River Users Should Know Their Rights

Discussion in 'Hunters Rights Forum' started by National Rivers, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. National Rivers

    National Rivers New Member

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    River users should know their rights

    Canoeists, kayakers, rafters, fishermen, fowlers and other river users should know their rights to use rivers in all fifty states, under federal law. Many lawyers and state government officials claim that public rights on rivers have to be decided by state legislatures or state supreme courts. However, under the Commerce Clause and the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal law is the supreme law of the land, and all the states are bound thereby. The most recent federal court decision on the subject is Atlanta School of Kayaking v. Douglasville County (981 F.Supp. 1469, N.D.Ga.1997). Citing previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions, it confirms that public rights on small, shallow rivers that are navigable in kayaks are constitutional rights, and are a matter of federal law, not state law. The decision is now 17 years old, yet it has not been contradicted by any federal or state court.

    River users who want to help spread the word about these rights can download a new free one-page poster or handout, Public Rights on Rivers in Every State, at nationalrivers.org, and post it on bulletin boards in coffee houses, college campuses, community centers, outdoor equipment stores, and other public places.

    The poster-handout is backed up by the new short book, Public Rights on Rivers in Every State and through Federal Lands, which explains the subject in 72 concise pages, with over 200 footnotes citing federal statutes and court decisions. River users can get an inexpensive batch of 5, 10, or 20 copies for holiday gift giving. Sample pages are available at nationalrivers.org.

    People who doubt the message of the book can attempt to find federal law that contradicts it, although they will find that there is no such federal law or court decision. Because of the financial and political stakes involved, numerous lawyers and state government officials will continue to claim that public rights on rivers in their state are restricted to only certain large rivers, but such claims are politics, not law. From the time the states ratified the Constitution in 1788, to today, federal law has confirmed that rivers navigable in canoes and similar craft must remain ?forever free? to public use, including walking along the beds and banks of rivers through private land while boating or fishing.
     
  2. Gude

    Gude Elite Refuge Member

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    Iowa's clause regarding meandering streams states "....waters are considered public domain for navigation and activities incidental to navigation." Where does hunting fall in this? It's not an activity that is truly incidental to navigation as fishing or kayaking would be...?
     
  3. N2DUXS

    N2DUXS Senior Refuge Member

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    I own 3/4 mile river frontage and own the river bed under the water to the middle of the river. In the state of Ohio, hunters need written permission to anchor, portage or set decoys if decoy anchors touch bottom. Of course, no one owns the water that flows over my property and they can float or ride up and down the river as they wish, but as soon as they touch bottom, they are trespassing.

    "Hunting From Boats on Rivers
    Written permission of the landowner is required by persons hunting from boats on rivers and streams when the boat is anchored, tied to the shore, or tied to any structure in the river. It is unlawful to place decoys in the river or to go ashore to retrieve game without the written permission of the landowner. The only exception to this law is when the river or stream passes through public property where hunting is allowed."
     
  4. Chasin 'eyes

    Chasin 'eyes Senior Refuge Member

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    Nebraska is the same like N2DUXS has stated.
     
  5. The Other David

    The Other David Elite Refuge Member

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    Maryland owns the Potomac River, and screws over Virginia residents.
     
  6. brake man

    brake man Senior Refuge Member

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    Franklin, TN
    NR, are you or the group you represent going to help people pay their trespassing fines or provide attorneys for them to fight their trespassing case when the LEO's write them up for trespassing? :scratch A little flyer from a coffee shop won't be too much help when the ticket book us pulled out on the river or river bank. :doh
     
  7. 1995 US1

    1995 US1 Moderator Moderator

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    That stuff is all fne and good till the 270 rounds start flying over your head. We have waaay too many gators down here to test a law like that.
    SSS
    IDown here its:
    Shoot
    Splash
    Shut up
    Gators gotta eat too.
    D
     
  8. bullcan

    bullcan Senior Refuge Member

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    Mattawan, MI
    Michigan is the same way. You can navigate the river, fish it, but need permission to hunt it.
     
  9. mister gadwall

    mister gadwall Senior Refuge Member

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    Why do we have to re-open the "haves" versus the "have nots" on this subject every year?:(
     
  10. summerjack

    summerjack Elite Refuge Member

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    Jesus what are you saying??:eek:
     

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