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Old 04-23-10, 09:16 AM   #1
smirus
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Trail Land Use Laws

Does anyone know where i could find or what the laws are concerning existing trails in a City Water Shed area? I have a trail in my area that people are trying to close. They claim it is against Federal law to have any type of recreational trails in a water shed. But i have been to many others. I have also heard rumors there is a law that if a trail has been in existence for a certain amount of time, it has to be allowed.

Thanks!
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Old 04-23-10, 09:45 AM   #2
Mauriceloridans
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See if you can get the "people... trying to close" to cite you the so called "Federal Law". That should stump them because you're right, there isn't one.

Your other question is state law specific and you didn't give your state.
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Old 04-23-10, 11:13 AM   #3
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IMBA should be able to help, watersheds are sometimes a protected area.
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Old 04-23-10, 11:26 AM   #4
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City watersheds are often carefully protected, and for good reason- their purpose is to assure a supply of clean water for the population. Seattle's Cedar River watershed, for example, has a strict no trespassing policy and is actively patrolled. I don't know if there are federal laws that limit or prevent public access to watersheds, but it's certainly possible there are state, county, or local laws that do so.

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Old 04-23-10, 11:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smirus View Post
Does anyone know where i could find or what the laws are concerning existing trails in a City Water Shed area? I have a trail in my area that people are trying to close. They claim it is against Federal law to have any type of recreational trails in a water shed. But i have been to many others. I have also heard rumors there is a law that if a trail has been in existence for a certain amount of time, it has to be allowed.

Thanks!
Those rumors are probably based on a misinterpertation of creating an easment by adverse use. Forget even trying that method if yuo are working against a government entity. Also the adverse part is important. The concept goes way back in commopn law, the idea was for things like trails to prevent a lot of the tings one sees with trails and water holes in westerns. For a landowner to prevent this all that is needed it to post a sign saying something like, use of trail is by permission, revokable at any time. To create such an easement one has to show regular use and in many cases all the owner has to do is prevent use one day a year.



I think the time is 7 years, and you have to prove use for that period. In short forget it.
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