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Letter: Stream access is a public right, not privilege
First Published Feb 20 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 20 2014 01:01 am

The public deserves affirmation, sooner rather than later, of the right to responsibly access the navigable streams of Utah. Common sense favors passage of HB37 rather than protracted court appeals, which, arguably, will eventually bring the state into compliance with the doctrine of navigable water, and with it responsible stream access ("Stream access supporters rally for compromise bill," Tribune, Feb. 11).

Maintaining high water quality of our streams is a public responsibility legislated to be administered by the state through the Division of Water Quality. This necessarily requires periodic stream access by public employees for monitoring stream health and mitigating problems such as non-point-source pollution.

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Additional public employee access is legislated to allow our Department of Natural Resources to plant trout in our streams for public fishing, not for private privilege at public (taxpayer) expense.

Clearly, the established precedent of responsible public access is a citizen right, not a privilege.

L.H. Wullstein

Former chairman

State Water Quality Board

Salt Lake City

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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