Common Waters of Oregon

"All the Navigable Waters of the State shall be Common Highways and Forever Free"

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The attacks have come repeatedly in legislative bills. They also come when barbed wire is strung, and when travelers are harassed off sections of the river, or are wrongly arrested or prosecuted for trespass. They come in the media. They come at navigability studies, when outcry slows or stops the states review of the facts.

Attacks are most effective when people don't know their rights, and all river users are painted with a brush of criminal elements and theft.

Attacking our rights to be on the river is not a fix to the problems that landowners are complaining about. If landowners along HWY 99 or HWY 97 were complaining of litter, vandalism, and criminal mischief, we, as a state would not choose to close those highways to the public (essentially making private roads). Instead we would look at our options for better enforcement and education. Removing the public from the waterways of the state, is essentially privatizing the waterways. It's a direct attack on your rights to freely move over the waters of the state.

Legislative Attempts to Limit Historic River Use Rights

Senator Ted Ferrioli, the sponsor of 2005's Senate Bill 1028 and 1066, has been hammering at the rights of river users since he was elected nearly 10 years ago.

Here is a history of bills he has sponsored:

In the 1997 Legislative Session, it was Senate Bill 1140.
Had SB 1140 passed, if you were to step out of your boat or drop anchor, you would have been guilty of the crime of criminal trespass on riparian lands and punished by one year in jail, $5000 fine, or both; subsequent offense punished by maximum imprisonment of five years, $100,000 fine, or both.

In the 1999 Legislative Session, it was Senate Bill 1250.

In the 2001 Legislative Session, it was House Bill 3491 and House Bill 3741.

Among other things, HB 3741 said, "Gives public right to use beds and banks...for safe navigation and to fish unless landowner has posted signs indicating otherwise." The bill also would have required �forfeiture of sporting equipment upon conviction.�

In the 2003 Legislative Session, it was Senate Bill 293.

This bill would have created a "management plan" which would allow controlling access to the state's rivers.

Senator Ferrioli's 2005 bills, which we actively opposed, were SB 1028 and SB 1066.

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