Important Legal Case for Floating and Fishing - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 06-07-2018   #1
 
denver, Colorado
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Important Legal Case for Floating and Fishing

Hi all-

The link below is from High Country News about he legal battle concerning the Arkansas River and the right to walk in a river bed.

I will be calling my congressmen to action

https://www.hcn.org/articles/opinion...is-trespassing

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Old 06-08-2018   #2
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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I'm certainly no attorney, but I don't think this information is correct:

"This is a much bigger problem in Colorado than in most states. In Colorado, you are deemed a trespasser if you merely float over a riverbed adjacent to private property. As a result, Colorado recreational boaters and fishers use Colorado’s waterways at the sufferance of private landowners. One good way around this problem is to have them declared “navigable” for title purposes, and that is what Roger Hill is seeking to do on the Arkansas River."

My understanding has always been that landowners "own" the river bed under the water, but if you do not set foot on the soil you are not trespassing.
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Old 06-08-2018   #3
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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It all sounds great and I hope that the attorney / law professor who's taking it to court knows what he's doing and has thought out this chess game thoroughly. If this overturns the Emmert decision (the basis for the "touching streambed = trespassing" law), that would be wonderful. Unfortunately, if the judge rules in favor of the landowner, the case could bolster the status quo so it's even harder to eventually overturn Colorado's screwed up riparian trespass laws...

-AH
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Old 06-08-2018   #4
 
denver, Colorado
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Andy, agreed and a basis of concern. However, I am pleased someone is trying to fight for recreation and change Colorado law. I would be shocked if things could get worse, our rafting industry would dry up pretty quick...

I also agree that the word choice used in the article is a bit confusing. I believe the author thinks of the river bed as public domain, although it is not in Colorado, and thus makes for a confusing read.

I am hopeful that recreation can improve and against the odds of big money.
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Old 06-08-2018   #5
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Recreation is 'big money'

I keep waiting for both the recreation community itself and the states in which we thrive to realize that recreation is big money now! It's like there's a delay in transmission from reality to politics and even public discourse about the fact that our state makes 2 billion in tax revenue from outdoor rec., and the industry related jobs available are four times that of oil and gas. I'm not trying to start a pissing contest, or rag on extraction industries at all here, but it is weird to me that awareness is so lagging.

Issues like this come up, and our representatives should be scrambling to resolve it on the side of outdoor rec, but state leaders still get all bunched up about it and hustle out of the room awkwardly like the time when grandma talks about her Burning Man days.

Some interesting stats from last year on the state of the industry at the national and state levels.

https://outdoorindustry.org/advocacy/
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Old 06-09-2018   #6
 
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Denver, Colorado
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One thing to keep in mind about rec industry jobs is they dont pay well at all...which makes them as useful to an economy as fast food employment. Its just a bunch of seasonally employed dirtbags and a few reasonably wealthy business owners. Tourist dollars do add up...but if you are paying rent with them, youll probably need to hustle off the river so you're on time for your gig as their waiter, in order to make ends meet.
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Old 06-09-2018   #7
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k2andcannoli View Post
Tourist dollars do add up...but if you are paying rent with them, youll probably need to hustle off the river so you're on time for your gig as their waiter, in order to make ends meet.
90% of us that are part of the workforce in a small mountain town already have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, so the recreation industry is right on par with most of the ways available to make a living in the mountains..... doesn't make me want to discourage recreation and advocate for industry though. One perpetuates and enhances our quality of life, the other diminishes it.
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Old 06-09-2018   #8
 
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftOfCenter View Post
Our representatives should be scrambling to resolve it on the side of outdoor rec, but state leaders still get all bunched up about it and hustle out of the room awkwardly
Oil and Gas are a few companies with deep pockets and able to make bribes, er, I mean ' contributions ' to them for favors. Rec companies are many with shallow pockets so not as many contributions.
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