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Old 04-26-2011   #21
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by cpollema View Post
Thank you for all the information. If I am understanding all of this correctly, it seems that floating on the water is allowed since that is public. The confusing portion is whether the river meets the definition of the waterway mentioned in the statute that refers to obstructing a waterway? So if the landowner indicates that the fence is there to keep cattle (no cattle seen anywhere around), he can keep it? If he indicates it is there to keep the tubers from traveling through his property does that make a difference? It seems that takes the argument down the same path as the Taylor. If the fence does injure someone floating down the river, does that change the argument?
Definitions are the stickiest part of every issue. That's why definitions are usually the first item of business in, for example, a legislative bill. The definition for "waterway" is linked to the definition of "navigable waters" and its definition is a function of prosecution rather than enforcement. A sheriff's deputy's role is to keep the peace so all he'd likely be interested in doing would be to contact, if the dept would contact them at all (may need a complaint by the user or request by the owner to get involved) and shoot the breeze with the owner w/o getting into detail like that. I'd say the most important words in your request for resolution would be "health and safety". Those words are in a lot of laws and probably press a lot of hot buttons...

If the owner uses "livestock control" as a reason for the fence, then the deputy would likely defer to court action to decide its validity. If there's no livestock around, you may want to document that in images, along with very up close and clear images of the wire to show if it's barbed, learn how to file a complaint along with standing necessary to file it and which court it needs to be filed to and the costs to file, etc.

imo, if the owner says the fence is there because of the tubers, the guy's hung himself. No canna du. By the image and you saying there's no cattle around to control, if you can get the deputy out there by request or by complaint, he'll git'r done via talking sense or a citation to the owner under 18-9-107, etc. By the image, it appears pretty obvious that the owner simply doesn't want the public riff raff water user tubers around. The deputy is around to enforce the law. Think positively, deputies aren't automatically on the side of the private owner.

Lastly, if the fence is the proximate cause of injury and, especially, if it has barbs, In My Very Humble Opinion... the owner's in a worlda hurt. Throw in a 12 year old kid and figure 25-life and/or Mom gets 10 minutes of Up Close and Personal Time in a locked room with the owner.
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Old 04-26-2011   #22
 
salmon, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2004
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The BLM put them up last year on the Blackfoot river, out of the Pocatello field office.
They are a pretty simple design. Just stretch a cable over the water, attatched to a deadman anchor on both sides, and it's just PVC hanging down. Pretty easy, and it works to keep the livestock where they belong.
Should make everybody happy.
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Old 04-26-2011   #23
 
Park City, Utah
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It's complicated.

So often the fences are erected in the winter when low water is present and the landowner needs to keep livestock in the property lines. Then the water starts cranking and we all go out and run into the fence. Bad situation if some boater cuts back the fence and a herd of cattle or horses are on a highway. Most western land owners are pretty understanding if you approach them properly. A great example is the work arounds on Bailey. Approach the land owner and let them know they are going to hurt a kid, and can a solution be found. If you do it in a non confrontational way, I bet it works out well. If it goes bad you can just walk away and let them know the sheriff will be out to talk to them.

Good Luck
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Old 04-26-2011   #24
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
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Originally Posted by SALRVRRT View Post
It might pay to approach the land owner with the concern for public safety and see if there is a solution where everybody wins, without getting into a big legal battle. That may do more damage than good, from a PR perspective.
If the fence is there to control livestock, then they may be open to suggestions, if it's there to keep tubers out, then maybe not. In that case, pick the fight, because that's not cool.
Here is a simple fix we have used here in ID that seems to work. Might be a little obnoxious, but nobody gets hurt.
It's just a thought. I don't pretend to know anything about the local law, or the motives of the landowner, but sometimes mutual respect goes a long way further than a sheriff knocking on the door.
Yes, talking first with the owner could prove useful to resolving the issue.

SALRVRRT, that type of "gated fence" is exactly the end product for the legislative public access bill I've been advocating and is similar to the Montana public access gated fences, only it's across and over the water rather than on the land abutting public bridges.

Could you please send me those images in full resolution with a description of their exact location (Google Maps, maybe?)? I don't have good images of passageway fences across streams, just some mediocre ones so not useful. Yours are very clear and the clearer the better. See my Profile for the email address. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011   #25
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SALRVRRT View Post
The BLM put them up last year on the Blackfoot river, out of the Pocatello field office.
They are a pretty simple design. Just stretch a cable over the water, attatched to a deadman anchor on both sides, and it's just PVC hanging down. Pretty easy, and it works to keep the livestock where they belong.
Should make everybody happy.
Montana's gated fence solutions are also very simple in design for the bridge abutments on land. Couple of posts, maybe some brush clearing, and/or some half diameter PVC on top of the barbed wire so the boats can get up and over and, violins!, private owners get to control their livestock/manage their property and public water users, be it boaters, wading anglers or other public water users, get access to, from, over, through or around the gated (stiles, passthroughs, etc) fence.

Everbody's Hap Pee! Cost effective, too!

Gated Fence Ruby River in Montana
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Old 04-26-2011   #26
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada View Post
So often the fences are erected in the winter when low water is present and the landowner needs to keep livestock in the property lines. Then the water starts cranking and we all go out and run into the fence. Bad situation if some boater cuts back the fence and a herd of cattle or horses are on a highway. Most western land owners are pretty understanding if you approach them properly. A great example is the work arounds on Bailey. Approach the land owner and let them know they are going to hurt a kid, and can a solution be found. If you do it in a non confrontational way, I bet it works out well. If it goes bad you can just walk away and let them know the sheriff will be out to talk to them.

Good Luck
Canada, do you have any contact info, exact location and/or images of the fence workaround in Bailey or similar? Same question to all. If so, please email. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011   #27
 
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
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There are no fences.

Just agreements on where to portage, not to hang out and trash the place. Not to pee in what people percieve as their yard, etc. Basically evryone has agreed to some standards that if we all comply, the thing works.
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Old 04-26-2011   #28
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
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Originally Posted by Canada View Post
Just agreements on where to portage, not to hang out and trash the place. Not to pee in what people percieve as their yard, etc. Basically evryone has agreed to some standards that if we all comply, the thing works.
Any limited liability language in the agreements? If so, please send. Thanks!
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Old 04-26-2011   #29
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Any limited liability language in the agreements?
I think it's more of a handshake agreement than a written agreement.
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Old 04-26-2011   #30
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by CUBuffskier View Post
So... Can I walk around number 5 on the Ark?
I'm not sure if your serious or being sarcastic, but for the record the property adjacent to #5 has changed hands and the new owners are boaters. I haven't spoke with them directly, but I have boated with people who said they were cool. There are still "No Tresspassing" signs up, but I doubt portaging the rapid will cause an issue now.
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