Late Friday we received word that the Utah Stream Access Coalition had filed a lawsuit claiming that the Public Waters Access Act passed through the 2010 Legislature was unconstitutional. Among the groups listed in the suit: Victory Ranch; the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner. Here's the story the Tribune broke on Friday.
Some of the comments in the story are absurd, but were entirely expected. Anglers have been trying to be involved in setting a fair law from the beginning, but have been totally rebuffed by those people who would claim to represent all Utahns. Ted Wilson, the governor’s senior adviser on the environment, said he was disappointed that anglers went ahead with the lawsuit. And I'm a little disappointed that he said that.
I do like that Sen. Dennis Stowell finally admitted that the Utah Legislature is costing citizens money. He said court is expensive knowing full well that the Legislature's attempt to override a Utah Supreme Court decision and ignoring anglers would lead to a lawsuit.
I'm sure the lawsuit will be the main thrust of discussion at the upcoming Utah Waterways Task Force Nov. 18 at 11 a.m. at the State Capitol in Room 250. It is time for anglers to show up en masse again and let their voices be heard. Lawsuits may get their attention, but real people standing up for their rights is just as important for the task force to see.
That being said, don't expect the Utah Stream Access Coaltion to just sit back and watch this lawsuit unfold. There will be continued efforts to secure acess on all fronts.
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