** Fence over Plateau Creek ** - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-24-2014   #1
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado
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** Fence over Plateau Creek **

Just a quick heads up for those wanting to take advantage of the flows on Plateau Creek that there is a 4-5 strand barbed wire fence from bank to bank approximately 100 yards downstream of the Highway 65 bridge. We found out the hard way in our IK with no signage or flagging/streamers/etc. I was pretty upset at losing a paddle as well! Bring some snips and keep your eyes peeled as we had little to no warning it was there.



Jason

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Old 04-24-2014   #2
 
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Not cool. Glad you guys are OK.
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Old 04-25-2014   #3
 
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That is really messed up. How is this not attempted murder?
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Old 04-25-2014   #4
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Plateau creek fence

I'm assuming you're talking about the bridge before the hill up to Mesa. It's been a few years since we have put in under the bridge. Thanks for the heads-up. We usually put in at approximately mm53 (I'm pretty sure this is the correct marker) where there is a pretty good pull-off area for unloading. Real easy 50 feet access to the creek.
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Old 04-25-2014   #5
 
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Originally Posted by teletoes View Post
That is really messed up. How is this not attempted murder?
Depends on what implements boaters go after the fencer with.

- - - - - -

What are the laws with regard to fencing generally and perhaps in this specific situation?

I have no idea and am curious.
Thinking the thread was going to go this way anyway ..........

For the record, my tool kit includes a roll of flagging.
Plus wire cutting pliers.
But I would never cut a fence like this. Liability and legalities.
I would write letters etc.

=========

Apparently the right to float through private land in Colorado IS FRUSTRATINGLY UNCLEAR.

http://www.kaplankirsch.com/files/Lo...er_Article.pdf
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Old 04-25-2014   #6
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If it is over the river in colorado its illegal.
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Old 04-26-2014   #7
 
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Originally Posted by pinemnky13 View Post
If it is over the river in colorado its illegal.
Citation please.
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Old 04-26-2014   #8
 
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I have a very small clue but how the laws of Colorado are written should be interesting to see.

There are small (Often intermittent) streams that cattle and other livestock can walk through that need to be fenced. In many cases these streams really need to be fenced because of riparian damage.

At some point, streams get big enough to be utilized by recreational folks like boaters and fishing sportsmen. Yet Cattle can still wade through if not fenced.

Time of year, public access, state laws determining stream ownership and historic laws must make for a complex messy set of rules somewhere.

If it is over the river in colorado its illegal.
That makes sense.

However, this thread is about an event on Plateau Creek.
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Old 04-26-2014   #9
 
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Colorado's convoluted access laws...

Here in CO we have no clear cut law either way. Is the fence illegal? Maybe. Is the landowner opening themselves up to a TON of liability issues? Most definitely.

Was there any mention of fences on MB, Riverbrain, American Whitewater, Eddyflower, etc.? NO, it was quite the shock to us as it seemed like this was a run that was done regularly.

There is evidence of the creek being used as a waterway (including kayak races in the 80's) and as long as you don't touch the bottom or the banks, you (as I interpret the law) are good to go. FYI- the landowner does not run cattle on his 4 acre parcel that he bought in 2006. There are NO cows. Even if there were, the landowner could make it passable through use of PVC pipe on the lower wires, smooth wire instead of barbed, vertical slats, etc. Also, on a practical note, as a landowner myself I wouldn't want my fence to catch all of the debris coming downstream and get torn to shreds. Rebuilding every year seems costly and ineffective.

Here is a link to Mesa County GIS showing the property in question (parcel 12513 and his 50m +/- of waterfront):

http://emap.mesacounty.us/viewer?Extent=746399:4341280:747437:4341817&MAPTYP E=eassesso

Here are some references that I found after I got home and was fuming mad:

Rancher Forced to Remove Razor-Sharp River-Fence of Death

Can a Landowner Fence Across a River ? - PLWA - Public Land / Water Access

Landowners' river fences pose ongoing rafting issue - The Denver Post

It is obviously an unsettled issue that will continue until the courts make a defining ruling one way or another. Keep your heads on a swivel fellow paddlers and your snips handy!

Jason
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File Type: doc Boating_Rights_on_Rivers_in_Colorado.doc (127.5 KB, 36 views)
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Old 04-26-2014   #10
 
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Originally Posted by JK_44 View Post
Here is a link to Mesa County GIS showing the property in question (parcel 12513 and his 50m +/- of waterfront):

http://emap.mesacounty.us/viewer?Extent=746399:4341280:747437:4341817&MAPTYP E=eassesso
That is an amazingly small section of their property.
Did they fence both the upper and lower property lines across the creek?

This guy has some money to waste. Be careful with those snips.

Then again, if they aren't trying to keep cattle in OR OUT of their land this may be a perfect lawsuit looking for a date.
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