Utah Lawmaker Seeks to Reverse River Access

A new bill that would reverse a unanimous state supreme court decision to allow public access to all streambeds is taking final form in the Utah legislature. The bill contains a dramatic change: no access would be allowed on Utah waters unless explicitly stated in the legislation, effectively closing off the majority of use of streambeds except on rivers and streams that are already popular. Currently only 14 rivers are listed. “HB187, sponsored by Rep. Ben Ferry, R-Corinne, and made public Wednesday, would designate the beds of sections of 14 Utah rivers as open to recreational use by anglers and boaters. All others would be closed, leaving recreationists open to trespassing citations.” Tom Wharton in the Salt Lake Tribune.
As we noted in January, last July The Utah Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling that says Utahns have the right to walk on the beds of all streams and rivers, regardless of who owns the land beneath them.
If you want to get involved in preserving access to Utah rivers, visit the Utah Water Guardians Web site, where you can find specific advice for communicating your concerns to state representatives.

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