Montana stream access under attack.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by bitterroot, May 31, 2013.

  1. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    Once again, some rich, out of state asshole moves in and starts a fight!
    Hey Old Man Jim, this is happening in your neck of the woods. Do you have any insight?
    http://www.plwa.org/
     
  2. Billy McFly

    Billy McFly Active Member

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    It is ridicules to say he owns the stream bed and the water above it. Montana's supreme court needs to knock this down.

    What a can of worms this could open......
     
  3. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Oh MAN. Pray they maintain the stream access law. :-\
     
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  4. creekx

    creekx spent spinner

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  5. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Here we go again. It is a constant battle in all the States. Truth is, there is something called a public trust that has been upheld in FEDERAL COURT since the beginning of the country. It doesn't mean a damned thing what your deed indicates if it indicates you bought something you can't own.

    I'm sure the State Constitution of Montana is similar to that of Oregon and Washington and supports the Federal River Rights. It vastly helped our river rights in Oregon when a number of years ago, the State Attorney General wrote an opinion indicating that the river rights, Federal and Oregon State, were valid and legal.

    A Judge in Wallowa County, rejected a land owners claim of trespass when the river users were below the high water mark. He used the AG official opinion in regards to the rights as the reason for deciding against the land owner and for the river users.

    Hopefully, someone in Montana mentions the fact that there are national river rights in addition to State rights.

    http://www.nationalrivers.org/us-law-rights.htm
     
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  6. Brett Angel

    Brett Angel Member

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    Wow...what a d-bag!
     
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  7. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    Makes we want to float through his property purely out of spite.

    Seems like Montana's stream access is always under attack...
     
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  8. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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    Yes same in WA, out AG went a step further and explained that it applies to all coastal areas as well, as in below OMHW in the salt. Land use Attorney for Clallam County went so far as to advise the Sheriffs Office that they ran the considerable risk of false arrest civil suites and possibly civil rights issues if the SO decided to issue a citation, or physically arrest in the specific incident of lawful recreation activity below OMHW. The opinion was published in 94 , the AG warned that private property advocates risked loosing and establishing more restrictive case law if they forced the issue.
     
  9. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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    Tony, what does OMHW mean? *somethin*-median-high-water ?

    Does this mean that in WA state saltwater beaches are publicly accessible, if by boat, below the median high water mark despite being below someone's property?
     
  10. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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    Ordinary Mean High Water Mark defined in the WAC , I'm not qualified to issue a competent legal opinion, but if you didn't trespass to get there and your engaged on a lawful recreational activity, then you probably aren't committing a crime. S example kaycker pulling up on a beach to empty his/her boat the AG used the specific example of walking a beach with a fishing pole, I'm sure a fly rod would suffice
     
  11. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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  12. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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    I did not mean to imply that OMHWM only applies to salt, all navigable rivers and many that you wouldn't think of as navigable are subject to the same legal principals.
     
  13. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

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  14. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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    The guy in Montana Sounds like deep pockets for a civil suite, willful negligence is a really expensive hobby. Makes fly fishing seem cheap.:D
     
  15. Tony Polizzi

    Tony Polizzi Active Member

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    Maybe TU will muster some legal eagles to gain meaningful resolution.
     
  16. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    It's a bit weird in Oregon. There are a few tidal areas that are excluded from the river rights... probably had to do with clams or some such critter.

    However, the vast majority of Oregon beaches are publicly owned and once you have legally accessed the beach, you are not trespassing. We used the open beach regulation as a comparison to our river rights. Once you are legally in the river, you are not trespassing while in the water or on shore. River rights are the same as the beach rights. It was a good argument that the land owners had problems overcoming with their bogus deeds.

    Of course I guess you don't have to worry much about beach rights in Montana :)
     
  17. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    I'm curious why the state of Montana isn't involved in the proceeding on behalf of all the state's citizens.

    Sg
     
  18. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    With all the open water here in Montana, why worry about some water you can't get to. I fish the small skinny water and don't worry about to where I can't get to because of some ass hat stopping you. I can always seem to find open water.

    As to your question, no I don't have any help or insight.
     
  19. bitterroot

    bitterroot Love vintage graphite!

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    ...but, too many of those ass hats could start to infringe on your fishing. We can't let some prick set a precedent.
     
  20. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    Sooner or later the ass hats will be buying up the land along the skinny water too. Fight them now or fight them later. Now is better.
     

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