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Author Topic: BHA Stream Access Pledge  (Read 1164 times)

Offline X-Force

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BHA Stream Access Pledge
« on: March 20, 2017, 02:29:22 PM »
It just takes a couple minutes...
Stream Access Now Pledge!

All Americans should have the opportunity to enjoy our nationís great outdoors. Access to our rivers and streams is crucial to upholding our outdoor traditions. While private property rights must be respected, I believe that everyone should be able to access our rivers and streams. The ability to hunt, fish and float these waterways should not depend on an individualís economic means or social standing. I pledge to defend our opportunities to access Americaís waterways and to join others in sustaining our outdoor legacy.

http://www.backcountryhunters.org/stream_access_now_pledge
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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 02:57:51 PM »
 :tup:
"All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world-not with money and title, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind."

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Offline fireweed

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 10:53:16 AM »
Thanks for adding this. 

Offline Wetwoodshunter

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2017, 12:18:01 PM »
I don't quite understand what signing this pledge means. Is there more?

Are  they saying we need access regardless of private property? So if for instance I own a property near a river on a good fishing hole people can just hang out in my front yard and walk back and forth across it every time they want to go to their truck that the parked up by the entrance to my driveway? In Washington people are already allowed to access most rivers via the river as long as they don't get on the riverbank, you just float down in a boat and stand in 2" of water if you want to get out.

No offense, but this pledge is to vague for me.

Offline jackelope

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2017, 01:02:36 PM »
I don't quite understand what signing this pledge means. Is there more?

Are  they saying we need access regardless of private property? So if for instance I own a property near a river on a good fishing hole people can just hang out in my front yard and walk back and forth across it every time they want to go to their truck that the parked up by the entrance to my driveway? In Washington people are already allowed to access most rivers via the river as long as they don't get on the riverbank, you just float down in a boat and stand in 2" of water if you want to get out.

No offense, but this pledge is to vague for me.


Really the legal line in WA is the high water mark. You don't have to be actually standing in the water.

I agree this pledge is very vague. I bet it's focused more on places like Montana where it's illegal to float a river through private property.
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Offline Tbar

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2017, 08:26:10 PM »
Can any of the BHA members elaborate on this pledge?  Are you proposing legislation nationally to preserve access streams even if it is on private property?
« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 11:00:40 PM by Tbar »

Offline X-Force

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2017, 08:36:58 PM »
I'm a member and if I'm wrong I hope another, more knowledgable, person corrects me. I believe this issue is mainly a Montana issue where big land owners are trying to change the state constitution to minimize access to the general public on steams through private property.
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Offline Tbar

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2017, 09:59:38 PM »
Is BHA a lobbying organization?

Offline WAcoyotehunter

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2017, 07:10:43 AM »
I'm a member and if I'm wrong I hope another, more knowledgable, person corrects me. I believe this issue is mainly a Montana issue where big land owners are trying to change the state constitution to minimize access to the general public on steams through private property.
I think that's where this is coming from.  Montana has some crazy rules about stream access and BHA is working to find access

Offline dwils233

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2017, 07:16:14 AM »
I don't quite understand what signing this pledge means. Is there more?

Are  they saying we need access regardless of private property? So if for instance I own a property near a river on a good fishing hole people can just hang out in my front yard and walk back and forth across it every time they want to go to their truck that the parked up by the entrance to my driveway? In Washington people are already allowed to access most rivers via the river as long as they don't get on the riverbank, you just float down in a boat and stand in 2" of water if you want to get out.

No offense, but this pledge is to vague for me.

a few minutes of research reveals that this is not about "walking across someone's yard". It's pretty straightforward: If you are a private property owner with a body of water running alongside (or through) your property, you don't own that section of the water. It might be your land above a high water mark or the beach area outside of water, but the stream bed and water are by and large public (and this pledge argues they should remain that way.)
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Offline dwils233

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2017, 07:30:41 AM »
Is BHA a lobbying organization?

Yes, in the sense that BHA's primary goals are public lands, public streams, and access and all of that is controlled by governmental bodies and managed by governmental agencies. BHA has to petition politicians and organize campaigns on behalf of protecting and preserving our public places. Its a conservation group that deals directly with local, state and federal bodies among other actions.
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Offline JLS

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2017, 05:20:39 PM »
I don't quite understand what signing this pledge means. Is there more?

Are  they saying we need access regardless of private property? So if for instance I own a property near a river on a good fishing hole people can just hang out in my front yard and walk back and forth across it every time they want to go to their truck that the parked up by the entrance to my driveway? In Washington people are already allowed to access most rivers via the river as long as they don't get on the riverbank, you just float down in a boat and stand in 2" of water if you want to get out.

No offense, but this pledge is to vague for me.


Really the legal line in WA is the high water mark. You don't have to be actually standing in the water.

I agree this pledge is very vague. I bet it's focused more on places like Montana where it's illegal to float a river through private property.

In Montana you can float through someone's property so long as it is considered a navigable waterway.  Everything below the high water mark, to include the streambed is accessible to the public.  Obstacles may be portaged around.

This is likely dealing with the long standing battles in the Ruby Valley.
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Offline Wetwoodshunter

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2017, 10:07:01 PM »
Thanks for the clarification it makes more sense now.

Offline JLS

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2017, 10:41:14 PM »
I just read this, didn't have time earlier.  It's not unique to Montana.  Not every state has stream access.  Montana and Washington both have very good stream access laws.  Wyoming and Colorado don't, and I'm not sure New Mexico does either.

This us not directed specifically towards the feuds on the Ruby River.


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Offline fireweed

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2017, 02:25:12 PM »
Part of this is awareness of the sportsmen to know the rules, and their rights.  I know and area along a river where timber companies are selling off lots between a highway and the riverbed with no real uplands.  The new landowner then posts the highway right of way and the shoreline to keep the river all to themselves--a river and shore owned by everyone.  If nobody stands up to this, the rights to use beds and shores of state waters will erode for everyone.

Offline BigGoonTuna

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2017, 10:15:55 AM »
Part of this is awareness of the sportsmen to know the rules, and their rights.  I know and area along a river where timber companies are selling off lots between a highway and the riverbed with no real uplands.  The new landowner then posts the highway right of way and the shoreline to keep the river all to themselves--a river and shore owned by everyone.  If nobody stands up to this, the rights to use beds and shores of state waters will erode for everyone.
you talking about those little "recreational" lots between SR 504 and the NF toutle?
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Offline SCRUBS

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2017, 11:45:52 AM »
I`ve been told conflicting things on this issue, Some folks have told me it`s the high water mark, and that as long as you stayed below that, or if need be, wade through the stream to stay below the hm. Others have said if it flows through someones property you could float through but not get in the water because the property owner owned the land under the stream/river. :dunno:
I`ve never been able to find a law that definitively states either way. It would be nice if they made a law that clearl defined it.

Offline fireweed

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2017, 05:08:54 PM »
Part of this is awareness of the sportsmen to know the rules, and their rights.  I know and area along a river where timber companies are selling off lots between a highway and the riverbed with no real uplands.  The new landowner then posts the highway right of way and the shoreline to keep the river all to themselves--a river and shore owned by everyone.  If nobody stands up to this, the rights to use beds and shores of state waters will erode for everyone.
you talking about those little "recreational" lots between SR 504 and the NF toutle?
yes, that is one place.   One lot sold as "13 acres" has nearly no unencumbered land--it's all either old or new highway Right of way, and bed/shore of a navigable public river.  But the keep out signs are up and possession is 9/10th of the law. 

Offline fireweed

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Re: BHA Stream Access Pledge
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2017, 05:27:29 PM »
I`ve been told conflicting things on this issue, Some folks have told me it`s the high water mark, and that as long as you stayed below that, or if need be, wade through the stream to stay below the hm. Others have said if it flows through someones property you could float through but not get in the water because the property owner owned the land under the stream/river. :dunno:
I`ve never been able to find a law that definitively states either way. It would be nice if they made a law that clearl defined it.
I've looked into this some and its confusing but in a nutshell: each river or stream is different depending on whether it was our could have been used for commerce and whether the upland was patented before or after statehood.  A key court case ruled that shake bolts being floated down a stream was a commercial use, so most streams that ever had shake bolts or logs floated down them could be ruled navigable and the beds and shores are owned by the state. This means people can walk below the high water mark (if the land was patented after statehood).  If there is a dispute, it ultimately is decided by the courts.
 
 here's  info from the DNR website:  http://file.dnr.wa.gov/publications/aqr_aquatic_land_boundaries.pdf