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Old 03-10-2010   #1
 
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HB 1188--NEED EXAMPLES TO SUPPORT PORTAGE RIGHT

HOUSE BILL 1188—NEED EXAMPLES OF MAN MADE OBSTACLES AND NEED TO PORTAGE

Today Vincent Carroll of the Denver Post voiced his support for including all boaters in House Bill 1188, but suggested that the portage right be deleted from the bill. Please post your personal experiences with dangerous man made obstacles where portaging was necessary. If you’ve encountered barbed wire, fish hooks from bridges, cables across the river, trees or obstacles that have been placed in the water, dangerous dams, tell us about it. What is the value of a right to float if a landowner can defeat that right by putting a dangerous obstruction across the river? The hearing on House Bill 1188 has been moved to Monday, March 15th. It would be nice to have a good list of examples before that hearing. Thanks.
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Old 03-12-2010   #2
 
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Thanks for the heads up. I plan to attend, and testify. I'll be bringing with me a stack of photos of man-made obstructions, and bridge adornments to show the Judiciary committee some of the illegal things that landowners do to try to stop boating.
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Old 03-12-2010   #3
 
Gunnison, Colorado
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Thank you Patrick t,

I have several examples of man made objects obstructing waterways, but no photos.

There is barbed wire across the channel on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison. It sits about head hight and rafters must duck under it. The funny thing is that the put in right above it has a National Forest Service sign in box with a warning about private property and the fence right over it.

On the Taylor river there are 5 bridges that can inter fear with rafting/kayaking. 3 are on the section between the dam and Lotis Creek and basically make this section unrunnable because when the water is high enough the bridges are too low. (The only way I have heard of folks running it, without trespassing, is to roll up side down and slide under the bridge) There is 1 low bridge between Lotis Creek and Clear Cut. I have made it under this one, but not practical in a raft at high water. We had to get everyone to lay in the bottom of the boat and use our hands to walk under it. At high water it is likely impassable. The final one is on the middle Taylor on the Wilder property. While it has been there a long time, it was lowered slightly last year when they fixed some supports. There is a log jam blocking two thirds of the bridge from passage and forcing more water under the section that is left. During high water you cannot get a raft under without getting stuck.

Another issue is river bed alteration. The Shaw, who owns Wilder Ranch, has had rocks moved in the channel. What used to be a very mellow II has become a challenging rock dodge. When the water drops and the bridge is a non issue the new rocks pose a serious problem.
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Old 03-12-2010   #4
 
Louisville, Colorado
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I have no photos, but the Upper Animas has a mandatory portage of a railroad bridge. Not all obstacles that must be portage are manmade, when a tree falls across a river over night or during/post flood you can either become part of the strainer or get out. Would a land owner have an obligation to remove a tree from his land so it did not obstruct a navigable river when it fell? Doing so would only increase erosion. What about an obligation to clean it after it fell? Boaters would have a hard time clearing the obstacle with out portage/trespass.
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Old 03-12-2010   #5
 
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I've got a bunch of pics of stuff all over the state, but nothing on the Taylor yet.

Anyone have pictures? Or good descriptions?
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Old 03-12-2010   #6
 
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Patrick,
I have photos of man made obstruction on the Taylor, postd to the AW website. They can be found at:
<http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo/detail/photoid/872327/>
<http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo/detail/photoid/872324/>

Maybe they can help. Nathan
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Old 03-12-2010   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanfey View Post
Patrick,
I have photos of man made obstruction on the Taylor, postd to the AW website. They can be found at:
<http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo/detail/photoid/872327/>
<http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Photo/detail/photoid/872324/>

Maybe they can help. Nathan
Nathan,

Just to be clear, these trees where felled or moved into the river on purpose?
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Old 03-12-2010   #8
 
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These trees had obvious chainsaw cuts, part of the reason why I snapped these photos. i just don't have photos of the cuts in particular. Because of the landowners emphasis on trout water, I'm assuming they were put there as restoration and habitat improvements. Not intentional obstructions to navigation, arguably. The visual should help get across the idea of a man-made obstruction though.
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Old 03-12-2010   #9
 
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This might offer more evidence.
In this photo, you can see the strategic top-cut on the river right end of the tree, and the post holding the obstruction to the bank and in place across the river. Note the thickness of the tree on the river right bank (evidence that the tree has been topped), the strategic placement of the obstruction at waterlevel, and the companion NO TRESPASS sign.
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Old 03-14-2010   #10
 
Crested Butte, Colorado
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Taking out the portage part of HB-1188 should not be an issue as long as language is put in that prevents the landowners from blocking the river. If a "natural" obstruction occurs, something to the effect of clearing it in a short period of time may be neccesary. If the river bed and high water line are made public property, as they should, then we should be able to portage natural obstructions until they can be removed. What boater wants to portage anyhow??
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