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Ruby River Stream Access Case is Finally Over !

It is Over. The controversy on the Ruby River, a legal battle that that has continued for nearly twenty years, has finally been resolved. The last date for either side to appeal the case to a higher court has passed.

The latest verdict from the District Court establishing a 47 foot easement at the Seyler Lane Bridge has not been appealed to either the Montana Supreme Court or into the Federal Court system and the deadline for such an appeal has come and gone. The outcome favors the Public Land and Water Access Association in every case. There were three roads involved. Two were County Roads. One was established by prescription. At the end, the public can access the Ruby River at all three bridges as they cross the Ruby. The District Court established that the easement on the county roads was 60 feet wide and extended right across the river and the public could use that easement to access the water.

Seyler Lane, however, was a public road by public prescription but the judge acknowledged that if the county was responsible for safety, the easement would have to be wide enough to allow for inspection and repair of the bridge. The result was the granting of a 47 foot easement. That too was wide enough to allows for public access to the river.

Some might recall the lawyer for the landowner testifying before the Montana Supreme Court with the claim that his client owned the bottom of the river, the water in the river and the air above the river. And no one could be on that river when it passed through his property without his permission.

As you might recall the court told him he was all wet. (with public water).

related articles

Ruby River Stream Access Victory
( 07/01/2016 )   7/1/2016PLWA, once again, has been victorious in the battle for the public's stream access on the Ruby River, from the Seyler Lane Bridge, likely the original stagecoach route from Salt Lake City, north to Virginia City and Helena.It has been over a decade that PLWA (formerly known as PLAAI) has been involved in a lawsuit over public access to the Ruby River from Seyler Lane and the Seyler Bridge, a public prescriptive easement right-of-way in Madison County.

"Dark Money" Brought to Light
( 07/01/2016 )   The June-July, Newscasts section of Fly Fisherman reported on the recent investigation by Montana's Commissioner of Political Practices, Jonathan Motl, into a dark money campaign that could overturn Montana's Stream Access.Fly Fisherman recounted the Montana Growth Network's campaign contributions to District Judge Laurie McKinnon's run for our Montana Supreme Court.

public land issues

Seyler Lane Update
9/24/2015Seyler Bridge Easement - More Than Just RecreationUpdate - Kennedys attorney requested a postponement of the September 21 hearing.

Tenderfoot - Four Years and Counting
9/24/2015Tenderfoot Creek is a tributary of the Smith River, joining the Smith a mile or so north of Camp Baker.

    18 more public land issues

Seyler Lane

John Gibson PLWA President

Public Land/Water Access Association Inc. or PLWA, is a citizen group organized and operated under the Montana nonprofit corporation act.

Articles and Information on this site represent the opinion of the writer and are not intended as legal advice. Legal counsel may be needed in dealing with specific access situations and issues.
      PLWA.ORG   -   Public Land & Water Association