A River is a Road - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-01-2010   #1
 
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A River is a Road

In the D. Post yesterday was an article outlining a civil suit that will affect ALL commercial and private boating in Colorado. In short the article stated as follows: legislation has established that floating down a river, through someone's property, is not criminal trespassing.

However, a corporation in Texas that purchased property adjacent to the Taylor River has filed a civil suit against two commercial rafting companies- Three Rivers Resort and Scenic River Tours- asking for monetary compensation from these companies as the Taylor River runs through the corp.'s property.

I believe a river is as a road. Think of the implications of that statement and tell me if you believe this corp. has a legitimate claim to compensation.

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Old 02-01-2010   #2
 
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Look in the "Access and Saftey" forum as there is much being said sabout it over there.
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Old 02-01-2010   #3
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I read this artical and it seemed to indicate that floating through was illegal, which I don't agree with, but what boater would. I do think it is becoming time that a movement needs to be made to get recreational use of Colorado water ways on the public ballot. Screw these bills written for one side or the other. There is no way that the citizens of this state, presented with a public vote, would deny themselves the right to use what should be public water ways. Although attempts would be made to have it determined unconstitutional, if written properly, it would also create a very major hurdle for agressive land overs to over come because the public will have spoken. Like Montana and their High Water act (not that I feel it should be this agressive in Colorado), there have been some close calls, but no judge has had the guts to over turn it as it was voted in by the residents.
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Old 02-01-2010   #4
 
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What a load of BULLS$%T!!! Now, I understand owning the LAND that the river flows through....the bedrock that lines the river, etc.....but they CAN NOT own the water that flows through it.

Hell, it's illegal in this state to put a bucket under a downspout on your house to collect rain.....how can they own the water in a river????
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Old 02-01-2010   #5
 
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While growing up in Steamboat I briefly experienced a few heads butting when a right to float argument occured on the Elk river, and Willow creek. I worked for Bucking rainbow, the company who commercially rafts the elk. An adjacent land owner kept dropping logs into the river with a chain saw (aka. trying to seriously endanger boaters- seriously fucked), and would try and snap photos of rafts getting stuck on rocks to get incriminating evidence of trespassing, and therefore shut down any commercial rafting near his property. A court hearing/ town meeting resolved the issue. The law stating that if it is a navigable stream anywhere in Colorado it could be boated by the public as long as the access points didn't involve tresspassing. The land owner can own the ground on the river bed, but not the water. This is the grey area! Basicaly we kept boating, and the whole town was against this prick from texas that owned the property. Another unrealated issue was that this prick also strung barbed wire on Willow creek, and almost killed a few creek boaters that had to cling to bushing inches away from the barbed wire in fast moving water. The boating community was outraged. I hope that the boating community can join together and fight the issue, and hopefully have a similar outcome as the Elk river.
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Old 02-01-2010   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotchkiss View Post
However, a corporation in Texas that purchased property adjacent to the Taylor River has filed a civil suit against two commercial rafting companies- Three Rivers Resort and Scenic River Tours- asking for monetary compensation from these companies as the Taylor River runs through the corp.'s property.
Here is the "letter" sent to the owners of Scenic River Tours by Mr. Jackson Shaw...

http://www.croa.org/viabilityAct/jac...awProperty.pdf

I find it to be pretentious, offensive, and arrogant...and it wasn't even sent to me.
We all need to contact our representatives in support of House Bill 1188. This simply cannot fly.
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Old 02-01-2010   #7
 
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lmyers, thank you very much for that letter, very informative. Here is some more information I think might help people understand the idea of a, "river as a highway." True that there is very little state legislation on the matter, but there is no need for any. The United States Code states that:

-CITE-
33 USC Sec. 10 01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
TITLE 33 - NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
CHAPTER 1 - NAVIGABLE WATERS GENERALLY
SUBCHAPTER I - GENERAL PROVISIONS

-HEAD-
Sec. 10. Waters in Louisiana Purchase as public highways

-STATUTE-
All the navigable rivers and waters in the former Territories of
Orleans and Louisiana shall be and forever remain public highways.

-SOURCE-
(R.S. Sec. 5251.)

-COD-
CODIFICATION
R.S. Sec. 5251 derived from act Mar. 3, 1811, ch. 46, Sec. 12, 2
Stat. 606.

-End-
http://thomaslegion.net/sitebuilderc..._agreement.jpg

Unfortunately, I think that the Taylor River is about 10 miles outside the boundary of the Louisiana Purchase, but I'll keep looking in the federal code for applicable law.
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Old 02-01-2010   #8
 
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This is what has happened in South Carolina. VERY encouraging.

https://www.americanwhitewater.org/c.../display/full/
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Old 02-01-2010   #9
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The U.S. Supreme Court under the federal Equal Footing Act granted to states ownership of the beds of navigable streams, lakes, islands and accumulations of land up to the average high-water flow line. Each state took title to the streambeds underlying its navigable waters which are held subject to a public trust benefit and cannot be given away. The federal test for navigability is sustained commercial use, including floating logs, fur trade, mail routes, transportation of goods, floating, fishing, outfitting and guiding, float boat rentals, adventure floating.
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Old 02-01-2010   #10
 
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-K-,
Nice find. I'd never heard of that but since you told me I found this:

FindLaw: U.S. Constitution: Article IV: Annotations pg. 16 of 18
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