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Discussion Starter #1
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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Look in the "Access and Saftey" forum as there is much being said sabout it over there.
 

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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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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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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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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/jackson_ShawProperty.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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Discussion Starter #7
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/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/louisiana_purchase_treaty_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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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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Discussion Starter #11
No sure if you all are aware, but 3 years ago a private property owner filed a civil or criminal - not sure which - against a rafting company out of Lake City, CO. Cannibal something or other was the name of the outfit. Anyway, the lawsuit became so expensive that it drove the rafting company into bankruptcy.

If we really have an interest in this, the most helpful thing we could do is try to ease these two companies' legal costs... food for thought.
 

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No sure if you all are aware, but 3 years ago a private property owner filed a civil or criminal - not sure which - against a rafting company out of Lake City, CO. Cannibal something or other was the name of the outfit. Anyway, the lawsuit became so expensive that it drove the rafting company into bankruptcy.

If we really have an interest in this, the most helpful thing we could do is try to ease these two companies' legal costs... food for thought.
"In private practice, John represented a family-owned ranch in a successful lawsuit against a commercial rafter for trespass for floating through private property."

I believe this could be the case you are referencing. This information came from the link : http://www.spoke.com/info/pFduiKD/JohnHill
posted by RDNEK on the thread :
http://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f14/taylor-river-texas-developer-trying-to-close-river-to-public-28511-5.html#post171567

Mr. John Hill is a very connected and powerful attorney, and it will take an outpouring of concern from every aspect of the river community to get the HB1188 passed. As RDNEK stated, John Hill is extremely well financed, and you can bet that he and Jackson Shaw are working hard at swaying our "loyal" politicians to vote in their favor. Regardless of the specific grammer in the bill, it must be passed. If it is blocked the highest reaches of the Taylor will be blocked to private and public access this upcoming season, and that could lead to even more dramatic river closures in the future.
 

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We have to stand up for river users.

This forum could support its people much more like other sites do, like this thread SitSki at the X-Games TR - Teton Gravity Research Forums, where the people on tetongravity basically raised $ to send this kid to the x games. This forum needs to stand up for the rafting company here.

Here is the guy:
Lewis W Shaw II. Jackson Shaw / Taylor River Ranch LLC
Lewis W. Shaw, II
Office Address and contact
4890 Alpha Road - Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75244
Phone: 972.628.7400
Fax: 972.628.7444

As a river community we can't let this "letter" set a precedent.

Kathleen Curry is the legislature for this area and she is very active on river uses. So she will be up to date on it all. Here is her info:
Colorado General Assembly - Representative Kathleen Curry
(303)866-2945
E-mail: [email protected]s

You just can't let some fat cat arrogant Texan make an entire community of river users look like a bunch of helpless nobody's. We have thousands of people in this community who can at least make this guys life hell. He has nobody except the goons he pays. It would be inspirational to see this community stand up for one another. Spring is just around the corner and we can't let this guy shut down a river just because he is rich. This community should brainstorm ideas, organize and execute.
 

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Please combine these threads, whoever has that power. I did'nt even realize the Safety and Access Forum existed until I followed that link. Why does it exist when the hazards should be posted in the Boating Forum? Anyway, please combine the 2 or 3 threads going around. Just cut and paste or something.

So awesome to see Curry on the front lines of river issues. We are lucky to have her.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Imyers, I'm not sure if that's what I'm referencing or not. My Dad told me about that incident. I remember him telling me about it a few years back, but I'd forgotten until he reminded me. Anyway, if this Hill guy is the same one, he certainly has experience closing down rivers, obviously not a good thing for public river users.

Craporadon, great information, but do you think this man will listen to reason if we write to him?

Does anyone know how we could set up a financial fund for these two companies, something boaters could donate money to? I don't think either or them can afford a lengthy lawsuit though I'm sure 3 Rivers has alot more money than Scenic does.
 

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Craporadon, great information, but do you think this man will listen to reason if we write to him?
This is exactly the question I had, but then I thought- what can it hurt? So I wrote a letter...

I'd like some input from anyone who would like to tack onto it, but I don't want to just post it here, so if you are interested in reading/adding to/signing it, send me a pm with your email and I'll send it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I would certainly like to read it, though I will be shocked if Shaw regards anything aside from his own pocketbook as valuable. Still, give it a shot. Maybe we should all be inundating Shaw with letters of concern. As long as they are respectful and intelligible, what harm could it do?
 

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If this John Hill guy is so powerful, why not just hire him to represent our side? Hired guns are usually more interested in the money they are going to get then the morality of which side they are on.

Just an idea......
 
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