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Latest on the Little J case
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I copied this post from another FF website - FYI:


Trial on the matter was held back in June. Based on the record established at trial, the parties recently filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for the judge to consider.

Last Wednesday (12/13), the judge heard oral argument from the parties in a 2 1/2 hour session in Huntingdon County Court. I was there. The judge had clearly done his homework, and asked numerous insightful questions of the parties. Definitely what is known as a "hot bench."

Each side presented compelling arguments. I've learned from experience that you can rarely tell which way a judge is leaning simply from listening to oral argument. Be that as it may, I believe that the Commonwealth made a solid case, both factually and legally. It probably didn't help the Beaver/Espy side that their two counsel openly disagreed in court on a couple of issues, but it may not have hurt.

No none -- I repeat, no one-- has any inside track at this point to be able to say whether things look good or bad for one side or another. It's fully in the judge's hands now, and he wasn't showing any of his cards last week.

I would expect that the judge will issue a decision within the next two months.

As for the confusion about fly shops around Spruce Creek: Allan Bright is the owner of Spruce Creek Outfitters, and is a party to the court action against Beaver. Eric Stroup is a former employee of Bright, but left to start Spruce Creek Fly Co., a few miles up the road from Bright's shop in the middle of town. The last time I talked with Stroup (about two years ago?), he was an ardent opponent of Beaver. For whatever reason, times have changed, and it is my understanding that he guides for Beaver's clients.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am an employee of one of the Commonwealth agencies that filed the complaint, and have done some work on the case.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Buzzard/Craig

Posted on: 2006/12/22 9:06


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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All lot of people think that if the state wins (and I think they will) then all the access problems on the Little J will be over. If only that were so. Except for the state forest section in Barree gorge, the rest of the river runs through private property. So, except for the Barree gorge, all parking and walking access across land to get to the river is "casual" access, which means the owners can close that land at any time.
Some of the other land along the river is already closed. And if the state wins, some of the other landowners who are sympathetic to (or related to) the Espys are likely to close their lands. So the river will be navigable, but actual access to the river will be extremely limited.
In some of the western rivers that have been declared navigable, the states have purchased small plots of land here and there along the river for angler access. That's what needs to be done on the Little J. They could have done that 20 years ago at a reasonable cost. It will be expensive now, but that is what must be done if the Little J is going to be actually accessible to anglers in fact, rather than just as an abstract legal ruling.

Posted on: 2006/12/22 9:25


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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I read recently on another fly fishing site that this Eric Stroup person has been going around to various Trout Unlimited meetings and speaking about the court case (apparently he went down to TN and spoke according to one report). According to the reports on this other site, this Eric guy was saying that the court case was all but lost and that the Beaver was going to win eventually because he was planning on buying local farms/properties up anyway. This Eric guy also said that he was forming a group with local landowners that would ensure access.

Again, this is all second hand from a report on another site.

I hope the state wins out because if not this will set a disturbing trend.

Posted on: 2006/12/22 11:39


Re: Latest on the Little J case
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Actually I know Eric, I’ve fished with him before. This is the internet, and you can’t believe everything you read, but I would be very disappointed in him if he were supporting Spring Ridge side. A win for them would be spread gloom and doom for all public fishing, and for the right of public access to all citizens.

If the ruling is in the State’s favor, it’s still not time to celebrate, as Troutbert pointed out. We would only have dodged one bullet, but the battle has just begun.

Posted on: 2006/12/22 12:13


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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Please let me set the record straight, I DO NOT guide for the Spring Ridge Club, and I'm NOT affiliated with them in any way. I give talks and fly tying demonstrations around various parts of the country, as I just did in Nashville, on the subject of Fly Fishing Central Pennsylvania. The focus of my program is on OPEN water, and how much of it we have here. In fact, 90 percent of my guiding is on public water.
As far as talking about this case, as you can imagine i get asked about it alot. I have always maintained that it is not an open and shut case. It is extremely complicated and being a former land surveyor, I have a real interest in how it turns out. I think if there is one good thing to come of this, it is that the State has finally woke up and realized how important the access issue is.
My official stance is that I don't want to see the public lose any water, for any reason. My former employer has made a living guiding on private water for more than twenty years and has made a sport out of telling people that I work for Beaver. It's simply not true. Would someone please let me know where (the other FF site) is, so that I can set the record straight. Thank you.

Posted on: 2006/12/22 14:24


Re: Latest on the Little J case
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Eric attached is the site and thread. I'm glad you have a chance to speak for yourself and clear up the matter. Good for you buddy.

http://outdoorsbest.zeroforum.com/zeroforum?id=81

Posted on: 2006/12/22 14:56


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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What is the Deal with everyone bashing ERIC STROUP !!! Eric is a solid dude , and probably one of the best guides in PA if not the the eastern seaboard.. I ask you all , stop bashing him . I hope this doesnt turn into other forums that did the same . He has no affilation or any sideing with SRC . He could fish any land in Spruce creek and ot any other streams , with his contacts . But choses to guide on PUBLIC Water.. So respect the man , he has done more for this sport and people than most can dream about !!
Tight Lines

RangerKeen
" im here to kick ass and chew bubble gum and I am all out of gum !!!""

Posted on: 2006/12/22 16:56


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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Thanks Afishinado, and thanks RangerKeen,

The Washington Post artical DID say that I guided for SRC, and that thing has haunted me since it came out. The truth is there were several businesses involved with the process of having a destination article done on our area. I guided the writer, who's name is Cindy Loose. She thought that because I was a guide, that I must have worked for SRC, even though I had my own shop. Oh well, live and learn.

Merry Christmas All!!!

Posted on: 2006/12/22 17:34


Re: Latest on the Little J case
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Ranger,

No one on this board was/is bashing Eric. The info posted was from another website. I’m glad that Eric had a chance to set the record straight and clear his name. He is a good guide and fisherman, and joins all of us in our fight to stop or even slow down the privatization of our waters. Nuff said……..have a great holiday!

Posted on: 2006/12/23 7:05


Re: Latest on the Little J case
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Not enough said, I guess. I just read this on another board where I posted the same info on the Little J. It was written by Tim Murphy. I hope he doesn’t mind me cutting and pasting it here. This is the most eloquently written piece I have read concerning the situation. It sums up the true issue here, at least for me:


Dear Board,
In my mind there are two issues at work here and they are decidedly different.
Dispense with the private property issue for a moment, for it is a non-starter.
Let's stick to the real issue. All flowing water in the State of PA and all creatures great and small that inhabit that water are held in trust by the State for the citizens of the State. That is a fact that is part of our State Constitution. In short the fish belong to the people, no property owner can own them, period, it's the law.
The real issue with Spring Ridge, or any private club for that matter, is the taking of property that belongs to the public and using it for private benefit. That is what it is all about. Private people benefiting from public property.
We fought a war 240 years ago to escape the King's rule. It's sad that today we are still fighting that war.
I'm with jlh above. I know it's a pipe dream, but I support a High Water law like Montana's. Short of that, I will fight tooth and nail to keep private individuals from taking things that I have bought and paid for for their private benefit. Plain and simple, they are stealing from us.

Regards,
Tim Murphy




We should all quit bashing each other and join together on this issue. Hilary or Murphy in ’08…………..I’d vote for Murphy!

Posted on: 2006/12/23 8:14


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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Hello Gentleman,
Haven't been to the site in a while but was glad to see some info on this very important case. I am in total agreement with Tim Murphy's point of view and most other guys here. Montana, although I've never fished there, has got the right idea, and I hope our state comes around to this type of regulation. Thanks for keeping us informed

Matt

Posted on: 2006/12/23 8:44


Re: Latest on the Little J case
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Quote:

RangerKeen wrote:
What is the Deal with everyone bashing ERIC STROUP !!! Eric is a solid dude , and probably one of the best guides in PA if not the the eastern seaboard.. I ask you all , stop bashing him . I hope this doesnt turn into other forums that did the same . He has no affilation or any sideing with SRC . He could fish any land in Spruce creek and ot any other streams , with his contacts . But choses to guide on PUBLIC Water.. So respect the man , he has done more for this sport and people than most can dream about !!
Tight Lines

RangerKeen
" im here to kick ass and chew bubble gum and I am all out of gum !!!""


RangerKeen,

It sounds like the confusion about Eric Stroup's affiliation with SRC was started by the Washington Post article. Mr. Stroup was good enough to explain that patiently. So I think I'd like to keep that up, if you don't mind.

Posted on: 2006/12/23 9:25
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Re: Latest on the Little J case

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Come on Eric Stroup! Is that honestly your explanation for the Washington Post article? “She thought that because I was a guide, that I must have worked for SRC, even though I had my own shop.”

The reason why Eric Stroup is being bashed is because he and Bill Anderson have been playing both sides of the Little J issue for way too long. That doesn’t mean they’re doing anything illegal. But, I for one will not do business with a fly shop that supports Donny Beaver or it’s members in any way.

Need an example of the fence riding by these two? I pulled this from www.sprucecreekflyco.com ‘s forum from June 2006.

http://www.sprucecreekflyco.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=35

“Yes, we have purchased time on Spruce Creek, for our fishing clients, from several landowners, always directly from the land owner, not SRC. Some of these landowners have agreements with SRC as well. That's their business. Yes we guided Lefty Kreh on one of these occasions, for a day, so that he could get pictures of big fish. Yes, last year, we guided Troy Polomalu for a day, at our full guide rates, on SRC water. Troy's friends wanted him to fish the Espey farm so we asked and SRC agreed. It was a thrill for Eric as a former star quarter back (semi-pro) and major Steelers fan, to do so. (how many of you would have turned this opportunity down). Finally, yes, we sold a number of days on our private Spruce Creek water to the SRC, at full price, with the proviso that Eric would be the only guide allowed. It turned out poorly for all concerned for several reasons, including low water and we will not do so again. Yes, SRC guides, employees and clients come in our shop. They purchase our stuff and sometimes drink our coffee. We have many conversations with them about things we agree on and disagree on. All who behave themselves, including guides, neighbors, or other shop owners are welcome. We will answer any question honestly (but no longer from annonimous accusers) because we have nothing to hide. So if "Rich T" (whoever he is) wants to make a big deal out of our efforts to keep this small shop viable, so be it. Now let's get back to fly fishing. The "j" is clear, wadeable and fishing well!

Bill” (Anderson)

This reply was listed on Flyfishersparadise.com on 6/12/2006 under the flyfishing forum and named Little J Test…………………Finally.

“I'm one of the "friends" that went along that day on the SRC club water. Frank or I DID NOT request to fish on the SRC water. As for Troy, he never ever heard of the SCR before until that day. Eric is the one who said that if we could get Troy in here, he would get us on DB water. As for Eric paying DB? I don't know but Troy, Frank or I DID NOT pay anything to fish there? I warned Troy about DB might pitch a sales to join his club. Troy told me that DB never did.
Bill Dixon”

Like I said, no one has accused anyone of doing anything illegal. If they need to keep their shop alive by working with Beaver than that’s their choice. But don’t tell me and everyone else that you’re “NOT affiliated with them in any way.” It’s too obvious to those that are willing to open their eyes a little (which is the exact reason you’re being “bashed.” People don’t enjoy being lied too, especially when your taking their money as you’re doing it.). You’ll always have RangerKeen as your squad leader “dude”, but I’m guessing you’ll need to sell a few more Temple Fork Rods than he can buy to keep the shop open. I’d rather go down the road to Eric’s “former employer” who is the ONE person who’s kept this fight alive and was able to get Beaver into court to settle it.

Eric. How many years have you been a full time guide? From http://www.cumberlandtu.org/newsreel/featuredspeaker.php “After guiding for over ten years full time and tying flies commercially, Eric opened his own shop four years ago…” So does that mean you guided full time at Spruce Creek Outfitters for 6 years? Was the writer of that wrong just like Cindy Loose? You were the featured speaker at a TU Christmas meeting and you lied to them. Be a man, start being honest about yourself and your affiliations, and maybe (doubtful at this point) you can stop putting out fires and go fishing.

Barney

Posted on: 2006/12/23 11:58


Re: Latest on the Little J case

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Barney,

Put your full name on your account (like eric stroup and ranger (brian) keen did) if you want anyone to put any credence on your comments.

None of us care for anonymous flame wars!

Posted on: 2006/12/23 14:06
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Re: Latest on the Little J case

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I've got a conspiracy theory to sell, anyone interested. I think it takes an upstanding man to make a corrective statement like Eric did on this site, as for me I don't know enough about the situation to comment on this except to say I believe Tim Murphy to be right, access to water and ownership of the water in PA is guaranteed by the Commonwealth Constitution, and the state cannot cede ownership under any circumstances, that fact is guaranteed by federal law.

Posted on: 2006/12/23 14:17
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.



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