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Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

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Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

Post by Ewetah on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 9:59 pm

Good info for all who are concerend about our access to Utah rivers and streams. I am not affiliated with USAC but I do support them and thier efforts. I believe I finally did a proper cut and paste of the text only to get it to fit. Thanks for the help everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Issued by: The Utah Stream Access Coalition

Public Waters Case

On August 31st, our attorneys filed a supplemental brief in our "Public Waters" case, as requested by the Fourth Judicial District Court of Utah. As a reminder, on May 21, 2012, the Fourth District Court issued a partial ruling on this case that found:

  • under Article XVII of the Utah Constitution, the public owns and has always owned the waters flowing in or impounded on Utah's rivers and streams;
  • with ownership comes a constitutional right to use these public waters in place; and
  • recreational use is a legitimate public use of these public waters.

Although the Court stopped short of finding H.B.141 unconstitutional, it requested additional briefing from both sides on whether H.B.141's regulation of the public's constitutional rights correctly follows, or runs afoul of, the Public Trust Doctrine. It's complicated, but basically this doctrine mandates that if a natural resource belongs to the public, the State must hold it for the benefit of all the people or for some greater good, and not for private or special interests.

Whether you are allergic to "legalese" or not, USAC's brief on the Public Trust Doctrine makes for a very good read. Here's where you can download it and see for yourself: Supplemental Brief. We encourage you to give it a read and talk about it with your friends, relatives, neighbors, and elected officials.

Although it's hard to predict when we might expect a final ruling from the Court, we believe that the judge, the Honorable Derek Pullan, may well require another round of oral arguments, where he can ask critical questions of both sides, before issuing that final ruling. We'll keep you informed of our progress.

Navigability Case

Meanwhile, members of USAC's historical research team have spent a good chunk of their summer collecting evidence of pre-statehood commercial use of Utah's rivers. This evidence will be used to support USAC's second lawsuit on the Navigability of the Weber River. If the court finds this evidence convincing, and we believe it will, the court will likely rule that the Weber River is a historical "highway of commerce," and thus is open to use by all, up to the ordinary high water mark.

Incidentally, the Summit County Historical Society recently published a wonderful booklet entitled **"Logging Along the Weber" which confirms several of our findings. The evidence continues to grow!

Stay Tuned

Once again, we encourage you to stay tuned. We are smack dab in the middle of this fight right now, and we absolutely believe that in the end we will prevail in securing public access to, and lawful use of, all of our public waters and waterways in Utah. As we press on we will need your continued support to retain our hard-won rights to access and use Utah's streams and rivers.

Thank you for your commitment to our fight for your rights, both now and in the future!

The Board of Directors
Utah Stream Access Coalition

Working to restore public access to, and use of, Utah's public waters and waterways.

** Copies of "Logging Along the Weber" are available from the Summit County Historical Society, 60 North Main, Coalville, UT 84017, and can be requested through the contacts listed under the "Contact Us" tab on their website: www.summitcounty.org/history

Community & industry Outreach

Beyond the lawsuits and historical research, members of the USAC Board of Directors and Officers have worked hard to identify new venues for getting out word of the Coalition's existence and the Coalition's mission. Board members attended both the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show and the annual meeting of the International Fly Tackle Dealer Association, shook many a hand and made many an ally by informing a good number of influential people about our fight in Utah. Additionally, we have coordinated efforts with key organizations in the paddling world. For example, USAC established direct links with the directors of the American Whitewater Association and the American Canoeing Club, in their effort to get more boaters involved in this fight. Closer to home, on June 23rd, USAC and the Utah Whitewater Club joined forces on the annual Weber River Cleanup from Henefer to Taggart. A good time was had by all.

A major goal of these collaborations and partnerships is to involve a broader slice of the Utah water recreation community in effort to generate funding for USAC's lawsuits and projects, as well as to provide more fun and exciting fundraising events, complete with superb giveaway prizes and auction items, during the next several months. Stay tuned, because there are a lot of great things in the works. Stay informed by following us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/utahstreamaccesscoalition), or follow us via RSS feed (http://utahstreamaccess.org/usac-wp/feed/).

Legislative Outreach

While we don't expect much progress on the stream access fight in the Legislature until we have at least one final ruling on our lawsuits, it's always a good time for YOU to reach out to YOUR elected officials. As election season draws near, and when the Legislature begins its new session, we encourage you to contact your State Senator and Representative to let them know (a) you aren't satisfied with the current situation under H.B. 141, (b) YOUR Coalition is fighting for your rights, and (c) members of the USAC Board of Directors are ALWAYS READY to discuss OUR rights with them.

Summary & How You Can Help

In summary, USAC has been fighting hard for your rights these past few months, and we are in a better position, both in terms of our lawsuits, our outreach, and our partnerships, than ever before. Membership continues to grow, and word of our successes is reaching every State in the Union - and much of this is thanks to you, our members, because of your support for this important cause.

So, THANK YOU and KEEP IT UP! Keep talking to your neighbors, friends, family members, and fishing/boating/hunting buddies about the issue. And, keep recruiting new members - forward this email to everyone you know! We all benefit from YOUR active involvement in the cause, and from your contributions, financial and otherwise.

If you're not already a member, and would like to join us in this fight, we would love to have you as a member. To join, simply go to: http://utahstreamaccess.org/usac-wp/membership/, type in your e-mail address, and fill out the form. Membership is free, but financial contributions are always appreciated, and very much needed.

Annual Membership Meeting

Although the details are still being finalized, it looks like we will be holding the Annual Membership Meeting with Elections for the Board of Directors on Thursday, November 8, 2012, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Murray Library. So pencil it in on your calendars, and stay tuned for confirmation.

Last edited by Ewetah on Sat 29 Sep 2012, 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatting issues)


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Re: Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

Post by Ewetah on Fri 21 Sep 2012, 10:03 pm

I can't seem to get the formatting correct and the right side has been cut off a bit. Maybe a moderator could fix it?



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Re: Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

Post by Cap'n RedBeard on Sat 22 Sep 2012, 11:41 am

Maybe try copying the text out of it instead of copying the whole webpage?

You cant fall if you don't let go.
Cap'n RedBeard

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Re: Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

Post by wasatchbill on Sun 23 Sep 2012, 12:45 pm

Mike, you can edit posts on here. That is one of the great things about this forum (very different from the Buzz for example, where after 15 min, you can no longer edit posts).
Click Edit, change it, see how it looks.


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Re: Utah Stream Access Coalition Update

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