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Up the creek without... permission?

 
gardener
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Without making this topic political (because that goes elsewhere in these forums), I'll try to keep it more environmental. Any responders please do so too.
It seems that , in our area, there are some creeks deemed navigable (by public) and some are not. It boils down to who owns the creek bed. Some people quoting deeds from the 1700's. Anyways...
In my opinion, when I float down a creek, I'm touching the water only - not your land. The water is in constant motion. The air above the land is also in constant motion but planes freely fly over many landowners parcels. (I know of issues with noise in some cases.)
But who owns the air and water? Are these not resources for the masses? Who owns the fish in the water? They are only passing over your creekbed too (unless spawning of course).
As someone who loves to fish, I always try to play by the "rules" by getting proper licensing, keeping only a certain number of and size of whatever fish I'm catching, never polluting, not trespassing on peoples land. But I want the ability to use the resources of this planet and to fish the waters as freely as a breath the air.
What are your thoughts?
 
pollinator
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Without having read the whole document, you may find your answer here: http://www.nationalrivers.org/2013%2010%20NATIONAL%20handout%20on%208x11.pdf

That being said, I've always assumed that most navigable rivers and streams in the US were public right-of-ways, unless some other extenuating circumstance designated one not so.
 
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In the USA the federal government does not allow for personal ownership of water ways. An individual can not own any part of a river, lakes are an entirely different thing however.
A person can own the land access but not the flowing water way.

By the way, if air could be owned, I'm certain that we would all be paying a breath intake tax.
 
John Weiland
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@Bryant R: "....if air could be owned, I'm certain that we would all be paying a breath intake tax"

Your comment made me curious:

"......Today in the UK thanks to the Civil Aviation Act of 1982, the generally accepted amount of air above one’s roof a person is entitled to is approximately 500-1,000 feet, though again this isn’t a hard definition. Likewise, the United States has a similar estimation of about 500 feet, though this has never been officially ruled on by the Supreme Court. In both cases, this may be soon changing with the widespread introduction of drones, both personal, commercial, and those owned by the respective governments. As such, !!***the U.S. federal government particularly has recently been looking into significantly lowering the airspace “public highway” floor to accommodate this type of aircraft***!!."

--http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/08/land-much-really-right/

Hmmmmmm....we've never minded the occasional kayak or canoe drifting by the house, but snowmobiles are pretty much a nuisance. I'm not liking where this trend is going....
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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John,
Thank you for your posts but I've tried three times to download that pdf and cannot. Probably faults on my end.

Bryant,
In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that the public could float any waterways deemed navigable "even if they run through specifically granted land". But in 1999, a landowner sued a kayaker for trespassing after he kayaked past his property without permission. The landowner won the case and the kayaker was fined $1,000 with all but $50 suspended. The argument of the landowners is that the resource commission, which cannot exercise eminent domain, seized their creekbeds for public use therefore violating the Fourth and Fifth amendments, which prohibit unreasonable seizures without due process or just compensation.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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John, There is a big difference in "air" and "Air Space", Air is what you breathe, Air space is generally used for travel by lighter than air craft or powered aircraft.

Karen, I believe that case was won by the land owner because of the kayaker actually touched the bank on the man's land, that would be criminal trespass in that case.

In Arkansas, we have had two cases, both found in favor of the water borne party.
We have also had two or three cases where landowners put barbed wire fences across flowing waterways and were fined and forced to remove the fences because they were stopping access to the water that flowed through their land.

My personal thoughts on all this is that we can not own air, we can not own water and we should not "own" land. These things are here for those who will come after we are in the spirit world and it is our obligation to make sure they remain that way.
The idea of land ownership is a very European Idea, non of my ancestors would have ever dreamed that a human, doomed to only be walking on earth a short time, could own something that was here before they were born and would be here long after they had gone to the spirit world.

The idea of territory has been around since the first ones set foot on the earth mother, it is different from the idea of ownership in that once you move from that territory, it is available for others to use.

I do not look forward to the time when white men figure a way to measure how many air molecules a human breathes in a day, for that will be the time when governments put a Tax on that which is necessary for life to occur.
When that time arrives, I hope the people revolt and throw down those who try to implement such a ridiculous idea.
 
John Weiland
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@Karen L.--The relevant section from that link:

"Public easement.

There are many places where these rivers serve as
property boundaries, so private landowners own to the
middle of the river, or all the way across the river. However,
these rivers are subject to the federal navigational servitude,
including the federal navigational easement for “the benefit
of the public, regardless of who owns the riverbed.”5 This
easement is similar to a utility easement or a rural road
easement passing through private land. It includes public
rights to portage around obstacles, rapids, or waterfalls, to
engage in “sport fishing and duck hunting,”6
to walk on the
gravel bars and beaches, and to walk above the high water
line as needed when walking along the banks of these
rivers.7

Landowner fences, cables, or “No Trespassing” signs
across these rivers violate federal law, exposing the
landowner to criminal prosecution as well as liability for
wrongful death or injury. 8

State governments manage the water, fish, sand, gravel,
and other resources in rivers. State property law determines
whether riparian landowners own to the high water mark,
low water mark, or middle of rivers.9

In all states, however,
private property on rivers is “a bare technical title, always
subject to public rights to use the stream,” and “whether the
title to the submerged lands of navigable waters is in the
state or in the riparian owners, it was acquired subject to the
rights which the public have in the navigation of such
waters.”10

Under federal law, state governments are the “guardians”
of rivers, so that “free navigation is secured.”11 They hold
rivers “as a public trust for the benefit of the whole
community..."
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Bryant,
I don't see anything in the case thatsays the kayaker went onto the man's land.

As for yor personal thoughts, I wish more people thought as you do.

And for the tax on air molecules, I'm sure that there's a team of scientists with a government grant working on that right now.

John,
Thank you so much for that post. That was alot to type.
In the article I read part of the issue is what was "grandfathered" in the original deed granted by King George II, giving the landowner ownership of the creek bottom and the government then making it accessible to the public which in their opions devalues their property and takes away their privacy. There seem to be gray areas in these navigational easements. It evidently gets complicated.
 
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Two years back I made an offer on a 20 acre river front piece of property. After checking with the county surveys/assessor, I realized about 4 of the acres were not river front, but actually in the river. While there was a public right of way easement on that portion, being able to say I "owned" the river would have totally been worth the 4 cents a year in property taxes paid for owning the river (1% x $1 an acre assessed value). Unfortunately, the land owner did not particularly appreciate receiving an offer based on the amount of "land" he was was selling.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Are "toll rivers" in our future? As a way of earning money for the cleaning and upkeep the government does so well.
Hi John Wolfram. Funny story. He never entertained your offer? Ha.
 
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- So this conversation can go in so many different directions from here-

There are places in Pennsylvania where the fact that some farmer drove a herd of live stock along stream/stream bed, and Navigated his way to market

established a prima facia claim to a Right-of-way / Navigable Route .

The Geology of much of Pennsylvania producing wide shallow Stream beds of Slate Shingle produced thousands , if not 10s of thousands of Navigable routes,

and an assumption of Public rights of way.


Larger , Deeper Rivers were harder to drive a herd through and in local usage could be considered an obstacle to through passage !


Alternatively in some places in New York, rivers whose mouths emptied into the St. Lawrence River were considered Navigable upstream to the 1st point that

Rapids or falls blocked further navigation w/out portage . Note that this is exactly the opposite of Penn. where deep water could be a bar to public use , and

shallow waters established rights of way .


Add on a certain amount of Traditional usage, and abrogation of other peoples rights via deeds and notes of transfer and it gets very messy fast !


-just my two cents, for the crafts ! Big AL







 
Just put the cards in their christmas stocking and PRESTO! They get it now! It's like you're the harry potter of permaculture. richsoil.com/cards
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