Originally Posted by gunnerman
Come on AW here is your chance to finally get some sound legislation passed on this matter. The stretch of the Dolores where this happened is highly paddled especially in June. I realize funds are always tight but surely somebody with deep pockets could help us in this matter. Like I've always said we need some strong backing from just one big name politician on this matter. Let's not let this opportunity be squandered. Please somebody follow thru on this case.
AW worked directly with the trip leader on this issue, along with our local club the Dolores River Boating Advocates to document the incident, explore the legal and political options arising from this conflict, and advise the local law enforcement officers. This is not cool, but nor is it a good opportunity to bring up the "right to Float" debate in the legislature!
While we agree that the cable was placed intentionally and recklessly and certainly caused Josh and the crew injury, local LEOs responded to our argument by finding the obstruction of the river was not reason to press charges.
CRS 18-9-107. Obstructing highway or other passageway
(1) An individual or corporation commits an offense if without legal privilege such individual or corporation intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(a) Obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances, whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others; or
(b) Disobeys a reasonable request or order to move issued by a person the individual or corporation knows to be a peace officer, a firefighter, or a person with authority to control the use of the premises, to prevent obstruction of a highway or passageway or to maintain public safety by dispersing those gathered in dangerous proximity to a fire, riot, or other hazard.
(2) For purposes of this section, "obstruct" means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous.
The cable has been removed, and the landowner has indicated that he is also a boater and never meant to do harm. More information on the incident, including a radio interview with the Trip Leader and the Sheriffs department can be found on THE RIVER TRIP website
, at KSJD in Cortez.
As for pursuing a ruling...please keep in mind that legislation is not going to fix this, or any river acccess issue in Colorado. Even if we succeed in passing an initiative, like we tried with HB 1188, the new law will get challenged in court. Its not about having one big politicians support, its about legal strategy. It will be an expensive and lengthy court process, and regardless of how the lower court rules - the ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court - by either side. Then this issue gets REALLY expensive. The last thing we need is to rush into a court battle and lose because we go off half-cocked, are underfunded or under-prepared, and end up with a court ruling that further strips away our right to navigate. Please dont go there - we have too much at risk!
The opportunity to decide this issue will rely on having more resources, involve landowners that support the RTF, commercial outfitters, and a clear conflict that hopefully results in no serious injuries.
This is not that opportunity, and I hope the community understands the risk involved with pushing this issue in an uncoordinated way.
If you want to discuss this in more detail, give a call.