Sunday, June 06, 2010
Securing paddleboater's legal rights to whitewater river kayaking, rafting and canoeing in California and Nevada.
Identifying the public right-of-ways and public easements that enable paddleboaters to legally access our navigable rivers and creeks.I advocate respecting the private property rights of local land owners while taking full advantage of the public's rights to access navigable rivers and creeks wherever that is legally permitted. Thoroughly researching your paddleboaters' legal rights in advance is critical to the success of many whitewater river paddleboating trips.
a) California's Public Right to Float describes the legal rights of the boating public to float on navigable streams which are all owned by the public.
b) River access is best done from public lands or from the property of tourism-related businesses. Where these are not available whitewater boaters often use state or county road bridges as river access points. There are typically public right-of-ways around these bridges to allow maintenance and safety inspections. These provide legal paths that paddleboaters can use to access the rivers. Contact the state or county government to determine exactly where the private property ends and the public right-of-way begins. Thoroughly knowing your boater's legal rights in advance is critical whenever you are confronted by local landowners or county sheriff officers.
c) Regardless of what is legal, some local landowners are determined to prevent all public access to rivers via public bridges adjacent to their property. Contact the local boating club, local boating equipment store, online boater discussion forums and read my whitewater river guides for information about river access locations where boaters and local landowners have had disagreements.
d) I will update my whitewater river guides whenever I learn about any locations where boaters have encountered river access problems, or alternative access points where there were no problems or fewer problems. Many of the river access locations in my whitewater river guides are estimated from old published sources or guessed from map inspection. Use your best judgment and all sources of information about where to secure safe and legal access to the rivers. Please contact me to send in your whitewater paddleboating trip reports. Help inform the boating community about your good or bad experiences at various river access points and help make these whitewater river guides more useful.
California Whitewater River Paddleboating Guides.• California Whitewater Boating Rivers & Creeks Guide - Geographic List.
• California Whitewater Boating Rivers & Creeks Guide - Alphabetical List.