Another Access War Brews in Utah

July 23, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

On July 18 the Utah state Supreme Court ruled that “the public has the right to touch privately owned beds of state waters in ways incidental to all recreational rights provided for in the easement.” That’s created a flurry of jabs in both directions as private land owners and access rights advocates argue about the real effects of letting anglers use streambeds to move through private lands. Non-angler Vern Williams states the limited-access perspective about as plainly as you can: “Everybody has to poop and they don’t poop in the river,” Williams said. “These people aren’t able to stay in the river banks and like to get out and stomp your fences. They think they can just go do what they want and throw their garbage wherever they want.” Patrick Parkinson in the Park City, Utah Park Record.