Friday, January 14, 2011

Right to Float Law: Battleground Colorado.

American Whitewater and The Right To Float from Amongst It on Vimeo.

Right to Float: Statutory and Case Law in Colorado
I'm sometimes asked by new kayakers "is it true a river is a public resource and may be floated across private land" as long as I don't touch the ground ? Yes, the actual case law is "People versus Emmert, 1979" that was actually lost then overturned on certain points. It's accepted that public waters are not to be obstructed but it's not clear what happens if a floater come across an obstruction.

What if a dangerous water level fence, bridge, or rapid affects my ability to make passage safely? Grey area. It's generally acceptable from case law the paddler may safely walk around the obstruction incidentally without trespassing.

How can I help? Be a respectful paddler and citizen when crossing contested lands in a kayak.  Try to pass fly fisherman wide and avoid impacting their fishing experience as much as possible. Plan ahead...don't use the restroom or plan lunch on private land. Join the AWA above. Additionally, contact your state legislature when interest groups need your help.  Be informed by watching the video above from the AWA!

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