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Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Quote:

sight_nymph_17109 wrote:
Jack,
I wasn't using Falling Springs as a comparison to the Little Juniata. Just comparing someone closing a section without getting the same venom that D. Beaver did. I think that his personality and way he handled things became such a liability to SRC that he had to go.


So are you saying DB is no longer with the SRC?

Quote:


afishanado,
You are correct. They plan to sell around a dozen homesites on the back end of their property to cover legal fees. They lost and aren't appealing the decision. They could have said "f - it" and developed the whole property.


It is still development along the stream. I suppose if a civil suit were filed for damages to fishermen access during the period they closed the Espy stretch, developing more along the stream would be Ok too?

Quote:


I agree that stream access is shrinking due to clubs buying properties or landowners becoming fed up and posting their properties. SRC owns an additional 6 miles of the Little J but it was accessable to the public even before this legal battle insued.


Prove it. Where are all these stream miles that are open to the public and stocked byt he PF&BC. I keep hearing about them with the expectation for anglers to feel grateful to them, but I've not seen one shred of proof toward this end.


Quote:

You have to admit that the PFC hasn't done nearly enough to maintain current fisheries or aquire new access agreements with private landowners. Hopefully we won't see all of our great streams go belly up or be privately owned.


Access acquisition is a slippery slope for the F&BC. Once the first property is compensated for through a lease agreement from the state, the genie is out of the bottle and more could be closed for spite that the uncompensated property owners are not on the initial list.

Make no mistake, SRC is in this for personal gain, not conservation. You were carefully plucked from a public water to benefit their activities. Then fed a flowered up mission statement with the hope you would spread it around to reverse the public opinion of the SRC. And it worked pretty good too. You are a great spokesman for them, and at a pretty reasonable cost.

In my eyes, private landowners have the right do what they want with their land, THis is by law. but when a for profit organization goes around closing previously open water, refuses access to public waterways and attempts to secure additional waters when they've been turned away, they are not for the common angler. For this I see them as the counter to my fishing opportunities.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion on this matter and free to discuss it here. But I believe that no matter what what color you paint a skunk, it still stinks.

Maurice

Posted on: 2007/6/25 15:33
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Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.
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2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
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There is no presumption of private ownership prior to a court declaration of navigability. If you are going to assert exclusive rights to a piece of waterway, you better be right or the rightful owners (you and me and all other citizens) have a right to be angry about it. I can see the fellow you spoke with must have been very persuasive, but he was as wrong as Donny and SRC.

I have no reason to believe that SRC is some beneficial society preserving rare streamside land for the benefit of all and I am not going to believe such claims by the organization or its spokespersons over the evidence I have that where they are able, they will exclude non-members. Wait and see what happens when they acquire (by lease or purchase) the property on the other side of the river.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 15:38
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Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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2007/5/10 14:53
From Carlisle
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In terms of the Falling Springs property, thanks to TU and some restrictions that weren't there before the property is now open to fishing. The main reasons it got closed was because of streambank damage, people duck hunting without permission despite the stretch being VERY close to a heavily used road, and trash left behind.


In terms of SRC they might be buying some properties to conserve for the future for the entire public to enjoy but in terms of paying for their legal costs is a bunch of BS! Like Ryanh said there is no way they have enough overhead costs that they couldnt steer away from buying another property to close off to the public for the next year or two and save a little money to pay for their legal costs. The fact that they're building on this land and DEVELOPING it steers away from the whole purpose they claim to be in existance for. To me DB is just out to make as much money and step on as many feet as he can and he could care less about those of us who can never and will never purchase a membership to his club.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 15:39


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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While I recognize some points on develpoment; it is still 99% bad for you and I. I would like to know where the SRC water is that is open to the public???? Don't say the Little J because it was ours to begin with. You are perpetuating the idea that having to pay someone to fish is ok. It is not ok!!! There is enough private water already. Don't get me started about stocking huge mutant fish in class A streams. Example: SRC recently bought more property on Yellow Creek. Don't beleive it.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 15:47


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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I would think that many other folks had thought of the plan that Beaver is following, but they had too much respect for fellow fishermen and the public to go that route?? Donny you ain't no genius, especially when dealing with the public.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 17:24


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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He described several conservation issues regarding Spring Creek and Penns Creek and other streams. But these have nothing at all to do with SRC. It’s just talk. They aren't doing anything about these issues.

And he didn't "bring them to light." These things are very well known among TU members and other conservationists in central PA and we have been fighting these battles for many years. Everyone who fishes this region regularly knows that Spring Creek is threatened by development. That is glaringly obvious. And SRC gets credit just for talking about it?

The same with the Penns Valley quarry. Some of us spent a lot of time and money trying to stop that quarry, and this was before SRC even existed. Anglers & conservationists from all over PA joined in that battle. What has SRC done about it?

Much of what he said is inaccurate. The PFBC is not the agency that issues or denies permits for things such as the Home Depot near the Letort. Everyone gripes about the PFBC shortcomings. It’s an easy thing to do. But that doesn’t change anything about SRC.

But the real issue is that they asked you to move. And they have NO RIGHT WHATEVER, legally or ethically, to do that. The judges ruling made that absolutely clear.

They are trying to re-assert control of “their” stretch river by use of clever tactics. This has been happening on the West Branch Delaware for years, so it's nothing new. They're using the old good cop, bad cop routine. Your previous bad experience was the bad cop part. They've been trying to intimidate people for a long time. They know the law is watching now, so they are trying some of the good cop routine.

They asked nicely and chatted you up. Every salesman learns to get on someone’s good side by talking about topics they are interested in. If it’s sports, they talk sports, if it’s conservation and the PFBC, they’ll talk that talk. It’s the old schmooze routine.

Good cop or bad cop tactics, the bottom line is the same. They wanted you to move, to get out of their way so they could conduct their activities on “their” river. And they succeeded.

I’m not attacking you at all. I appreciate your courage to fish there. The more people who fish there, the better, since that helps reinforce the judge's decision that is in fact a public river, not just in a formal, legal sense but for real, in practice.

And many people would have reacted the same in the same circumstances. I’m just trying to describe what I think is the reality of the situation, since I think the guy you talked to was trying to snow you.

Whether they or “nice” or “interested in conservation” or whether they are “bad people” is really irrelevant. None of this is personal. The issues would still be the same, even if all the people changed. It’s about the river.

They will try to continue controlling the use of that stretch of the river, either by co-option or coercion or whatever tactic works. The fact that they asked you to leave makes it clear that they still consider it “their” stretch of the river, that THEY are in control of what goes on in that stretch of the river.

It's a bit of a game going on here and I expect it to continue. They will try to control what goes on there, and get people to go along with that idea. And the public will just have to continue to assert that, no, it's not SRC's river, it's a public river, and our rights our precisely the same as SRC members.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 19:00


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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Sight nymph:

I had a somewhat similar experience last fall on Yellow Creek.
I was fishing the short section that is open to the public between 2 sections leased by Beaver just below the catch and release area.
A fellow came out of the house by the small, one lane bridge there, and started feeding pellets to the fish. I stopped fishing, and moved down to the posted water to watch - out of curiosity - to see what kind of fish were in there. The guy struck up a conservation with me, and we proceded to talk for almost an hour.
He seemed like a pretty nice guy, and told me why he signed a lease with Beaver. He said that slob fisherman were keeping more than they're legal limit of fish, and leaving trash - i.e. bait containers - all over his property. When he asked them to quit being pigs, he said they used foul language in front of his wife and kids. Because of this rude behavior, he said that he was going to post his land anyways. Then Beaver comes along and offers $$$.
You really can't blame the guy for doing it.
But, I still can't stomach what Beaver and the SRC are doing.
Bottom line - they're buying up prime trout water so that only an exclusive few can fish there.

A few questions for you:

You stated that Beaver is done - you mean he is no longer affiliated with SCR?

Also, I'd like to know where that 6 miles of the Little J they leave open to the public is - did he tell you?

Posted on: 2007/6/25 19:56


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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2007/3/26 22:22
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Holy hell. I really got you guys stirred up. So many questions or comments to reply to....

I fished that section all last summer and the only time there was an issue was during a 'Beaver sighting'. I fished along side members and guests. They were always very nice. I understood that section to be open unless the court ruled differently. I now see that I was actually trespassing. I fished that section 15-20 years ago and I'm glad to see it is accessible again.

My understanding from what Dave McMullen told me... Don has stepped down. He's working on fishing lodges in CO. The membership dues mean nothing to DB. I think his business nets him a smooth 7-figure salary. I he was a public relations nightmare for them though.

I'm not giving SRC credit for shedding light on issues with Penns or Spring Creek. I've been out of the fishing loop for a few years and since getting back into it, I don't think I've ever had a fellow fisherman ask me to help support anything other then a fishing rodeo for the children. I've seen the changes to Spring Creek over the last 20 years and thought it may have been my imagination since I don't get up there too often.

As far as the clubs financial records... I have no idea. I understand the lots to be over the hill, well away from Spruce and LJ. I'd guess that the money from the lots would be used to improve their lodging and maybe buy other properties.

6 miles of LJ that they own... I didn't ask because the judge decided navigable. I will say that if they do own 6 miles on both sides.... access would be a long ankle-breaking walk inside the high water mark. That would be enough to keep me out. My knees can't handle too much of that crap anymore.

I am definitely a have not. If I play golf on the local Muni, I don't resent the members at Augusta National. I guess with $$ comes some privileges.

I'm glad to hear the TU got that section on Falling Springs opened back up.

I'll be misunderstood for this but.... My position has always been that if a stream holds trout year round or supports natural reproduction.... It should be no harvest and fly-fishing only. If you're hungry for fish, head to long john silvers or the put and take waters. Fly anglers (in general) and more respectful, appreciative, courteous and interested in preserving the resource.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 20:35


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

Joined:
2006/10/26 23:01
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I would hate to see trout fishing in PA go the way of deer hunting in texas or salmon fishing in scotland.....a pay to play experience for a priveledged few. However, I think there is nothing unsportsmanlike in asserting property ownership rights. The "stick floats down the stream" defense wins for now. Civil law seems to be a very fluid entitity and as I have stated before should be only one prong of a more comprehensive stream access and conservation effort if we are to preserve our angling heritage over the long term.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 20:47


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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That is very interesting - he told you that DB has stepped down.
But, it sure would make sense. DB has grown so notorious these last few years, that it would only help the SRC for him to get out.

As for wading down into the Espy property - I did it last month, and I'm with you on that being a little hard.
Going down in the daylight wasn't bad, but coming back up in the dark was kinda tough on the ankles. I lost my footing quite a few times in that rocky section in fron of the houses. They had these goofy poles along the stream edge then - to show you the wading limits. You pretty much had to stay in the water to stay legal, although I understand that they have been removed now.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 21:22


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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2007/3/26 22:22
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dryfly,
I saw that the poles were still up in some areas. From the junction of Spruce down past the barn is one of the toughest walks around. I haven't gone down yet but I must look pretty damn funny slipping and tripping my way down the bank. I fished a first light and there wasn't much going on. Lots of craneflies and a few caddis here and there. I wished that I could have gone later in the day. What bugs did you see?
As for DB, he may be nice (or not), smart or a great businessman but his actions and reactions drew nothing but negative attention.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 22:01


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
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sightnymph:

I fished there the 2nd week of May. I went down about 1pm, and had some great fishing - sulphers mostly, and I ended up staying until dark.
I also used to fish there 20 years ago, when it was open to the public, and that was my first time back since it went private. It brought back some memories.
In the mid '80's, when I was still pretty new at fly fishing, I used to go to Penns and Spring Creek, and had a hard time catching fish in those streams. One day, I stopped at Espy's on my way to Penns, and I had instant success there - my first on limestone streams. So, I kept going back into it got posted in 1990.
That place is kinda special to me, and it was pretty neat to fish it again. Many thanks to all involved in winning the court case

Posted on: 2007/6/25 22:16


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
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I too would not have moved on.
As to DB,AKA "The Evil Emperor" I would not believe a word out of his mouth. I have spoken to him and he is full of it. Worse than a used car sales man. He'll tell you whatever he wants you to hear. Remember the "inter sanctum"? One must read through the bull. If I were a club owner with these problems,what would I be doing? Raising money for anther battle? Posture the property for a sale? Or operate under the status quo? How about I'll fix them I'll just close down other high quality waters?

Posted on: 2007/6/25 22:29


Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
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Question. With all their miles of streams that truly ARE private, why did they pick the Little J for the non-profit fundraiser?
Perhaps because their premeire waters were earning money from members not attending the charity event?

Yeah, he asked you VERY nicely to move I'm sure.

Posted on: 2007/6/25 23:42
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Re: Spring Ridge Club experience.

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Re: " I now see that I was actually trespassing."

No you weren't. The river was declared a public highway by the state legislature way back in the 1800s, and SRC's legal counsel surely must have known that. It was very actively used for commercial navigation back in the time. And the river has always been navigable in fact.

For these reasons, I knew from the beginning that Beaver would lose the court case and said so on here. Because it was just obvious that his effort to convert a public river to private would fail. It just had no legal backing. I couldn't figure out then, and still can't figure out, why he thought he could succeed in making that kind of grab. I think he's had so many successes in business that he just got arrogant, and thought he could do whatever he wanted. And found out that there are limits.

A great deal of what that guy told you just isn't true. You are buying into their story, even though they are very much against your interests, as their whole enterprise is converting previously publicly accessible waters to private posted waters for their financial gain.

Google the term "Stockholm syndrome" and you'll find some insight on the tendency of people to identify with their oppressors.

Posted on: 2007/6/26 7:13



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