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New list of Public owned streambeds

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Posted on: 2012/12/4 7:26


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Very cool

Posted on: 2012/12/4 7:54


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Good stuff Chaz, thanks for posting.

I assume this clears up the issue as to whether it's ok (legally speaking) to walk/fish through within the high water mark on the streams on the map, even if the bank is posted?

Previous to this only a few (and much less than what is shown on the map) had been "tried by the courts" and verified as "navigable."

Posted on: 2012/12/4 8:35


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Swattie, nothing's changed in that regard.

The list is all of those streams which at some point in history, the PA legislature has declared them to be public highways. Legally speaking, those declarations by PA state legislatures don't carry much weight. Being on the list doesn't automatically make it navigable, nor does not being on the list make it not navigable. The situation is still that a court must decide.

That said, it's still not worthless. What DOES make it navigable is a history of commerce. And generally, those declarations were made with the purpose of protecting commerce routes. If you, for instance, owned a farm on a stream, and used a nearby stream to transport your crops to market, then you may lobby your local rep to declare the stream a public highway.

The declarations themselves are nearly meaningless, but they were typically made for purposes that are still valid. And in past cases, like the Little J case, the court recognized the declarations as historical evidence of commerce.

Bottom line: The final test is still the courts. If you wish to trespass on a stream that has not been tried by the courts, you still have to go to court to defend yourself. It's just that these declarations are a nice piece of evidence in your favor, and the DCNR seems to be showing a greater interest in supporting this issue.

Posted on: 2012/12/4 8:56


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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I was afraid that still might be the case...bummer. Thanks for the clarification.

If the streambed in question is deemed by the state to be "publicly owned" (and on the map) I would hope someone accused of trespassing (while within the high water mark) in those circumstances would stand a good chance in the courts. But that's a calculated risk one must take...and I will continue not to probably.


Posted on: 2012/12/4 9:24


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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The fact that the DCNR put this together and made it public is still a very good sign. Sounds like they're doing it mostly for Marcellus Shale, and ensuring the state gets royalties for gas retrieved under public land. But it still puts their position of what's public out there. It's the type of thing that encourages action.

I'd love to see a private org really attack this. Perhaps too risky for an individual, but do-able by a group. Organize, publicize a list like this, and state that your going after all posted signs on waters on the list. You start with 1 or 2, do a fish-in or whatever, take it to court, and if you win, you get more support, and I think signs start coming down without a battle.

The risk is that you win these streams, but by starting a war you lose others not on the list. It would happen in places, but IMO, to a lesser degree than is feared. I think you gain more than you lose.

Posted on: 2012/12/4 9:42


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:

Swattie, nothing's changed in that regard.

Bottom line: The final test is still the courts.


I agree that that is the case, in regard to fishing and other recreational uses on the streams.

And I think that is also true in regard to the gas drilling situation.

The commonwealth of PA is simply making ASSERTIONS that they hold these rights. It will be up to the courts to decide whether the law supports their assertions. The gas companies, and possible landowners, are likely to challenge it.

Posted on: 2012/12/4 9:43


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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The fact that the state is attempting to claim royalties on these streambeds based upon them being "public land" says a lot. Again, not that I'm willing to try it, but I'd have a hard time swallowing the state's judicial system telling me I'm trespassing while fishing within the same high water mark where they're collecting royalites based on a public land declaration...assuming they are able to do so.

"Fish In" - Hah, that's great. I think I could pretty accurately predict where the first "fish in" would take place...not just the stream, but the specific section of stream flowing along a specific piece of property...

Posted on: 2012/12/4 9:54


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Remember this....there are alot of nut cases out there that would shoot you for trespass. You can't defend yourself if your dead!!!!
Use your head and be cautious if you go on these areas!!!!!!!!!

Posted on: 2012/12/4 9:58


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Quote:
"Fish In" - Hah, that's great. I think I could pretty accurately predict where the first "fish in" would take place...not just the stream, but the specific section of stream flowing along a specific piece of property...


I assume another attack on SRC/Homewaters/Logan Outfitters or whatever they call themselves now?

Yellow? Penns? Fishing? Elk? Pine? Little Pine?

All public per the DCNR's list. lol.



Posted on: 2012/12/4 10:09


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Yeah. Despite the favorable court decision I think the LJR stretch above the Gorge remains the poster child for that and that's what first popped into my head...the signs, intimidation from the banks, etc. Did the appeals die out, or fail to materialize on that?


Posted on: 2012/12/4 10:21


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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News flash, that one has been over for some time. We won. The signs line the high water mark, and nobody questions that, you can't go there. The streambed, though, is ours.

Posted on: 2012/12/4 10:46


Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Quite a few streams on that map that I would love to fish but never have because all the good water is posted. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but I would agree that the courts need to be consistent. If it's public ground for purposes of royalties, then it's public ground. Any chance the drillers will have a financial incentive to challenge this and clarify the case law? Maybe the landowners will band together as a class action and settle this all in court for us?

Posted on: 2012/12/4 11:48
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Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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2011/3/31 12:18
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I agree with pat though... Be careful what you ask for. The ultimate would be a mirror of Montana's stream bed laws.

Posted on: 2012/12/4 12:05
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Re: New list of Public owned streambeds

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Upper Brodhead/Paradise Creeks navigable? I like that. I now have miles of posted club water to check out. lol

Posted on: 2012/12/9 8:21



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