Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 Legislative Preview: Stream Access

Representative Fowlke has registered a stream access bill for the upcoming session of the Utah legislature. There are quite a few differences between the registered bill and the original draft that I blogged about a few months ago. Here are some differences that I noticed:
  • The definition of "bed" is now "the area within the ordinary high water mark."
  • The definition of "recreational activity" now includes waterfowl hunting.
  • A person must obtain a public access certificate to engage in recreational activities on private streambeds. This requirement replaced the earlier idea of making those who purchase a fishing license also purchase a public access stamp.
  • An owner of a private streambed can place a fence across the stream, as long as the fence is for a legitimate purpose and not just to block recreational access.
  • The Division of Wildlife Resources will create a free public education program to teach the public about recreational access to private streambeds. The program will be available by Internet, and once a person has completed the program, they can obtain a public access certificate.
This bill (House Bill 80) may see some changes during the legislative session, but it appears that this is the bill that will be introduced to the legislature.
To read the complete text of HB 80, click here.
(For an update on this bill, click here.)

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