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Old 04-29-2013, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access

I was going to go but I knew it would just be so depressing and I'm SOOO.. SOOOOO.. tired of the never ending assault on stream access that I'm afraid I'll lose it and freak out at some of the supporters of the forces trying to repeal the stream access laws in Montana.

This time around there is no one to write letters to, no legislators to appeal to.
I really wish someone like Ted Turner would have an epiphany and throw the full weight of his resources behind the defense of stream access and take on this ******* Kennedy but that will never happen.

It's just left to the common man who, even collectively, cannot rally anywhere near the resources that Kennedy can.
That being said I'm donating several hundred dollars to the PLWA.
I just don't know what else to do.

I think the future is grim for stream access.

This is an excerpt from Montana Troutfitters Blog that gives a quick synopsis of what's going down, written by James Muhlbeier;

Full text here;

Mr. Kennedy’s side has some precedence that puts our Stream Access in jeopardy. Not at the local or state level but at the federal level. None are more threatening than the Supreme Court of the United States. Montana drew the Supreme Courts attention when the state tried to collect tens of millions of dollars in rent from a utility company called PPL that owns dams on certain rivers. PPL and the State of Montana went to court. In a 9-0 decision in PPL vs. Montana, the Supreme Court basically struck down the legal theory Montana used to assert rights in stream beds. What that essentially does is creates precedence in the highest level of court against our stream access law. In summary in the Supreme Courts view Montana can’t proclaim possession-type control over stream beds it doesn’t actually own.. The scary thing is, if Kennedy has his way on the Ruby River, it could set a legal precedent for access in the rest of the state and the dominoes will fall until our stream access is gone.
There will be a crucial Montana Supreme Court hearing in Bozeman, April 29, in the Strand Union Ballroom. The oral arguments will start at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude that morning. The Montana Supreme Court will consider The Madison County Judge who ruled in Kennedy’s favor was lawful when he ruled that the public cannot use certain county bridges to access our streams. If The Montana Supreme Court sides with the Madison County Judge, then it will be so long Montana Stream Access rights. If recreational users of our public waters can afford time from work to attend the hearing or anybody tired of being stepped on by the 1% for that matter, it would be very helpful to our fight against what wealthy non-residents are trying to do throughout Montana.
Two groups have entered into the lawsuit on Kennedy’s side: PERC- the Property and Environment’s Research Center headquartered in Bozeman, and the United Property Owners of Montana. PLWA and Trout Unlimited have thrown their support behind the State and Montanans and our rights. PLWA sends a message via their website “All of our groups need to send a clear message that “the rights of the many shall not be trampled on for the benefit of the very few.” Even if The Montana Supreme Court ruled in favor of Montanans the likelihood that it will be the battle over Stream Access over is slim. Kennedy is not a dumb man and realizes he has a better shot with the US Supreme Court due to their previous ruling. That and he realizes that supporters of Montana’s Stream Access don’t have nearly as deep of pockets as he has. He plans on taking this to the Ninth round when we are drained before he goes for the knockout. PLWA is asking for support they had a budget of 150,000 dollars (all of which stem from donations) and they have spent 350,000 dollars. The biggest supporter for our rights is already in substantially in the hole and we are still only in round three of the fight. Unlike Kennedy and his estimated 6 Billion dollars plus in worth the good guys have a limited budget.

---------- Post added at 09:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:53 PM ----------

Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
That's a nice summary though.
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