Utah stream access advocates win Weber River case

Hard fought and well earned, and only the first step in the ongoing Utah battle.
Weber River Utah

The Utah Stream Access Coalition (USAC), which has been fighting to restore public access to streams and rivers throughout Utah, took a significant stride forward on Friday when they were granted a win in the legal battle involving the Weber River. Judge Keith Kelly of Utah's 3rd District Court ruled to restore public access to the Weber, based on his determination that the Weber is indeed a navigable waterway where it crosses the landowner defendant's property.

In his decision, Kelly cited well documented historical records of the Weber in use to float timber down from the Uinta Mountains. According to Kelly, the Weber played a "significant role in developing the railroad and mining industries in northern Utah and the surrounding region."

The USAC has cautioned anglers not to "go grabbing your rod and reel quite yet", as clarifications are still pending on how and where the public will access the newly opened section of the Weber River. The USAC also reminded anglers to respect Utah's existing private property and trespass laws and serve as stewards of Utah's natural resources.

USAC also took the time to remind its supporters that the battle regarding Utah stream access will continue. USAC's Kris Olson noted that "while this is a significant win, we must not forget that this is only another step in a much longer journey. We still are prohibited from using what the Utah Constitution grants us, 'any waters of the State,' but this is a strong step in the right direction. The Provo Case goes to trial in late August, and the legislative session will follow shortly after. Be ready."