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By rivergeek
#1877358
As a sitting member of the current Devils River Working Group, this was forwarded to me by the Deputy Director of Parks.

http://tautologous.com/gallery2/v/travel/texas/Devils_River/ (whole slide show)
Photo #50 clearly self-incriminates this party for trespassing in early March 2013.
Image

This kind of activity makes it very difficult to negotiate with landowners, even as we attempt to begin to work out a designated camp site program. What will it take? There are already a thousand No Trespass signs there.

Here is the text of the Deputy Director's email: "Paddlers, Understandably, pictures and trespass like this make it hard to get any landowner to even consider a campsite on private property or to want to cooperate with the paddling community. Any ideas on how to get the word out that this is not only ‘not cool’, it’s illegal and makes it almost impossible to find common ground with landowners and paddlers…even law abiding paddlers. If I was the landowner here I would be royally upset (I’m not the land owner and I’m upset by this)…can you imagine someone’s dog pissing on your rock art?"

PS. I just talked to Gerald Bailey. He told me that a group today paddled past the Devils Back (Mile 29) takeout and made it another 2-3 miles to the weir dam. Although it is marked, apparently it needs to be decorously flagged. GB told them via cell phone they would have to paddle back upstream. GB has no access to the road to weir dam.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1877642
Another question would be is "If these are paddlers did they go through the Park or did they obtain private access and if they did go through the park does the shuttle operator recognize them or possibly the Park Ranger?".
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By Bigrock
#1877645
MudDuck...watch the slide show...it answers some of your questions. Having never been down the Devil's, the slide show will mean more to you than it did to me.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1877655
Bigrock wrote:MudDuck...watch the slide show...it answers some of your questions. Having never been down the Devil's, the slide show will mean more to you than it did to me.


Thanks Bigrock, With the new permitting rules Parks and Wildlife or the shuttle operator knows who they are. They should be sent Trespassing tickets in the mail for leaving the gradient boundary of the river.

I still wouldn't bring a dog!
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1877776
rivergeek wrote:The first slide in the show reveals that this group shuttled with Gerald's service.


Shuttle Operators are required by TPWD to keep a log of names and addresses of their paddlers.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1877790
BTW in the dogs defense I doubt he could "piss" on the petroglyphs 8+ vertical feet above. Also did the dog have to get a permit? :lol:
By rockin4m
#1878204
definetly looked like a real nice kayaking adventure, other than the tresspassing. sorry that some type of agreement could not be worked out with landowners. based on the current laws, am i to assume that you can get out anywhere at all on river except for designated sites? and i guess based on this post, there are no legal campsites on river?
if so that is a shame.
being a acreage owner. and having to deal with tresspassers from time to time. its a real pain in the butt.
my tractors have been vandalized, stolen starters, alternators, batteries. plus killing deer out of season. its really a pain.
i had one guy set up a feeder, i guess he figured i would not find it.
hopefully some day this can be worked out!!
By Jimbo_47
#1878274
I would imagine the landowners will probably stand firm for now knowing what is to come once easy access is given.
They are having trouble keeping people out now, and any easier access will mean more people and more trespassing.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1878317
Yep we forced the Comanches out and now some of us call ourselves "Landowners". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Devil's_River All the while we marvel at the pictographs left behind, fret about dogs pissing on them, call ancient hunter gatherers "art" private property, and some stand with guns to protect what we took a couple of centuries ago, from "trespassers". Isn't it ironic?
User avatar
By jhb
#1878917
MudDuck wrote:Yep we forced the Comanches out and now some of us call ourselves "Landowners". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Devil's_River All the while we marvel at the pictographs left behind, fret about dogs pissing on them, call ancient hunter gatherers "art" private property, and some stand with guns to protect what we took a couple of centuries ago, from "trespassers". Isn't it ironic?


Amen.
By dtrojcak
#1879055
dumas wrote:The Devil's River, last time I checked, is a navigable river. A river all Texans should be able to enjoy... not just a handful of pissy private landowners. Trespass is a criminal offense... been there, done it, on the Devil's. Actually I didn't break the law like those fellas did, but the law told me I was in the wrong where we camped on land (actually it was a rock) that happened to be owned by the head of the Devil's River Association (a real jack ass). And the law mailed me a ticket. And I didn't even leave the gradient boundary of the river. I decided to fight the ticket, because I didn't want two brothers and a cousin having criminal trespass on their records.

Didya win?

I would say these idiots went a little further than you did. Some people have absolutely no respect for others. The river is public land, where they were is not, plain and simple.
If anyone has an update to this story, please share. I would love to know that these trespassers were heavily fined and/or jailed.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1879172
Finn Maccumhail wrote:Never having been there, would this campsite be trespassing?

Image


Depends on who you ask. Since the Texas Govt Land Office has not surveyed the river its left to anyones interpretation of where the gradient boundary is.
By hook-line&sinker
#1880434
There are several treaties governing water and land the state of Texas operates under. Under one type of treaty (mostly out west) all the land is owned by the landowner including the river bed and only the water is public. Most of the populated parts of the state (east) are under the rules where the river bed and the water are public as long as they are designated navigable. The Texas Supreme court has ruled that even the ground water belongs to the landowner above it and is to be treated no different then other mineral rights. How a particular landowner got their land is of little consequence to the rules governing it. The Devils river is a pristine environment and if it is to stay that way it will have to be protected by limiting access to those who can afford it and prove they care enough to leave no trace and do no damage. Most of us can only dream about trips to remote places but it is those dreams that give us hope for tomorrow and the promise of another cast...
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By rivergeek
#1880459
MudDuck wrote:
Finn Maccumhail wrote:Never having been there, would this campsite be?

Maybe. Maybe not. GB can be nebulous to define, anywhere. Looks like an island camp in the upper stretch of DR.
By herroutdoors
#1880604
rivergeek wrote:
MudDuck wrote:
Finn Maccumhail wrote:Never having been there, would this campsite be?

Maybe. Maybe not. GB can be nebulous to define, anywhere. Looks like an island camp in the upper stretch of DR.

The Game Warden sees it ad trespassing.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1880667
hook-line&sinker wrote:There are several treaties governing water and land the state of Texas operates under. Under one type of treaty (mostly out west) all the land is owned by the landowner including the river bed and only the water is public. Most of the populated parts of the state (east) are under the rules where the river bed and the water are public as long as they are designated navigable. The Texas Supreme court has ruled that even the ground water belongs to the landowner above it and is to be treated no different then other mineral rights. How a particular landowner got their land is of little consequence to the rules governing it. The Devils river is a pristine environment and if it is to stay that way it will have to be protected by limiting access to those who can afford it and prove they care enough to leave no trace and do no damage. Most of us can only dream about trips to remote places but it is those dreams that give us hope for tomorrow and the promise of another cast...


I believe you are reciting a myth. Please cite the Supreme Court ruling you are referring to.

"The title of owners of beds of streams by the State or landowners does not determine property rights in the water. Assuming that the property owners here involved owned the stream beds, this does not deprive the State from reasonable regulations and control of navigable streams. A property owner, including holders of riparian rights, cannot unreasonably impair the public’s rights of navigation and access to and enjoyment of a navigable water course.
Adjudication of Upper Guadalupe Segment of Guadalupe River Basin, 625 S.W.2d 353, 362 (Tex.Civ.App. San Antonio 1981), aff’d, 642 S.W.2d 438 (1982)."

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/nonpwdpubs/water_issues/rivers/navigation/riddell/ownershipofbeds.phtml
By Jimbo_47
#1880668
With all those live trees I would say they might be in the flood plain, but definately not in the river bed. If it were an island those small trees wouldn't be standing due to past floods and with that said, I'd say the island argument is a weak one.
What I see from them posting those photos is that what they did was either pure ignorance, or just out and out defiance of the law.
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1880684
"Q: Some landowners in my county have deeds to the riverbed. Can they exclude the public from their part of the river?
A: Not if the river is navigable. The policy of the government of Texas, expressed in statute since the days of the Republic, has been to retain the beds of navigable streams as public property.13 However, the state surveyors did not always adhere to this law, and some land grants purported to include the beds of navigable streams. To remedy this situation, in a 1929 law known as the Small Bill, the state relinquished to the adjoining landowners certain property rights in the beds of some navigable streams. However, this statute declared that it did not impair the rights of the general public and the state in the waters of the streams.14 So even if a landowner's deed includes the bed of a navigable stream, and taxes are being paid on the bed, the public retains its right to use it as a navigable stream.

It is a fairly common myth that a person boating along a "Small Bill" stream may not set foot on the streambed if the landowner forbids it. This is based on the notion that a person who steps into the streambed has entered onto private property within the meaning of the criminal trespass law.15 This may have some applicability when the waters of a stream leave its banks and a boater navigates out of the streambed and steps onto the adjacent private lands, or on coastal land when tide waters cover private property. But the general public has the right to walk within the boundaries of any navigable streambed, even if there are private ownership rights under the Small Bill.16"

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/nonpwdpubs/water_issues/rivers/navigation/kennedy/kennedy_faq.phtml
User avatar
By MudDuck
#1880699
"Lawful Activities
The case of Dincans v. Keeran, 192 S.W. 603 (Tex.Civ.App. San Antonio 1917, no writ) recognized a public right to use the waters and shore line. In overturning the lower court’s decree for being too restrictive, the court stated:

[T]he trial court’s decree was too comprehensive [in that it] restrained appellants from the enjoyment of their lawful right to use the shore line of the navigable waters, which formed the western boundary of appellees’ land. ... Hunting, camping, and fishing are reasonable uses of the navigable waters and shore line.

Diversion Lake Club v. Heath, 126 Tex. 129, 86 S.W.2d 441, 445 (1935), stated:

Thus it is apparent that statutory navigable streams in Texas are public streams, and that their beds and waters are owned by the state in trust for the benefit and best interests of all the people, and subject to use by the public for navigation, fishing, and other lawful purposes, as fully and to the same extent that the beds and waters of streams navigable in fact are so owned and so held in trust and subject to such use.

Texas Attorney General’s Opinion S 208 (1956) concluded that the general public is authorized to walk down the dry or submerged bed of a navigable stream even if its bed is privately owned by virtue of the Small Bill (Article 5414a, R.C.S.) for the purpose of seining and fishing in water holes in the bed of the river. Such conduct was not a criminal trespass under the definition of the crime then in effect. "

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