Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill/Anglers WIN! - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 03-03-2009, 05:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill/Anglers WIN!

Utah HB 187 "Recreational Use of Public Waters" came up for a vote today, and after a contentious and dramatic floor debate, the poorly written, complex and anti-angler bill was DEFEATED 34 Yes to 41 NO!

ANGLERS and all water users WIN!

http://www.utahonthefly.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=20402

The right to use public waters by touching privately owned streambed incidental to recreation that was clarified in the unanimous Utah Supreme Court ruling has been kept intact!

Yeh Man!!!

It was truly amazing to watch on live streaming video and to see just how little the Pro bill people knew about the main issues. Even a longtime venerable lawyer who argued a water rights case in the USSCt (and lost, today) made absolutely no sense whatsoever in advocating for the bill.

The issue should have centered around the recreational USE of Public Water, as was ruled unanimously in its favor in the Conatser Utah Supreme Court last July. However, the sponsor, House Rep Ben Ferry, tried, unsuccessfully in a number of ways, to define the issue as one of private property rights takings and recreational ACCESS of Private Land.

It is likely a new Recreational Use of Public Waters bill will be introduced next year and I will be tracking its progress along the waterway, so to speak, as I want to see a similar bill come up here in Colorado to clarify the Colorado state and Federal laws that currently confuse waterowners, landowners and law enforcement and currently prevent full rights of utilization of stream beds incidental to recreation. After all, the foundational laws provide, since ancient times, that, while there are coexisting private landowner and public waterowner rights, the waterowners rights to use are dominant to the servient landowner rights when it comes to rights of way to "fisheries" or recreation to the highways that are our Colorado state Constitutionally protected public waters.

"A public river, just as a roadway, is a public highway."

This process was one exciting ride!
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill/Anglers WIN!

I'm happy for you, I felt the same way when "2 Forks" was defeated with prejudice back in the late 80's... Good for Utah
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Old 03-04-2009, 10:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill/Anglers WIN!

That's what we need in Colorado! A public river should be open to the public, like the public highways!
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Utah's "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Bill/Anglers WIN!

Legislative floor procedures being what they are, the bill was "reconsidered" last week and then brought up for a vote again today.

Once again, HB 187, "Recreational Use of Public Waters" Failed, 31 yes-43 NO! Anglers Win Again! This time, there will be no more reconsiderations because the Legislative session ends Thursday and there just isn't time to move it back for a House vote, get it over to the Senate and maybe back to the House.

Utah flyfishermen, as per the unanimous Conatser Utah Supremes ruling has the dominant, yet coexisting, right to USE the servient private streambed landowner's right to own on "all waters of the state"!!!

There will likely be another bill next year in Utah that will clarify what needs to be clarified in the ruling, like "high watermark", "streambed", etc and I plan on involving my time to help craft it with the friends I have made during this battle as I'd like to see the Colorado situation clarify as well.

Anglers win and clarify our rights to the USE of (as opposed to ACCESS to/from) public waters incidental to recreational activities (touch the streambed)!!!
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