Your rights to fish on rivers explained in a concise poster and handout

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by National Rivers, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. National Rivers

    National Rivers Member

    Oct 17, 2013
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    The National Organization for Rivers (NOR) is excited to announce the new poster, “Public Rights on Rivers in the United States,” available for free downloading and distribution, in print and by e-mail. There is also a handout version. These resources discuss public rights to use and access rivers for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, duck hunting, and other nondestructive river recreation.

    The posters and handouts do not repeat the usual claims of lawyers for riverfront landowners, to the effect that public rights on rivers would have to be decided by state courts or state legislatures. Instead, they cite numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions and Acts of Congress to show that rivers that people typically use for raft, kayak, or canoe trips are navigable for Commerce Clause purposes under federal law. These rivers are subject to the federal navigational easement, including public rights to scout rapids from shore, portage around rapids, and fish from the gravel bars and banks along these rivers.

    Of course, some riverfront landowners, their lawyers, and their supporters in local and state government will disagree with the message in the posters and handouts, but that’s the point: To give river users tools to use for dialog with local and state government agencies, in order to reconfirm public rights on rivers in places where they are doubted or denied.

    The handouts are ready to print on letter size paper. The posters come in two different versions, one for legal size paper and the other for 11 x 17 paper. The 11 x 17 version can be printed out at office supply stores or photocopy centers.

    The handouts and posters can also be e-mailed to the directors of kayak clubs, college outdoor programs, government agencies, and reporters for local newspapers and other media.

    Read, download, and print the posters and sizes you'd like by going to this page

    If you would like to read more about the announcement of these new posters and handouts, check our blog

    If you want to read the thread where we introduced NOR and how we seek to help you access and use rivers, here it is

    If you want more than just a brief synopsis about river rights, we have a book to help you understand the whole story. To learn more about the book, here's a link

    We look forward to serving this community by further explaining and researching public rights on rivers. If you'd like to contact us, email [email protected]. Thanks for supporting the cause for rivers to be "forever free."

    -Team NOR
  2. Cruik

    Cruik Active Member

    Aug 18, 2008
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    To the extent that the public use argument can be put on one page, I like it! Any chance I can get one with a trapper and his canoe on a really tiny little river? :D

    I like the handout a lot in that it educates a lot of users that it isn't just as simple as "blah blah blah median high water mark." I'd like to also reinforce the idea as stated above that this is a tool in the fight, not an actually summary of law (which can only come from the court). It really is an incredibly complex issue of federalism and archaic property law with some elements predating the United States. The state governments, nor the federal government want to touch this with a ten foot pole. On top of that, both sides are real nervous about litigating the issue and ending up with contrary precedent, so there really isn't much in the way of binding precedent (unless of course they're still rolling logs down the river you're fishing). If anyone out there is looking to take the issue to court, please choose your river carefully.
  3. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

    Feb 3, 2003
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    The Salt
    i hate the idea of not pushing it in court. there's nothing worse than unsettled law, whether river rights or foregone opportunity.
  4. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Jan 1, 2002
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    Butte, Mt
    You just can't please everybody. No matter how hard you try.
  5. Jim Darden

    Jim Darden Active Member

    Nov 2, 2004
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    Bellingham, Wa.
    I wonder if this would have helped the kayakers that were prosecuted in Colorado for going down the Colorado river? You better take your lawyer with you if you go to some states!