The Rats Nest

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Something You All Should Consider

So I learned today that a recent court decision involving an individual recreating on MDC property equated to a pretty hefty payout, the MDC is seriously considering closing all of it's properties to the public for recreational use.  As an angler, and guide who frequently uses some of these areas that are adjacent to the Farmington, I find this a rather problematic dilemma.   There is some sort of loophole in the law that was overturned some 15 years ago that allows outside individuals the ability to sue private land owners if they are hurt in anyway while recreating on these types of properties.  Prior to the overturn, private landowners had immunity from liability if they granted others the right to recreate on their property.   But after a landmark case overturned this immunity and forced a private landowner to assume financial responsibility, things have been different ever since.

A group of concerned people have formed a group and are currently offering an online petition to have this overturned, as well as gather bodies to attend a public hearing on the 20th.  I mean think about this for a second, whole areas like Greenwoods and Boneyard might not be accessible anymore if the MDC decides to close access.  You think there is pressure on the river now?  Take away a huge chunk of the river and you will confine a large group of fisherman to an even smaller area.  Now I am not saying that this is going to happen, but who knows, it is a possibility.   From a fisherman's perspective, we are a small piece of the puzzle in terms of those who utilize MDC property to take part in some of the hobbies we enjoy.  This is the time to get together and make sure that these area's remain open for our use.  Remember not too long ago we worked on the trail to allow access to the lower Boneyard pool?  That could all be history if we don't act.  Take the time sign the petition. 

This is the perfect example of taking things for granted, we should all be thankful for the MDC and its generosity over the years, lets do our part to see this through and keep these treasured area's open to all of the people who enjoy their use.

To learn more about how to get involved, sign the petition or help overturn the legislation, visit:


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