Are You Trespassing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by LCnSac, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith Active Member

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    It's weird to me that people want so much damned privacy. If a fellow fly fisher was wading through my ranchette, I would be excited to have a visitor, and might give advice on fishing my stretch of the stream.
     
  2. Steve Slater

    Steve Slater Member

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    I'm serious, but I think it is a pretty big project if we want to take this nationwide. But if we can get the Oregon data, that would be a great start. I'd definitely be willing to put in some time in this. I'm a biologist, not a programmer, so I'd mostly be able to help with research to collect the data. Might be worth contacting the engineer who originally put the map together to see if he has any interest in the project.
     
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  3. Kcahill

    Kcahill Active Member

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    Until he falls and breaks his ankle getting up on the bank on your stretch and files a lawsuit, or pees on your wifes vegetable garden while she is looking out the window, or catches 2 or 3 fish and shows up with 3 of his buddies the following weekend, who come back with 3 buddies each the next weekend...
     
  4. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    SteveS, I don't believe the study was officially published because it didn't turn out as the Oregon Legislature wanted it to. I seem to remember one of our river rights guys in The Great River Rights War found a copy of the study in the State Library.

    He found a mountain of data, going back to the early days, in regards to the continual river rights battles and the results. He found information that was news to the Governor and the State Representatives. They had no idea there was so much information in regards to river rights in Oregon. His findings were vital and helped swing the war in favor of the river users.

    Most of the original warriors of The Great River Rights Wars have moved on and no longer players (including myself... I was considered too hostile and therefore anti-productive :)) . Eventually, this group was formed to keep tabs on things. They're primarily on Face Book and I don't frequent FB but if you want more info as to the river rights battles in Oregon, this is the place to start.

    http://commonwaters.wordpress.com/
     
  5. Steve Slater

    Steve Slater Member

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    Thanks, Gene. We may be nucleating a little group to try this. I'll try to track down the data.

    Steve
     
  6. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    That was too damn much readin'....and no pictures to boot!!;)
     
  7. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    So...I copied some of what Gene posted and made a small pdf file with the important parts highlighted. I plan to print one, plasticize it, and carry it with me. It is only about a half a page and could be useful when the sheriff shows up...:)
     

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  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    This is cool news... sounds like Oregon has very similar laws to MT. Hats off to you and others who have done some heavy lifting to the benefit of many. I have been supporting and helping PLWA http://www.plwa.org/ for a number of years now since we own property and plan to retire there (though I'd do so even if we weren't...we just love MT). Utah has a large contingent also fighting for public rights to traditional high water mark access. http://www.takebackutah.org/ and they seem to be getting some traction. I've donated to their campaign even though I don't fish there. We can match them with sheer numbers if we all help a little.

    I encourage everyone who enjoys the access we have to spend some dollars and sweat helping out the few who do lots of heavy lifting on our behalf. GAT is correct... the challenges from the elitist property owners will not stop and can you imagine our fishing and hunting activity without access. GET INVOLVED!
     
  9. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    But, there could be more....much. much more. You should know better than most the constant push by land owners to fence and post access that is granted under current MT state law. I choose not to be complacent on this and think for a NY minute that the challenges to limit access will stop. Have you joined PLWA?...we could use the help.
     
  10. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    You will need a united front. In Oregon, we ended up doing battle with large and powerful organizations that included ranchers, farmers and the real estate industry.

    Our ace in the hole in Oregon was a gentleman who went by the moniker Scruffy Bearded Bandit. He was retired and spent many months in the Oregon library researching the subject of river rights. What he found was vital to our cause. At one point, one of the State Representatives who was supported by the land owners said he wished Scruffy was on their side.

    As he was retired, he had plenty of time for research. He uncovered previous battles between land owners and river users that set a precedent because the river users always won. Without his historic research in the subject, we would have been dead in the water.

    The Washington Constitution is kind'a vague in regards to river rights so you may need to rely on the US river rights. It covers all the States and may be used to "trump" a State legislature. The only rivers not covered by the US river rights are some back East that were owned by private parties before the constitution was written.
     
  11. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    Just curious...

    Why are they considered "elitist" property owners?

    What if they decided to "get involved" against "us"?
    (oh wait...they already are)

    Just a friendly question from a fellow elitist fly fisher... ;)
     
  12. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Elitist in the sense that they feel they have the right to keep the rest of us, from accessing our nations natural treasures. For example, Turner and Cox-Kennedy who (with full knowledge and intent) buy land in MT, one on the upper Ruby and one on the lower Ruby, both having traditional water access rights, then immediately start the action of denying access. Bad enough those with big money can buy up huge tracts of land and keep others from enjoying natural lakes, ponds, peaks, valleys, etc., simply because they are contained within the fence-line. But when it comes to navigable waters, I think that's bullshit.

    I simply do not support the idea of anyone restricting access to our nations lands and the rivers that are on them. That was and still is the rule of the homelands (England among others)... don't care to see that become the norm here in America. We almost bought the property on the BH river opposite Browns Bridge some years back. Never even considered not allowing folks to access that bank. If we had those issues, don't buy riverfront property...kinda of like saying I hate airplane noise, but chose to live at the end of SeaTac and then want aircraft operations stopped.
     
  13. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    They have decided to "get involved" against us. It started long, long ago when deeds were written in error. The deed indicated you bought the river along with the land... WRONG!

    I remember one gentleman went to war against us who claimed his deed indicated he owned a river in Oregon. We checked his deed. It indicated he DIDN'T own the river because of the Oregon and Federal River Rights. Somewhere along the way, he assumed he owned the river because he owned the land on both sides. WRONG!

    Some real estate agencies sell the property indicating that the buyer is also buying the river. This makes for a great way to sell the property but it is 100% incorrect.

    It's really quite simple. They own the property above the normal high water mark. They do not own the water nor the land below the river. It doesn't matter a ratz ass what is indicated in the deed when the deed is incorrect.

    The deed to my house and property may indicate I own the street in front of my house but it would be wrong if it did. Therefore, the deeds don't mean crap if they are written incorrectly.
     
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  14. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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  15. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    If the Washington State constitution doesn't address river rights, you'll need to fall back on the federal rights. Some States are violating those rights by restricting river users. It will take someone with enough money and time to sue the state and take the case all the way to the Supreme Court to change the errant laws. Colorado recently passed legislation that violates the federal river rights.

    No one has challenged it. States violate federal law all the time and it takes a lot of time and bucks to set the state straight. This has been going on for decades. The fact remains, no matter what a state comes up with, it can not over ride your federal rights.

    Only the Supreme Court can set it right. Our federal rights come first.
     
  16. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    Hmmm...I'm wondering if I have a "federal right" to angle for fish that are not endangered?
     
  17. FinLuver

    FinLuver Active Member

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    What happens when the river meanders into the landowner's land??

    It has happened on the Santiam...ya know. ;)
     
  18. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Pull up a lawn chair on your deck overlooking the river, waive to the nice fisherman enjoying his nations treasures and ask "how's the fishing today?" ;)
     
  19. PatrickH

    PatrickH Active Member

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    I was fly fishing here about a month ago and some guy comes walking down in full waders and a fly rod being a total dick telling me and my girlfriend to get off his land and asked me, if I was walking down the street and see someone with their garage door open, would I just walk inside, I said no.. His response was, well, this is the same thing, now get off my land..
    He was super rude as hell and threatening to get the sheriff.. He stood there with his hands on his hips waiting for us to pack all our gear and leave..
    My other friend was arguing with him saying that you can't own the river bank, but the guy insisted that he did..

    Looking at this image here, it doesn't look to be his land?
    Walking along the non colored edge by the water. He owns the property on both sides on the little creek run off area, whatever you call it, but I gained access to the non colored area from a friends property that they own. I told them about it and they rushed down there in a ATV to argue with the guy. They said the old man thinks he owns everything..
    Caught my first fish there with a fly within 15 minutes though. :rolleyes:
     

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  20. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    We had a similar situation years ago on the Green River making a hike downriver. He called the Sheriff who met us downriver at what use to be the "pumpkin patch hole/access" and started lecturing us about access. We stated that we were well within normal high-water marks and he said it did not matter. One of the guys in our group and TU club, who worked for the Corp of Engineers said, well as a matter of fact it does and if you would like to discuss this with my Bureau Chief, I can call him...he lives but a few minutes from here. I'm guessing the Sheriff must have known he was correct in principal because the discussion took a quick turn and he started asking how we did :D.
     
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