The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   Rocky Mountain Range (
-   -   MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access (

long bow 04-29-2013 04:38 PM

MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
Did anyone happen to catch (or go to) the oral arguments today in Bozeman regarding the Ruby River bridge/recreation access?

dean_mt 04-29-2013 05:16 PM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
No but I hope it's on MTPR news this evening. I'm curious to hear what went down.

Troutwhisperer 04-29-2013 09:21 PM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
Curious to hear more on this if someone could fill me in. Thanks

dean_mt 04-29-2013 10:32 PM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
This is about all there is for reporting Montana Supreme Court hears Ruby River access case - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: Environment

blackbugger 04-29-2013 11:09 PM

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 (Post 551329)

That's a nice summary though.

long bow 04-29-2013 11:52 PM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
I know there was a link to listen in on the live stream, I'll post it if it actually saved or if it was just a "live" link.

One of the scary things (and sorry rest of the 48) but its my understanding that MT has the best laws per stream access. That being said, Kennedy has no problem trying to get this in front of the USSC, which will look at all state's laws, or even federal law to an extent. He's not exactly strapped for cash. That puts us (access users in MT) at a HUGE disadvantage since MT is in the minority for such pro-access language.

Here's a link to all I could find at this point:

Ard 04-29-2013 11:53 PM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
I hate to hear things like this. Unfortunately it is happening everywhere.

dean_mt 04-30-2013 10:23 AM

Re: MT Supreme Court Oral Arguments on Montana Access
It is a big case, for sure. But it's not decided yet. Some of the questioning that the Justices gave Kennedy's lawyer team yesterday were pretty tough. Namely, that the Montana State Constitution says that all water is OURS. The prosecution tried to argue that the state was "taking" private property, and argument that was not made when the District Court ruled against Kennedy. Since this is an appeal, they cannot make that argument to the Supreme Court.

I think we, the people, will win this one...again. And for now....

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:36 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.