The National Organization for Rivers (NOR) is excited to announce the new poster, “Public Rights on Rivers in the United States,” available for free downloading and distribution, in print and by e-mail. There is also a handout version. These resources discuss public rights to use and access rivers for fishing, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, duck hunting, and other nondestructive river recreation.

The posters and handouts do not repeat the usual claims of lawyers for riverfront landowners, to the effect that public rights on rivers would have to be decided by state courts or state legislatures. Instead, they cite numerous U.S. Supreme Court decisions and Acts of Congress to show that rivers that people typically use for raft, kayak, or canoe trips are navigable for Commerce Clause purposes under federal law. These rivers are subject to the federal navigational easement, including public rights to scout rapids from shore, portage around rapids, and fish from the gravel bars and banks along these rivers.

Of course, some riverfront landowners, their lawyers, and their supporters in local and state government will disagree with the message in the posters and handouts, but that’s the point: To give river users tools to use for dialog with local and state government agencies, in order to reconfirm public rights on rivers in places where they are doubted or denied.

The handouts are ready to print on letter size paper. The posters come in two different versions, one for legal size paper and the other for 11 x 17 paper. The 11 x 17 version can be printed out at office supply stores or photocopy centers.

The handouts and posters can also be e-mailed to the directors of kayak clubs, college outdoor programs, government agencies, and reporters for local newspapers and other media.

Read, download, and print the posters and sizes you'd like by going to this page River Law Handouts and Posters - National Organization for Rivers

If you would like to read more about the announcement of these new posters and handouts, check our blog New Posters About Public Rights on Rivers - National Organization for Rivers

If you want more than just a brief synopsis about river rights, we have a book to help you understand the whole story. To learn more about the book, here's the link Why you should get "Public Rights on Rivers" - National Organization for Rivers

We look forward to serving this community by further explaining and researching public rights on rivers. If you'd like to contact us, email Thanks for supporting the cause for rivers to be "forever free."

-Team NOR