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Old 04-13-2011   #31
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
No one't going to take away our existing rights if there are fewer boats on any given reach of river. Getting a bunch of confrontational boaters on a protest float on some section of river they never would have run anyway could be counterproductive to the whole cause.

If anyone was taking it as such I apologize, but I was not suggesting a "flotilla", or protest float. All I was saying is that the LF has great whitewater when it flows, and if Doughboy wants to see more people enjoying the goods his turf has to offer, an organized boating and camping trip is definitely a possibility with the Buzz as a resource to get the info out responsible and kind and everything will be fine.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 04-16-2011   #32
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1972
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Nothing wrong with a flotilla. The more people that float this section of the Taylor the better, singly, in a flotilla, or dressed up like Blinky the Clown strapped to a pink inner-tube. Exercise your legal rights, or loose them.

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Old 04-16-2011   #33
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Once again, its not a "use it or lose it" situation. No one's going to take away the rights we have if we don't show up in numbers, no one's going to increase our rights if we do. Sure, the flotilla thing has a great sound to it that appeals to our anger and makes us feel like we're doing something, making a statement that'll really show them, and so forth. We're all pissed off and want to do something about it but getting confrontational is not the answer in this situation.

If AW and CW want to do this, then they'll put out a call and get folks for it. Until that happens, organizing a flotilla should be off the table. The risks don't match the potential rewards.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 04-16-2011   #34
Gunnison, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1972
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We all want to keep on good terms with landowners, and it does not matter if you are a rock climber, rafter, or hunter. If anyone out there is a lawyer feel free to correct me, but I believe that when you exercise your right of access and other parties with an interest such as a landowner allow you to travel on the river, a precedent has been set. By rafting a river you are establishing that in fact it is a public right of way and you are exercising your legal right to keep the river open. If we stay away from a river because we fear we may upset a landowner, or we might get arrested, then we are letting the pinheads win the argument, and we are also giving them an argument to use against us in court. We should all be prepared to do what is right, despite the consequences. In essence, it is very much "Use it or loose it".

Another venue is for us to put pressure on local officials, particularly elected officials who have to face the voters, to keep the rivers open.

I encourage people to raft the section of the river below Harmels, and will be doing so this summer. If a friendly flotilla is organized, count me in.
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Old 04-16-2011   #35
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
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Originally Posted by gunnisonriver View Post
I encourage people to raft the section of the river below Harmels, and will be doing so this summer. If a friendly flotilla is organized, count me in.
I agree gunni, if people want to organize groups of friends to float the Taylor or the Lake Fork...get out there and get it done, you have the right to do it, and we all should exercise that right. However, I don't think anyone should plan to float either of these rivers with a "group civil disobedience" plan. No protest is necessary, in fact it's not even necessary to make your opinion known to local property owners...just use the river respectfully and show them through this that we all have the right to float our waterways.

Beyond this you should speak to your Colorado Whitewater or American Whitewater representative...they work hard to secure boater water rights, and we don't want to do anything to compromise their work...
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 04-17-2011   #36
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 250
Don't Mean a Thang If It Ain't Got That Swang

There are 3 procedures to gain the right to "Use and Access Natural Streams":
1 Legislative
2 Ballot Initiative and
3 Judicial

This thread is dealing with the judicial way to git er done.

Judicially, it don't mean a thang if it ain't got that swang.

What is meant is that, unless an individual or a group of water users, whether boaters, boat fishermen, wade fishermen, bathers, tubers, waterfowlers, scientific benthic macroinverterbrate studiers, aesthetic beauty of river lovers or whoever, commits to follow through a citation up to the Colorado Supremes, the water use just plain has no judicially legal effect or importance.

The activity is nothing more than a use and enjoyment of water, which is fine, but that's all it is.

Alternatively to,related to and/or in conjunction with, such a water use as proposed in this thread, any, some or all of you can organize an informal, real-time, in-process "Water Use Conflict", or somesuch, tracking database, rather than an after-the-fact database, to track any citations, tickets, warnings, etc., prior to disposition that occur in each watershed throughout Colorado. Knowledge is power, so, along with raising awareness of real time citations through this database, the public water user community is now alerted to a bunch of cases, such as trespassing, and picks and chooses one, several, all or no cases to support in court. Volunteers in each watershed simply maintain periodic contact with the County Sheriff office, court, watershed area DOW, etc., find out about new cases, while respecting (and appropriately overcoming) any existing privacy laws, and report them to the online database for all interested.

An "after the fact" tracking database is found at

See Table 12 on page A-7 for starters...

Organizers? Volunteers? Scientific benthic macroinverterbrate studiers?
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Old 04-17-2011   #37
slavetotheflyrod's Avatar
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 98
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While the annual report is a bit helpful, it's also only a small piece of the puzzle. The data include only citations issued by DOW. To get a more accurate picture the data would need to include arrests and citations by county sheriff's and local police.

As far as DOW goes, they're not likely to get involved with floating trespass issues unless the trespasser happens to be holding a rod or a gun. Rafters and kayakers get to deal with the Sheriff, for the most part.
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Old 04-19-2011   #38
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
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O Canada!

Found Truth Prevailed « For The Fly today via Alberta access battles - Fly Fishing Utah - The Utah Fly Fishing Resource and figure it applies to this thread.

These circumstances could make for a great Colorado Supremes case to test our rights to use our natural streams and touch the bed incidental to that use.

Gain access via public right of way, say, any public county bridge, put in the boat or wade then touch the bed incidental to the use of the water and, if cited, assert the right to do so under the right to use and enjoy waters for navigability, recreation, commerce, fisheries, aesthetic beauty, and/or etc, under the Public Trust Doctrine (view the 30 minute video "Champions of the Public Trust" at Champions of the Public Trust, Water Use in Wisconsin Video )

Brendan navigated (by foot) within (below) the ordinary high water mark, touching only the bed lands rather than touching the up lands above the ordinary high water mark to use the publicly owned water.

The difference between Alberta and Colorado (see Alberta SRD - Water Boundaries ) is that the rights are clear in Alberta and confusing in Colorado. Our rights to use the water and touch the beds of navigable waters ("Navigable in fact is navigable in law.") can be clarified by testing those rights in a judicial court setting and, to most clarify, pursue the case up to the Colorado Supremes.

Notice that Brendan touched bottom. That is a critical aspect and must be included in any Colorado court case test that results from any activity contemplated in this thread or underlying any citation of somebody else's activity. If, for example, a vessel merely floats through, on top of or over the water, the only test would be using only one area of the water (the surface) and would only serve to further solidify the Emmert ruling, which opposes the water users' interests big time. The aim of any court case is to test use of all areas of the water and show that Emmert is bad law and overturn it.

Oh, and while I'm at it, if you want to test this thing, take your own camera with you, hopefully one that has GPS capabilities so the exact location can be geotagged and evidenced in court and, further, map the dealio on Google Earth or Flickr or some such.

"Common highways and forever free!"
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Old 04-21-2011   #39
Meng's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787
FYI to anyone thinking of a float. This announcement in today's CB News effectively closes the Middle Taylor section temporarily:

Taylor River bridge repairs mean some restrictions
All commercial and private rafters and floaters
should note that the bridge spanning the Taylor
River on Harmel’s Ranch will be under repair commencing
April 27, 2011.
Cliggett & Associates, P.C. on behalf of The
Brother’s Estate, LLC and the Taylor River Acre
Homeowners, Cowboy Steel, Gunnison Valley Construction,
and Williams Engineering request people
observe some travel restrictions in the area.
—Due to extreme safety concerns, horse, foot
and vehicular traffic is prohibited across the bridge.
—Additionally, no river users should direct any
vessel or flotation device under or near the bridge
during the construction period.
—All users of the Taylor River should depart
the river at the One Mile Campground and re-enter
the river at the Five Mile Bridge down river, as portage
opportunities are unavailable.
The completion of the necessary repairs will
be concluded on or about May 17, 2011. Engineers
will publish notice upon actual completion of the
American Whitewater's website and river stewardship projects are funded by paddlers. Please join, renew, or make a donation to help us protect whitewater rivers in Colorado and nationwide.
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Old 04-21-2011   #40
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Mesa, Arizona
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Posts: 259
Is this a public bridge?

Whether U Think U Can, or Think U Can't; U R Right!
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