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Old 02-10-2009   #1
salt lake city, Utah
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Stream right issue!

Hey everybody there is a certain issue that I think that you would be interested in. Please give this a read and help out and make your voice be heard.

"Fishermen, hunters, boaters, birdwatchers and nature lovers; everyone and anyone who uses water for recreation in the state of Utah needs to voice their concern!*
"On July 18, 2008 the Utah Supreme Court unanimously ruled 5-0 in favor of the public right to use and*recreate on public*water. The Court concluded - “we hold that the scope of the easement provides the public the right to float, hunt, fish, and participate in all lawful activities that utilize the water. We further hold that the public has the right to touch privately owned beds of state waters in ways incidentally to all recreational rights provided for in the easement, so long as they do reasonably and cause no unnecessary injury to the landowner”.
What is happening now: A bill is currently being drafted that will effectively negate the Utah Supreme Court’s ruling in the Conatser vs Johnson case. It will be backed by wealthy landowners, developers, and other individuals and groups intent on depriving the recreational user rights to many streams and rivers throughout the State. They are working hard to push this bill through the legislature, and it is our job as the recreational users of these streams and rivers and as a public in general, to fight this bill. *
Bill Introduced –> “H.B 187 Recreational Use of Public Waters” (Ferry, B.).
Bill Numbered by Title without any Substance –>“H.B 187 Recreational Use of Public Waters”
Some refer to this as a “Boxcar Bill”: *Often members of both parties' leadership introduce what's called "boxcar" bills—bills with general titles, like "tax changes"—that contain no text. They are introduced just in case, at the end of a session, the bill file is needed for last-minute action.*
What can YOU do: Voice your concerns to representatives that WE THE PEOPLE have elected. They are in their respective elected positions to lobby for our interests! EVERYONE needs to get involved. The more letters and communication received by our legislators, the better. Every voice counts. All you need to do is identify where you live, who your area representative is, and initiate contact with them. *
***Go to the site hit the “action” tab and find out who your representatives are. We have provided quick and easy steps for you… it’s easy, it takes less than 5 minutes!*

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Old 02-10-2009   #2
Chip's Avatar
SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
Utah boaters, get on it.

Wyoming has bullshit access laws for rivers and streams, leading to harrassment of boaters by large landowners (e.g. obnoxious NO TRESPASSING, DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR BOAT signs hung on cables above river channels).

Nip this propertarian shit off, now. Or suffer.

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Old 02-11-2009   #3
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

Can someone make this a sticky for a couple weeks. While this access is not perfect, it is a whole lot better than Colorado!!
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Old 02-11-2009   #4
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 250
Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill / Game On!


Here you go...

Here's the first part of the Utah House Bill 187:

H.B. 187


4 Chief Sponsor: Ben C. Ferry
5 Senate Sponsor: ____________
8 General Description:
9 This bill enacts provisions relating to the recreational use of public waters that flow
10 over privately owned beds.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 . defines terms;
14 . clarifies a provision relating to fencing;
15 . establishes a criminal penalty for:
16 . cutting a fence; and
17 . violating a provision in a part;
18 . authorizes a person to engage in certain recreational activities in specified public
19 waters;
20 . authorizes a person in certain circumstances to touch certain private beds beneath
21 specified public waters;
22 . specifies the public waters in which a person may engage in a recreational activity;
23 . creates a Recreational Access Board;
24 . establishes membership and duties for the Recreational Access Board; and
25 . establishes procedures for applications to the Recreational Access Board.

Utah is our Rocky Mountain neighbor and needs our help to either stop this bill in its tracks or amend it enough (and that'll be PLENTY enough!) to make it preserve the Recreational Right to Use Public Waters recently gained through the ruling of 2008 ConaTSer case by the Utah Supreme Court. Whatever happens on this bill may have a profound effect on your recreational rights to use of and access to/from public waters in your state (mine's Colorado).

It has to do with "Public Waters", "Navigability", not being able to access or use PUBLIC waters withing 500 FEET of a residence,"Trespass", "touching the streambed", "Public Acccess Board" on a state level, and a wholllllllle bunch of other stuff important to your river rights no matter what state you're in.

This bill would effectively shut down recreational use of public waters!

For those interested in wading into this, no pun intended, take notes as you read through the bill and refer to the line number when posting questions or comments back to this or other threads here or elsewhere (this is all over ).

Also check out as they are "Information Central" for this bill.

The bill is the attempt to overturn or undermine the July 18, 2008 ConaTSer v Johnson Utah Supreme Ct ruling that found in favor of the "Recreational Right to Use Public Waters". See

For starters on this Utah bill, the USCt ruling was about Right to USE of not right to Access to/from, so why in the wide, wide world of sports do they have a whole lot of stuff about TRESPASSING to protect the landowner's riparian land rights and nothing about HARASSMENT to protect the waterowner's rights?

Read what the bill says about "Public Water"!

Read what the bill says about the makeup of a Public Access Board!

Read what the bill says about "Navigability"!

Read what *everything else* the bill says!!!

How, as you read this.... this... downright NASTY thing, can it be fixed to *keep our river rights* or DEFEATED once and for all?!?!?

If this bill passes, Colorado/Your State's waters may be NEXT!

Ole Rivers
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