To: Rep. Perry, L.,
Subject: Support HB 37 (and let it out of rules!)
My name is Justin Bott and I live in Kaysville (Senate District 21 and House District 15). As a rules committee, I am writing you to let you know of my support of HB 37, the “stream access compromise” bill that is currently stuck in your committee.
As you probably know, this is a bill that seeks a good compromise between public access to state water and private land ownership. It is a law that is patterned after others from neighboring states for 30+ years. Here is why I ask you to support it and get it out of the rules committee:
· HB 37 protects public water AND property rights (does not create new access or take away private property)
· HB 37 and river access is only granted to larger rivers that a 6’ log can be floated down. It does not give access to every small stream flowing through countless ranches and private property.
· Recreational fishing contributes $865M to the state’s economy (Southwick & Associates study).
· Thousands of anglers leave the state each year to spend their time and money fishing in Montana, Idaho, & Wyoming because of lack of public water access in Utah (I am one of them). I and my family spend $1500+ a year out of state on licenses, food, lodging and other to enjoy fishing out of state on less restricted waters.
· HB 37 terminates pending lawsuits which are costing taxpayer dollars and would actually end up taking away private property from owners on the Weber (which I do not want to see!). HB 37 terminates those lawsuits immediately.
· HB 37 provides better enforcement of trespassing, litter etc.
· Landowner liability has been solved under HB347 by Rep Brad Wilson so that is not a concern with HB37
My family is an owner of a 4th generation ranch encompassing fishing streams in Northern Utah and I am an avid fly-fisherman. I understand the divisiveness of this issue as I myself deeply enjoy fishing my private streams without people around. However, I also realize that this is selfish and that people deserve the opportunity to enjoy what I have for so many years.
As a constituent, I urge you to please move HB 37 out of the rules committee and cast your supporting vote for it. As Utah’s population and economy grow, recreational opportunities will become even more important, and it is incumbent upon Utah’s leaders to preserve those opportunities so that Utah continues to be a place where people want to live, raise their families, and recreate.
Programs & Initiatives Director
Grow Utah Ventures
@GrowUtahVentures ; #GrowUT