see full event details at USAC Facebook page
UTAH RALLY FOR PUBLIC WATER ACCESS
Salt Lake City, Utah – Utah Stream Access Coalition will be holding a Press Conference and Rally to fight the proposed House Bill68 and to support a new bill (yet to be numbered) sponsored be Rep. Dixon M. Pitcher to offer Compromise. We will be meeting at the Utah State Capital on Friday, February 15, 2013 10:00 AM.
HB68 was written by Rep. Kay L. McIff as an attempt to protect the HB141, also known as the “Public Waters Access Act” which slipped through the legislative process by McIff without time for public scrutiny. HB141 made public access to over 400 rivers and waterways closed off and susceptible to criminal trespass offense for the public to recreate in public waters that flow over private property, with the exception of floating as long as the bottom of the river is not touched.
Utah Stream Access Coalition (USAC) was created in 2010 in response to HB141. USAC is a grassroots organization with over 3,000 members and is currently challenging McIff’s HB 141 in two separate court cases. “The goal of the Coalition has always been to restore the public’s access to our rivers and streams. We believe our access is protected by the public trust doctrine, which the courts are currently evaluating. HB68 would restrict the courts from doing that,” said Kris Olson, President of the Utah Stream Access Coalition.
Rep. Dixon M. Pitcher has proposed a compromise bill “Public Waters Access Act” that closely follows Idaho’s law. It protects the private land owners while protecting the public right to access public water. “We believe Idaho law is instructive. Their law includes protections for access as well as for private property. It is a compromise that has been on the books and working for Idaho for over 35 years,” Olson explained.
The Press Conference and Rally to oppose HB68 will be held on February 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM on the South Steps of the Utah State Capitol Building located at 350 North State Street in Salt Lake City. More information is available at utahstreamaccess.org.