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Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       09-22-2006, 4:25 AM Reply   
Has anyone seen this?

Court Ruling Makes Boating Illegal in Much of U.S. 09/14/06

The Marine Retailers Association of America is alerting its dealer members to a court ruling that some say could have serious consequences for boating.

Judge Robert G. James of the U.S. District Court, Western Division of Louisiana, has declared it is a criminal trespass for the public to boat, fish or hunt on the Mississippi River and other navigable waters of the country.

"Even though this action seems like a horrible pre-April Fools’ joke, it is very serious," said MRAA president Phil Keeter, in a statement. "Because essentially all the waters and waterways of our country are considered navigable in the U.S. law, this ruling declares recreational boating, water skiing, fishing, waterfowl hunting and fishing tournaments – except if conducted in a navigable shipping channel — to be illegal and the public subject to jail sentences for recreating with their families."

In addition, the judge held that federal law grants exclusive and private control over the waters of the river, outside the main shipping channel, to riparian landowners. The shallows of the navigable waters are no longer open to the public, the MRAA reports, adding, “Boating has now become illegal in most of our country.”

In the Aug. 29 decision, Judge James rejected the findings of the magistrate judge who found earlier that the public had the right under federal law and Louisiana law to navigate, boat, fish and hunt on the waters of the Mississippi River up the normal high-water line of the river.

In that ruling, MRAA says Magistrate Judge James Kirk relied on long-established federal principles of navigation entitling "the public to the reasonable use of navigable waters for all legitimate purposes of travel or transportation, for boating, sailing for pleasure, as well as for carrying persons or property for hire, and in any kind of watercraft, the use of which is consistent with others also enjoying the right possessed in common."

"MRAA is working with the Coast Guard, state boating law administrators, and NMMA ... to fight this onerous ruling," said MRAA chairman Glenn Mazzella, in a statement.

Courtesy of Trade Only
Old     (lmtwa)      Join Date: May 2001       09-22-2006, 1:24 PM Reply   
My first thought was "This is a joke.. where's the punchline?" I then did a Google search and found (many times) this judge's ruling. So apparently it is legit. HOWEVER, keep in mind that there are many whacko rulings that eventually get overturned. Let's hope this is one. However, it doesn't hurt to write your reps in Washington to let them know your feeling. My guess is that there are groups right now rallying to get this overturned.
But it's important we all stay tuned before something gets passed we can't deal with.
Old     (joshugan)      Join Date: Apr 2005       09-22-2006, 1:34 PM Reply   
That is a bummer but I'm sure it won't take long for it to be cleared up with almost no-one feeling the effects of it. (You might have a few yahoos telling you to keep off "their water" but don't let it bother you.)

Also remember that this effects riparian water states, which are mostly on the eastern half of the U.S. Western State's are nearly all governed by prior appropriation, not riparian water rights, so this has no effect on the westcoast.
Old     (jon4pres)      Join Date: May 2004       09-22-2006, 1:51 PM Reply   
What is the point of this bill. Most even crazy suits have a point. I don't understand how anyone benefits from this?

Boaters are screwed.
Land owners values drop because there is no reason to own lakefron property if you cant use it.

This sounds stupid.
Old     (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       09-22-2006, 3:43 PM Reply   
im with Jon plus if they make this ruling the Government better be sending me a check because they will be buying my boat from me since they made it a useless hunk of fiberglass...

I will get together a class action lawsuit for all boaters to join and sue for reasons that made thier boats Useless..
Old     (integrity640)      Join Date: Feb 2006       09-22-2006, 4:15 PM Reply   
Does that mean any lake connected to a river is illegal. I'm not clear by what they mean by "waterways". Can come one help me out>?
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       09-22-2006, 4:15 PM Reply   
Big Brother here we come!
Old     (offspringz28)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-23-2006, 10:18 AM Reply   
wont happen
Old     (sunsport)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-24-2006, 1:31 AM Reply   
Here is the link, really kind of strange:

Skiing made me board,
Chrome Dome


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