are making money on what this group likes to call "civil tresspass" - floating the river through their land. But also in that article it says that some of the landowners up there are leasing "access" to commercial fishing operations - doen't that mean that they are in fact making money as well? They'll let the fisherman in but not the rafters? Give me a break about the whole "my peaceful life is ruined by the rafts floating by..." that is crap. This situation is also similar to the Blue river access issue going on right now too. Too much money in the hands of landowners wanting to own the river. The Elk is roadside for Christ sakes, it's not like it runs through the middle of their 1000 acre ranch. There is legal public access and egress. This group also says that it doesn't want to prohibit private boaters...my ass. That is exactly what will happen...first the outfitters, then the private boaters. I'm pretty sure that there is only one outfitter, Bucking rainbow, that is permitted for this river and guess what - the season on the Elk is short too. It's a far cry from the Arkansas, but I guess most rivers are.

Also - this is also an issue of restricting recreation in a resort community during what's considered the "off season". We need the tourists money and they want whitewater....and tubing...

ebaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #3
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
How funny was it that A.Wirth was the representative from this property group? Gotta love that year round support our Ski Corp leader is portraying to this community. Typical and very sad that he has blinders on, unable to see beyond his mountains skier days, and that the summer tourist industry is directly related to the winters.

Bottom line is that boaters need to always have undo respect for private property and that landowners understand that they don't own the river water and that boaters are just floating by.

Old west meets new west, all over once again, on the River.
kentv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #4
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 139
I really wanted to mention that fact too, but I decided not too. You're right and incidentally, Steamboat Central reservations sells those Elk trips for Bucking Rainbow and if their permit were to stop, SCR - meaning Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. - would lose valuble summer revenue. I agree with the Moss brothers up there, someone should have asked permission to go in there with that chainsaw, that was stupid because Willow has always been a little "heated". I'm sure they would have wanted to work it out rather than have someone go in there and screw with their property. we don't live in that valley, on that river, but if I did, I'd be happy to let those outfitters run.

Old west meets new west, all over once again, on the River.
You're totally right.
ebaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #5
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
This is a great reason to keep your CWWA and AW membership current. In addition to being an active voice on access and right to float issues, I am fairly sure that AW will provide a defense lawyer for any member cited for trespass in a right to float case.

I would like to run the Elk, so should a private boater float-in be organized here, like what was done on the Deckers run a few years back? Same thing happens on the Cheesman Canyon run every year when it runs, with the Sportsman's Paradise Club folks, although not to a large extent due to the extreme nature of the run (CL V). In some ways I wish these land owners would get trespass charges filed against a boater so the issue is decided by the courts once and for all. Our state legislature also seems willing to recognize "recreational rights" so maybe they will weigh in with some new right to float laws as well, especially if a court case were heating up.
pbowman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 139
Well I'm not sure that a private boater float would help much, as their beef is with commercial operation and they have stated that it is not their intent to prohibit the private boater.

Take a look at this thread - http://mountainbuzz.com/viewtopic.php?t=3623
ebaker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #7
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 335
just returned from running part of the upper Pecos in New Mexico a good 20 mile 3 3+(wood!) could be had if it wer'nt for some very obnoxious fences over the river one ranch had dangling picket type fence over the water and not regular barb wire but razor wire on the land to keep fishermen out!Another place down river, the most sanitized "rustic resort"you'll ever see,had wire over both ends of its property.What is with these paranoid greed mongers.How is someone floating by ,or stepping foot on thier land really going to hurt them.I understand somebody would inevitibly do something inconsiderate,but there are likely laws that could be enforced in that event.Why permanently preclude everyone else access based on this.The law should protect the landowner from liability of recreational accidents as long as he/she did not create or contribute to the hazzard, and stop barring access.
god i despise rednecks and rich guys eg REPUBLICANS!
cayo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2005   #8
pbowman's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 245
I do not want to intentionally stir the pot for you guys in the area, but the right to float issue comes up every year and I personally wish it would just come to a head somewhere and get resolved through court or legislative action. A private float-in may be premature here, but I agree with your earlier post that "first the outfitters, then the private boaters" will be their mode of attack. After reading the article, I "read between the lines" enough to see that the land owners involved did not want any craft floating by that would obstruct THEIR peaceful view of the river.

The tree removal did not appear to be handled well, and probably soured the relationship between the outfitter and land owners. But given the tone of the land owners in the article, all boaters should recognize this as a potential threat.
pbowman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2005   #9
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
On the Elk, it is true; you do float through the backyards of many fine, Elk River home sites. But, when was the last time you eddied out and waved, said hello to or screamed at someone near their home, let alone got out of your boat, walked up to their house and peaked into their window’s?

I was a guide on the Elk for a few seasons and know first hand that there was never any issues with swimmers, or pinned rafts; not to say this will never happen, but evacuations will be very, very limited from the commercial end so trespass on their physical property will more than likely never happen.

It’s their emotional property that is impacted most when they briefly encounter a flotilla of rafts or a group of kayakers drifting beyond the willow trees in the middle of their river. It’s the fact that for a few months of the year, there will be boaters occasionally floating behind their house, enjoying their water and breathing their air that lies above their property.

Oh the pressure these people must deal with.

Private property needs must be respected, first and foremost. Boaters wishing to remove anything, let alone trees that will drown them, must work with the landowner involved. If you deal with barbed wire, traditional fencing or seismic monitoring wires (seen it!), trees or evacuations, the landowner holds the upper hand. Unless you can boof over that river wide strainer or never get hurt, sooner than later, you'll touch a rock when you get pinned under that tree or cut their barbwire and you’ll be dealing with the fact that you’re on their property and your trespassing.

I agree. It's time to resolve the issue and maybe this is the case that goes all the way and we get the clarity of a decision to move forward. Our antiquated legislation needs to be amended. This 1979 Emmert Case is the basis of their argument and is the smoke screen for an emotional property issue, not a private property issue.

Thanks for showing me the Blue River thread; I had not seen this before. This seems to be versions of the same battle just a different basin.
kentv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2005   #10
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 46

Your phrase "emotional property" hits the nail on the head. This is a classic NIMBY case. Access is not the issue here but rather these property owners are playing the "fear of increased commercial use" card to fight their cause.

I boat the Elk at least a dozen times a season and have rarely seen Blue Sky West or Bucking Rainbow on the river. When I do, they are in small groups and very respectful. By no means, from my perspective, do either of these commercial outfitters negatively impacted the Elk.

I just hope the Routt County Board of Commissioners can see through this smokescreen.


gard_nerd is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Flaming Gorge Reservoir Pipeline Issue - Kayak Access Issue TimWalker Whitewater Kayaking 8 10-17-2006 02:04 PM
Steamboat Springs Condo question. DGDenver Winter Buzz 3 09-27-2006 07:09 PM
LVM premiere The Daniel issue in Colorado Springs on Sept 14 Mike B Whitewater Kayaking 1 09-15-2006 08:36 AM
Going to Steamboat Springs 95jeepyj Kayaking | Trip Planner 3 06-27-2006 05:54 PM
newby0616; steamboat springs jpk1080 Whitewater Kayaking 7 08-11-2005 09:41 AM

» Classified Ads
Demo Jackson Shooting Star

posted by 4CRS

Used 2016 Jackson Shooting Star kids whitewater kayak -...

Kokatat Dry Suit, Sweet...

posted by condor

Kokatat GMER, XXL, excellent condition, well cared for, no...


posted by ShamanRx

Brand New never used 2016 XXL Crux. Has relief zipper and...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:46 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.