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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Following is a post by a well informed individual who has been actively following Senate Bill 293. This is a bill that would ultimately result our losing the right to use our public waterways for floating and fishing. Please get involved - if we lose this battle we have only ourselves to blame.

"I have spent the last twenty-four hours seriously considering Senate Bill 293 and my views on it. Because so many of you have demonstrated support for my efforts, I feel it prudent to make those views as clear and succinct as possible.
First, I want everyone to know that my views about Senate Bill 293 are just that -- my views. I am not a lawyer. I based my opinion on what I have read and my observations at two public hearings and a rap-through work session on this bill. I urge you to read the original bill as posted on line. I also urge you to contact Judith Callens at (503) 986-1688 and request copies of the bill as printed and copies of all proposed amendments. Take time to read them and form your own opinions.

I do not believe the introduction of Senate Bill 293 was something the long-time local ranchers, farmers, or land owners came up with originally. I believe the concept originated with a few, very wealthy, politically powerful land owners that moved into the affected areas in recent years. I believe that once formulated the intent was championed next by people that recently moved in from other states or from larger cities. People that purchased riverfront property with the intent of creating their own private preserves only to discover that other people used “their river” too.

I believe that once the move began steamrolling, long-time residents were finally drawn in. I believe that most if not all long-time local ranchers and farmers remain fair and understanding people when it comes to others using the river. They are, however, sick and tired of garbage, illegal campfires, theft, vandalism, illegal trespass, and human waste deposits. I side with them on all these issues and support them fully in their attempts to stop them. I fear more than anything, that the final outcome of this process will be the loss of their trust and generosity if we do not find compromise.

As stated in other posts, I do not believe stream access, water quality, or water use is a political issue. It is a survival issue and it affects all citizens in some way.

The above comments in no way indicate I have changed my view on Senate Bill 293 even as it stands amended. I did not.

People much smarter than I am worked on the compromise package presented in amendment SB 293-6. Unfortunately, due to the notification process, most of them were, bureaucrats, landowners, and those with vested land based interests in the outcome. It is my understanding The Northwest Steelheaders and one whitewater group participated also. Four or five public hearings were held, but again, the notification process prevented most recreation users from finding out about the meetings.

Still, I believe that the resulting compromise package was something many could agree to, however, the amendments Senator Ferrioli wants to include are in my opinion, not!

In particular, the proposed amendment numbered SB 293-6 will most likely be the bill that moves to the Senate floor. Senator Ferrioli will push to make sure amendments SB 293-2, -3, –4 and parts of –5 will also move to the floor. I expect further amendments that will give landowners additional power and leverage, at the expense of all other Oregonians. Expect a heavy partisan vote on this: R - in favor, D - against. Backers of the bill have already inundated the Senate members with mail. I feel I and others must also contact our Senators with opposing views.

I believe that Senate Bill 293, if passed as amended, will bring about the following consequences either intended or unintended:

1. The court ordered navigability study on the John Day River will never occur. Consequently, land that should be held in public trust by the State of Oregon as prescribed by federal law will forever remain in the hands of a small but elite group of individuals.

2. No further navigability studies will occur on any other rivers in Oregon. Consequently, all other streams that were put into public trust at the time Oregon became a state will also forever remain locked up in the hands of a select few private owners.

3. Land owners will leverage this law to reverse the navigability determinations on the following rivers: Chetco River, Coos River, Coquille River, Klamath River, McKenzie River, Rogue River, Sandy River, and Umpqua River. This will allow them to lay claim to land legally owned by the State of Oregon as mandated by federal law.

4. This bill could possibly be leveraged to force courts to grant property owners the right to claim portions of the stream banks and beds of the Willamette River, Snake River (Oregon side), and Columbia River (Oregon Side) as their own.

5. A few property owners will use this law and deliberately “establish systematic patterns of abuse” that will lead to management plan studies in which only the property owners and law enforcement agencies will participate. This law will systematically exclude anglers, boaters, rafters, kyackers, and others from the management plan development process.

6. Land owners will insist they have, and will be granted the right to prevent anyone floating by their property from stopping, anchoring, fishing, wading or stepping onto the bank for any reason as a result of the "established patterns of abuse" that they will deliberately create through regular and consistent complaining to law enforcement officials.

7. Property owners will assign or lease access rights to third parties. Those parties will then close off completely that portion of the stream in their control under the guise of operating an, “Organizational Camp.” I feel this loophole is the greatest threat to all those that use our waterways. These closures may even stop floaters from passing over the water even when no management plan is in place.

8. The State of Oregon owns thousands of acres of land adjacent to streams. This land is held in public trust and leased to private individuals for specific purposes. The revenue supports the general school fund. Under this law, leaseholders will assign or sublet access rights to a third party. The sub-leaser will then close off completely, even to floaters, that portion of the stream which flows through state lands under the guise of operating an, “Organizational Camp.”

9. The State of Oregon will be required to seek out potential leasers for School Trust lands not already leased when those lands have the potential to generate revenue in any form. The individuals that lease these lands will do so with the sole intent of closing them to the general public and operating a fish for fee business under the guise of operating an “Organizational Camp.”

10. All future debates regarding management plan studies will be limited to property owners and local river users. This bill will exclude all other Oregonians from the process even though Oregonians regularly travel 100 miles or more to float, fish, and boat the rivers in question. The greater public will have no say in the process of developing river management plans.

11. Local business owners that depend on open river access for their livelihoods will also be excluded from the river management plan development process.

12. Property owners on other rivers will require the State of Oregon to unilaterally apply a river management plan to the rivers they border. Merely by establishing a consistent pattern of conflict similar to the one that caused the applied river management plan to come about, they can force the state to do so. No public input will be required or sought.

13. Property owners will use this law to eventually close off public access to many streams. Consequently, the health of Oregon’s free flowing waterways will degrade rapidly because those that would report violations of clean water rules and acts of riparian destruction will no longer have the opportunity to observe those violations.

14. Developers will determine that the variable water line setback is a loophole to exploit. As a result, we will eventually see an increase in development immediately adjacent to flowing water and an increase in activity that will destroy natural riparian zones in the area between the low water line and the high water line. This activity may include riprapping, channelization, the construction of wing dams, and the installation of pilings for the purpose of supporting dwellings, docks, and other structures.

In my testimony on April 23, 2003 before the Senate Water and Land Use Committee, I requested specific amendments be introduced that would right most of these wrongs. I do not know if a citizen can introduce amendments but I thought it was worth a try.

As stated previously, the above points of concern represent my opinion. Others should and will have different views. I do know that democracy will only continue to work as long as some of us choose to make it work. It was with that realization that right or wrong, I chose to draw my own line in the sand on Senate Bill 293, and especially on the amendments Senator Ferrioli wants to encumber a compromise solution with.

Please feel free to distribute the above posting as you see fit.

Scruffy"
 

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There is an old saying originally put forth by one of our enemies (can't recall who) that "americans don't know what freedom is until someone tries to take it away from them". I guess we are about to find out if it is true.

This is another sad example of our tax dollars at work.

I hope that you in Oregon are successful in giving those who would take away your freedoms a darn good thrashing. If not they will be here next.
:mad: :hoboy:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From another informed and concerned citizen:

"April 25, 2003
Jim McConnaughey
(Rights reserved. Please feel free to publish this wherever you feel it may do good.)


Notice to All Oregon Recreational Rivers Users and to Any Individual or Business Who’s Livelihood Depends Directly or Indirectly upon Recreational River Use in Oregon

Senate Bill 293, sponsored by Senator Ferrioli and currently in committee, seeks to side-step federal navigability laws--the very laws that made the waterways public--in an attempt to “eliminate conflict between recreational users of waterways and riparian landowners”. The bill calls for the creation of a single pilot program that could be used to manage all of the state’s waterways and that could ultimately be applied to the Willamette and Columbia rivers as well. This management plan would be funded by users fees and also provide compensation to landowners for vandalism. Further, there is a provision in the bill that could open the door for private clubs to close off large sections of public waterways to the public.

Bottom line this bill would forfeit public ownership of the river banks to the adjacent landowners. Not only would the people of Oregon just give away their land but they then--in turn--would be charged to access the rivers!

Behind this bill are the Cattleman’s Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Realtors and several groups of landowners--and their entourage of lobbyists and attorneys. Currently opposing this bill are the Northwest Steelheaders and a few private citizens. We are outnumbered and outfinanced!

Since the founding of our nation the US Congress and the Supreme Court have held that waterways belong to the public. Further, if a river is considered navigable (and this is the key to it all) the public owns the river bed to the common high water mark. Rivers have been deemed navigable (and the decisions upheld by the Supreme Court) if floatable by a craft as small as a canoe or kayak. Even if a property owner has a deed showing ownership to the middle of a river (in a few rare cases) it is erroneous. You can’t claim title to what is already owned by the public--nor demand compensation for the loss of this property.

Not that recreational users haven’t contributed to the problem. There is an ever growing problem of littering, vandalism, drunkenness, illegal fires etc. It is a minority of users whose irresponsible behaviour greatly effects the mood along our waterways. However, one can’t legislate common sense and decency.

Senate Bill 293 seeks to avoid the expense and time of federal courts and navigability studies. It seeks a compromise between landowners and recreational users. It presumes the riverbanks are private property and not held by the people. It is legislation for the benefit and profit of a small group at the expense of most Oregonians. These are our public waterways and the legacy we pass on to the coming generations. Let’s insure that future Oregonians aren’t locked off their public lands and left high and dry."
 

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Boy, I never thought I'd give thanks to a MooseTurd, but thank you for posting my views on Senate Bill 293 from that other board.

[ 04-27-2003, 12:14 PM: Message edited by: Scruffy Bearded Varmint ]
 

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To you who've stayed on top of this attack on all sportsman, at this time, what do you recomend folks do, or who should they contact?
 

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there is a web site that is just getting off the ground

http://home.earthlink.net/~defeat-sb293/

please look at it and check back as it will grow over the next few days.The next meeting on the Bill is Wednesday in Salem. If you cannot be there you can submit written comments to the committee. You can drop off your comments (15 copies) at some of the fly shops in Portland and some one from Westfly will take them down. See Westfly.com for more info or email me.
 

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If you are a registered Republican with a Republican senator, be sure you contact them.

If it passes the Senate, start working for a veto. The "R"s control the House.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Apparently private property interests are employing a multi-pronged attack to deny the public its right to access our state's rivers. SB 836 would concede title of all submerged or submersible lands lands within navigable bodies of water. In other words no wading, anchoring, or getting out of your boat. Following is the text of this latest outrage:

72nd OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2003 Regular Session

NOTE: Matter within { + braces and plus signs + } in an
amended section is new. Matter within { - braces and minus
signs - } is existing law to be omitted. New sections are within
{ + braces and plus signs + } .

LC 2632

Senate Bill 836

Sponsored by Senator MESSERLE (at the request of Fisheries, Restoration, and Enhancement Coalition)


SUMMARY

The following summary is not prepared by the sponsors of the measure and is not a part of the body thereof subject to consideration by the Legislative Assembly. It is an editor's
brief statement of the essential features of the measure as introduced.

Requires State of Oregon to remise, release and quitclaim title to submerged or ubmersible lands formerly within navigable
bodies of water.
A BILL FOR AN ACT
Relating to state interests in land. Be It Enacted by the People of the State of Oregon:
SECTION 1. { + Section 2 of this 2003 Act is added to and made a part of ORS 274.960 to 274.985. + }
SECTION 2. { + (1) Notwithstanding the adoption of a report under ORS 274.970 that declares the nature and extent of any
interest that remains or is vested in the State of Oregon with respect to submerged or submersible lands formerly within the beds and banks of navigable bodies of water in this state, the State of Oregon shall remise, release and forever quitclaim to
landowners of record with such formerly submerged or submersible lands located on their property all title and interest that may remain or be vested in such lands.
(2) The State of Oregon is not required to remise, release or quitclaim title to submerged or submersible lands formerly within navigable bodies of water in this state if the state can show that the reason that the lands are no longer submerged or
submersible is due to some other action than an avulsive action of the body of water.
 

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Does anyone know of where to find out which rivers, or which part of rivers are "found to be navigable"?

I was fishing a trib to the Siuslaw this winter and found this awesome hole that was marked with a "NO TRESSPASSING" sign that I accessed by walking along the river bank. I stayed out but I'm now wondering if I had the right to fish that hole while staying low on the bank below the common high water mark.

I really hope this bill does not pass because I don't want our rivers to end up like the California coast where it is almost all completely owned and private.

As for the littering, vandalism, and other crap those goes happens along river banks, I have to say that that really sucks. However, that kind of stuff goes on everywhere, not just on river banks. If people litter outside of my house and vandalize my car, should we pass a bill to keep people off my sidewalk and street as well?
 

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Sir Fishalot,

The following rivers are declared legally navigable in Oregon along with the Columbia and Snake.

Chetco River, Coos River, Coquille River, Klamath River, McKenzie River, Rogue River, Sandy River, Willamette River, and Umpqua River. This will allow them to lay claim to land legally owned by the State of Oregon as mandated by federal law.

This bill could cost you the right to float all of them. GET INVOLVED! Please.

Scruffy
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Scruffy,

A friend of mine is a member of the NW Rafters Association and told me that they were completely unaware of the ammendments to SB 293. They are now...

Moose
 

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Just wanted to say, if you do not contact your senator about this bill, you will not bave the right to bellache when you show up to float your favorite river and find a chain across the channel with a NO TRESPASSING SIGN dangling from it.
 

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First of all, who in god's name elected this Ferrioli guy!!?? I would love to give him a piece of my mind over this one. I'm heading next door today to our local newpaper and have someone print this stuff. It is absolutely rediculous. I'm definitely getting involved in this one. I can just see it now. Every stinking river will be broken up into pieces of land ownership and we won't be able to fish a single one of them. Now I'm peeved.
:blush: :blush: :mad:
tc
 

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Hello

I know that I am going to get totally flamed for expressing my opinions here, but I'm going to express them anyway.

IN MY OPINION this bill, and others like it, are a direct result of the actions of some of our very own sportfishing interest groups. This is just the latest resoponse to some very heavy handed tactics employed by them in the name of river access rights.

I think those that favor less access have much more $'s and resources, so we can expect this type of thing to continue for a very long time. This just seems to be the latest salvo in conflict that will escalate to the point where nobody 'wins'.

Pete
 

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Ferrioli resides in and was elected by the citizens in and around John Day. No coindence that major access issues are centered around the John Day river.

Act Now! the committee on this will probably close on Fri. 5/2
 
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