From: Jeremiah Grant
To: Michael Mckell, Deidre Henderson,
Subject: Please support HB 37
Date: Mon Jan 20 18:44:56 MST 2014
Body:

Rep. McKell and Senator Henderson,

 

I wanted to take just a moment to ask for your support for HB37.  According to my records, neith of you has voted in the past on a stream bed issue.  Several years ago responsible stream users thought this issue had finally been resolved in a fair and reasonable way. Unfrotunately, a well funded individuals were then successful in seeing a new piece of legislation passed that effectively took back the rights of the public to use our public waters.  Although HB37 isn’t my personal favorite compromise to this situation, it is at least a step forward to restoring a workable balance between the interests of private land owners and the public.

 

Here is a link to the full text of the bill.

 

http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/HB0037.html

 

Finally, here are eight takeaways to consider.

 

1 . H.B. 37 – protects public water and property rights

2 . Protects private property rights: HB 37 does not create new access nor does it take away private property.

3 . Protects public property rights by restricting the access to travel above or below the ordinary high water mark.

4 . HB37 terminates [2] lawsuits. First against the Act (2010 HB141) itself and the second for navigability on the Weber River. The Weber case could actually take away property from property owners (title to their stream bed. Supporters of HB37 are not asking for that  to happen! The Provo Case would take back more waters than are specified in the bill, which is a more limited subset.

5 . Enforce existing laws! Trespassing, damaging property, and littering are all complaints the opposition has made. However, each of those things is already against the law. Enforcement has been the real issue.

6 . Landowner liability has previously been a concern. If a fisherman/kayaker/etc.

was injured, landowners worried that they were liable. This issue was resolved last year by HB347 (Rep. Brad Wilson)

7 . Public dollars are being spent for the few in regards to flood mitigation, stocking of fish, dams and culinary infrastructure. However, the public is not

allowed to use the resource. Why give property owners any taxpayer assistance from flooding when they chose to purchase on a waterway that is inaccessible to the public?

8 . HB37 restores access to valuable recreation infrastructure, our rivers and streams, and builds a foundation to foster sound economic impact to rural regions and the outdoor industry.

 

Thank you for your time.  If you have questions for me or are not presently inclined to support this bill, I would certainly like to hear from you.

 

Jeremiah