Today is an historic day for Utahans and, in particular, the members of USAC. This afternoon, Judge Keith Kelly of Utah’s 3rd District Court ruled in favor of the Utah Stream Access Coalition and confirmed that the Weber River is navigable where it crosses over the landowner defendant’s properties.
In the 26-page decision, the Court acknowledged the statehood-era use of the Weber River to float logs from the headwaters in the Uinta Mountains downstream to Wanship and Echo where they were taken out and used for such commercial purposes such as construction of railroads, prop timbers for Park City mines, saw timbers and cordwood. These drives played a “significant role in developing the railroad and mining industries in northern Utah and the surrounding region” wrote Judge Kelly.
Many, many individuals contributed to fighting for our rights, and we thank you for what you’ve done. In particular, we express our deep gratitude to our counsel on this case, Cullen Battle and Craig Coburn, who masterfully wove the history and the law into a strong, cohesive cloth.
Although the ruling has been filed, that doesn’t mean the Weber is “open for business.” We’re still awaiting further details on precisely where the public can access and use the Weber, and there is still some legal legwork that must be done behind the scenes, so don’t go grabbing your rod and reel quite yet. We expect those answers in the coming weeks.
When the time does come, we want to remind you of these very important points:
Please respect private property.
Pick up trash where you see it.
Stay below the ordinary high water mark, and never, ever trespass to get on or off the water.
This is a resource that belongs to all of us, and it’s of utmost importance that we be impeccable stewards of that resource.
Finally, while this is a significant win, we must not forget that this is only another step in a much longer journey. We still are prohibited from using what the Utah Constitution grants us, “any waters of the State,” but this is a strong step in the right direction. The Provo Case goes to trial in late August, and the legislative session will follow shortly after. Be ready.
Thank you for your continued support. We hope that you will join us in celebrating this victory at one of the many upcoming events in the sidebar.
Board of Directors
Utah Steam Access Coalition