Utah, legislators still at work to clarify public access to waterways

Posted: Nov 29, 2010

Written by

Salt Lake Tribune

The fight over public access to Utah streams that flow over private property is far from over. A group of fly fishermen and river runners has filed suit to overturn the law the Legislature passed this year that tipped the balance in favor of private property owners.

In the meantime, the Legislature’s Waterways Task Force is preparing to launch an enhanced program that would use federal and state funds to pay for walk-in access for the public to private lands that abut and
underlie public waters.

It is impossible to predict how the court challenge to the new law, the Public Waters Access Act, will turn out or how long it might take. Meanwhile, paying willing property owners for public acceess would be
an excellent way to proceed.

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