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Just a thought. There should be a mass float of the Taylor sometime this season to protest this jerk off and test his mettle. If you think about it a couple of hundred of paddlers (rafts IK's, Kayaks, Hydrobroncs, Tubes or whatever can float) going down this stretch of the taylor will do a few things

a) Provide some good media coverage about this issue
b) be a good time
c) test the law on the matter, I mean can they really charge hundreds of people with tresspass and if they do perhaps AW's legal team can take this thing to the supreme court and clarify once and for all our right to float.
d) Most importantly Piss off this motherfucker!!!

Just a thought. Perhaps a little old fashioned civil disobiedience is in order.

heywood

power to the paddle
 

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May I suggest that you help AW/CW/CROA out and ask them when and IF a protest float would be helpful? I would hate to see an issue created and widen the gap that we need to close that gap with our neighbors. Especially if it where at a critical moment at the verge of an agreement.

Civil disobedience is ORGANIZED disobedience.
 

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I think the best way to piss off this mofo would be to gain the right to float permanently on all rivers in Colorado. While a protest float make a bad day for Sir shaw, the right to float would leave him truly defeated. I think it would be fun to protest on the road when he having open houses and the like. To gain the right to float we are going to need a lot of friends. Instead of a protest float I'd like to see a series of pro right to float rallies through out Colorada gaining allies for a possible ballot initiative.
 

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God Amongst Men
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the Duke of Taylor has his mind made up and even if the courts tell him otherwise, he's still going to believe what he believes. there will forever be problems on this stretch because of his skewed view on things. thats just how it is.

a mass float is an ok idea but theres a few things to consider.

1) the project is still "under construction". the artificial creek and roads are all in place but the homes themselves are not even underway yet. last summer and this summer, all youre going to see is the construction workers and the ranch hands, all who could care less about boaters. one of my best buddies works as a ranch hand on the property and he said theyre at least another year from being "online" and ready to accomodate people. so if you want to piss off the Duke and the fishermen, youre going to need to wait a couple years down the road.

2) the middle taylor is nearly 3 miles long, and shaws property only borders maybe 60%-70% of that stretch. the rest of that stretch is bordered by Harmels Resort, and while they still arent very boater friendly, they arent quite to the extreme end of it like their neighbor downstream. there are also a number of private homes, and like harmels, a good number of those folks are nowhere near as zealous as the Duke. i have done work for a lot of the folks who live across the river from harmels and when i bring up boating (and I always make sure I do) most of them could care less. ive portaged the major drop at harmels a number of times and no one has said a word. so those people dont exactly deserve a mass float, even though their downstream neighbor does.

3) if it backfires, and the Duke uses that as ammunition against boaters in future lawsuits, then we're potentially putting the future success of the canyon's rafting companies, Scenic River Tours and 3 Rivers Outfitters at risk. i would hate to see a good idea like a mass float end up being turned around and used in such a manner, but im afraid thats the kind of slime ball the Duke is. in order to do it properly, everyone on said float would need to be on their BEST behavior and make sure to follow our version of the right to float, so stay in the water and stay off the rocks.

im not here saying its not a good idea, but before you get whipped into a frenzy over it, step back a bit and look at it a second time. if you would like to come down and float it sometime, then contact one of us gunny locals and we'd be happy to take you down. this is a touchy situation, and while increased awareness of it would be nice, we need to be careful here so we dont overstep our bounds and fuck something up.
 

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An Alternative

Host a party in CB or Guni and donate the proceeds to the war chest for a right to float.

While peaceful protest has it's place, I think it is premature at this point. We can overwhelm the local sheriffs office after we've lost in court. Until then, let's try to keep looking at the boaters as the good friends and neighbors we are.

Not telling you what to do, just trying give an alternative perspective.
 

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^ well said. i like the idea of a party. maybe we could coincide it with the gunni festival or perhaps OBJ race/party?
 

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the Duke of Taylor has his mind made up and even if the courts tell him otherwise, he's still going to believe what he believes. there will forever be problems on this stretch because of his skewed view on things. thats just how it is.

a mass float is an ok idea but theres a few things to consider.

1) the project is still "under construction". the artificial creek and roads are all in place but the homes themselves are not even underway yet. last summer and this summer, all youre going to see is the construction workers and the ranch hands, all who could care less about boaters. one of my best buddies works as a ranch hand on the property and he said theyre at least another year from being "online" and ready to accomodate people. so if you want to piss off the Duke and the fishermen, youre going to need to wait a couple years down the road.

2) the middle taylor is nearly 3 miles long, and shaws property only borders maybe 60%-70% of that stretch. the rest of that stretch is bordered by Harmels Resort, and while they still arent very boater friendly, they arent quite to the extreme end of it like their neighbor downstream. there are also a number of private homes, and like harmels, a good number of those folks are nowhere near as zealous as the Duke. i have done work for a lot of the folks who live across the river from harmels and when i bring up boating (and I always make sure I do) most of them could care less. ive portaged the major drop at harmels a number of times and no one has said a word. so those people dont exactly deserve a mass float, even though their downstream neighbor does.

3) if it backfires, and the Duke uses that as ammunition against boaters in future lawsuits, then we're potentially putting the future success of the canyon's rafting companies, Scenic River Tours and 3 Rivers Outfitters at risk. i would hate to see a good idea like a mass float end up being turned around and used in such a manner, but im afraid thats the kind of slime ball the Duke is. in order to do it properly, everyone on said float would need to be on their BEST behavior and make sure to follow our version of the right to float, so stay in the water and stay off the rocks.

im not here saying its not a good idea, but before you get whipped into a frenzy over it, step back a bit and look at it a second time. if you would like to come down and float it sometime, then contact one of us gunny locals and we'd be happy to take you down. this is a touchy situation, and while increased awareness of it would be nice, we need to be careful here so we dont overstep our bounds and fuck something up.
Outstanding advice Yeti! The best protest we could make is to go about business as usual. If you want to float the Taylor, float the Taylor just as you normally would. I think the sight of normal folks doing as they've always done in the past will show that we can't be intimidated. I've got a 4 year old, and when he goes into one of his fits the best tactic is to just ignore him - it pretty much takes the piss right out of him. I think the same tactic would work on the Duke. (by the way, I'm thrilled to see that other's have embraced the title)

I also like the idea of holding a fundraiser - I think the parties caught up in the middle of this thing could use all the help they can get, and what better way to show your support and solidarity than putting your money where your beliefs lie. Let's get a group together and organize an event. I'd be glad to play the part of ringleader, PM me if you're interested in helping out and we'll get the ball rolling in the right direction.

The long and short of the matter is that if the Duke's threats scare even one boater off the river, then he's winning. If we ignore his threats and go about our business as usual, then we've won. At least thats how I see it.
 

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Idea -

If there is a mass float organized, it should be a demonstration of how boaters don't harm private property, ie, how "good" we can be when floating though it. If we do an 'in your face, make alot of noise' type of approach, they'll only use it as ammunition to justify their position.
 

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^ well said. i like the idea of a party. maybe we could coincide it with the gunni festival or perhaps OBJ race/party?
Save the date! The 2010 Gunnison River Festival will be held from June 25 - 27. We’ll be hosting the Festival the weekend after FIBARK once again. Expect great flows, great weather, and great fun! We have a great feature now. Gunnison River Festival, Gunnison, Colorado
 

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I'm glad to see lot's of suggestions on the forum about not presenting ourselves as asses and not inflaming the issue. A mass protest could be percieved as a negative thing and not in floater's favor. A protest will probably only serve to vent anger and frustration but not contribute positively to the cause of the right to float.

By the way the Middle Taylor which is the stretch of river in dispute is hardly run. The Upper Taylor which is the most commonly run stretch is not an issue with the Shaw group. It will be boating as usual for most of us this year since the Middle is not a popular run.
 

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I had a pretty fun experience on the Taylor last year. I was at FIBArk and met some friends from AZ and NM who asked if I wanted to paddle Taylors. I had a Dynamic Duo at my disposal, so we loaded up and a group of 5 of us headed out.

My memory is a little hazy, so forgive me if some details are out of whack, but I think we put on right below the reservoir and paddled down. Almost immediately, a couple in a white Ford Explorer waved us over. We eddied out and they told us we were trespassing. :confused: At that point, instead of getting into an argument, we politely said thank you and proceeded downstream. Lo and behold they were waiting for us at the next bridge with cameras. At this point, we were pretty confused. I had a vague notion of navigable waterways and right to float, but never having paddled in Colorado before we were concerned as they were shouting at us that if we stepped foot on shore or touched a rock on the river we'd be arrested for trespassing. There was very little clearance under the bridge, but we managed to duck under without having to portage. We were being forced into doing stupid, unsafe, and dangerous things because of these yahoos. No longer fun, it now became a matter of just getting off this river at the first sign of public access we could find.

We unfortunately had a swimmer on one of the rapids. He wound up clinging to a rock, we managed to get his boat to him and rather than get him to shore and risk the trespass charge we got him back in his boat with a wet entry. Ugly stuff. Meanwhile, we kept seeing the white Explorer as it followed us down the river.

We finally came into a take out on river left where there was a wide turnout for the road. Meanwhile, the two people in the Explorer told us they had called the Sheriff. They had seen our friend out of his boat clinging to the rock and that since the rock was considered part of the river bed that he had technically touched the land and that constituted trespass. They asked us to fill out statements with our names and addresses. At first, it sounded like a way to tell our side of the story, but one of us had the presence of mind to tell us all that no good can come from this, that we had done nothing wrong, these people were not on our side and if anything a statement would be used against us in any way possible. We all politely refused to fill out the statement form and said we'd wait for the Sheriff.

The Sheriff arrived. We extended the same courtesy to him that we had given to the landowners. We explained that at no time did we stop on the river, get out to stretch our legs, have lunch, fish, sunbathe, whatever. No ticket was issued as no trespassing had occurred. He thanked us for remaining calm for what must have been a bit of an ordeal for us. Our shuttle had found us by now, so we loaded up and got out of Dodge.

When I got back to Salida, I explained what had happened to the group I was with. Later that night, we were at dinner and our group recognized one of the AW reps who was in town for the FIBArk. As soon as he heard the word Taylor, he just shook his head and told us of all the ugliness that was going on up there.

In retrospect, we were pretty ignorant of the local paddle scene. The guy who had suggested Taylor had done some research on what to expect as far as whitewater, and we thought we'd be able to scout as we went down. Never did we think that we'd be chased down the river wondering WTF was going on.

Scott
 

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As you may be aware, there is a bill in the Colorado legislature regarding the "right to float". It is a very fluid situation with supporters from both sides of the issue lobbying congressional members. There have also been filings for voter initiatives for the fall election. Again there may be amendments up for a vote that would benefit/hurt people from both sides of the issue.

At this time, it appears we recreational river users need the sympathy of the legislature and/or voting public on our side. A positive outcome either in lthe egislature or the voted initiatives could greatly benefit boaters regarding their "right to float" all Colorado rivers. Any large protest could backfire and turn the legislators or voting publics opinions against us.

If the results of these efforts are not successful, I would think that THEN would be the time to stage this type of protest.
 

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It will be boating as usual for most of us this year since the Middle is not a popular run.
I can see why it's not very popular. A couple of us floated the middle last year after the upper just because we were already there and felt like making a day of it. The middle was weak and really not worth the trouble. We saw all the huge signage put up by property owners warning us that continuing further would be life threatening...blah..blah...blah. We drifted through Harmel's with hardly dipping a paddle in the water, avoided anyone fishing, and didn't speak a word to them or even to each other.

It's hardly worth going again and if I came all that way I'd rather do two laps on the upper.
 

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IMO, floating the upper, or anywhere else besides through the Duke's fifedom doesn't really constitute a protest. In my mind the issue is distilled down to fishing - It seems at the core of the issue is the fact that the pay to play fishing outfits want the water all to themselves. They try to make a pile of hay out of the assertion that boats floating through disturbs the fishing, it'd be nice to send some fishing rigs through to show em just how good the fishing can be. What's more, they think they own the fish, by fishing through it has the added effect of sending the message that they neither own the river or the fish.
 

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Jeff- I agree, the middle blows. but it does make for a nice thru trip from new gen to almont. i hate man made features in the river but its much easier paddling through than portaging the 2.75 miles.

Meng- thanks for the dates, i just put it on my calender. and youre dead on about how we should do the float. the loud, in your face, "were gonna float anything" tactic is exactly what i was talking about avoiding earlier. but if we did a slow but steady slew of boaters all day long, going in small groups every few minutes, then we can ensure that proper floating rules are obeyed, and the Duke and his court can see for himself that it doesnt matter if its one boat or a hundred boats, all it takes is some common sense and a little bit of courtesy and we can all use the river for the various reasons we love it!
 
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