Originally Posted by Canada
Anyone with the facts. I thought this thing was dead yesterday. The news articles about 1/3 - 1/2 of the representtives being property owners affected were damning.
Hmmm... just thought I'd check this forum as I haven't been back for a while only to find there's a thread about Utah HB 187, "Recreational Use of Public Waters"
I have been involved heavily in the Utah HB 187 "Recreational Use of Public Waters" pretty much 24/7 since the end of January with the main wateruser/waterowner advocates that are mightily and persistently determined in opposing this bill.
Presently, it is about to be voted on again in the Utah House of Representatives on Monday, March 9, 2009, as the 3rd Substitute Bill 187, including all passed amendments made to date.
You can find the bill at http://le.utah.gov/~2009/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HB0187S03.htm
To listen or watch live streaming video Monday *when the House is in session* go to http://www.le.state.ut.us/
and scroll down to the House session info. The A/V buttons will come on to click when the House is in session. You'll need RealPlayer installed to watch the live streaming video. The House is in session 9am-12pm and then 2-4pm.
To view the House Calendar, go to http://www.le.state.ut.us/jsp/jdisplay/default.html
. Notice that HB 187 is at the very top of the schedule and MAY be the first bill up for consideration, but not guaranteed as it is presently "circled", which means it's "on deck" rather than automatically first up.
For background as to the July 18, 2008 Conatser v Johnson Utah SCt ruling, go to http://www.utcourts.gov/opinions/sup...tser071808.pdf
There has been tremendous drama
on the House floor when the bill has been brought to the floor and Monday will be no different. Gazillions of emails
have been sent and face to face meetings between waterusers and legislators have taken place multiple times daily.
187 lost (we won) last week 34 yes and 41 no and wild jubilation took place by the waterusers afterwards, yours truly included. The next day, Ben Ferry, the House Sponsor, made the opportunity to "reconsider" the bill after House Rep Draxler made a motion to amend, which was defeated. Yesterday, Friday, the bill was brought back to the floor and an amendment, based on a single word change, from "and" to "or" on line 387 was moved and subsequently defeated. Some other changes were made to the bill, such as making the proposed Access Board a "rulemaking" rather than an "advisory" board and the addition of 11 more rivers (there's thousands in Utah plus the USCt ruled recreational use on "all waters of the state"
) to a list of "allowable" public waters on private streambeds to use with all sorts of restrictions. This is one toad of a bill.
Essentially, the bill is poorly formatted and poorly written, substance wise, and is riddled with amendments.
The bill came about as a result of the Conatser USCt ruling which clarified the waterowner/wateruser *USE of*
public waters incidental to recreational activities. The bill should have been written to further clarify the clarifying ruling. The bill, however, was written and is controlled by the landowner property rights interests and defines the issue as one of landuser/landowner *ACCESS to/from*
public waters incidental to land use.
Should it pass the House, it will go on to the Utah Senate. The Utah Legislative session is over and done next Friday, March 13, 2009. If you want to have a say, NOW, NOW, NOW is the time to express yourself by way of any type of contact with the legislators and also, for that matter, American Whitewater, Colorado Whitewater, Utah boaters forums and groups and etc.
There's been a whole bunch of posting over on utahonthefly.com if you want to ramp up quickly. I am "rstrouts" over there.
You can also go to http://utahwaterguardians.wordpress.com/
for info, especially, for legislator contact info.
This is a classic private property owner vs public waterowner/wateruser Battle of the Titans. It's in Utah now, but it can easily make its way to Colorado and elsewhere. That's why I'm on it, from the wading flyfisher pov, and will continue fighting against this bill's passage from the Utah House to the Senate and to the Governor's office if necessary!
I would like to see a balanced legislation and/or court ruling here in Colorado so that we can clarify our river rights to everyone's benefit from the confusing mess there is presently between the enforcement of the Federal laws and Colorado state laws.
Clarification is the key word.
Any other questions or comments, fire away and I'll do my best to answer them!
My view is to: Kill it, Chill it and New bill it!
Now get those legislator email contacts and start a tappin'!!!