Court stops robbery
The U.S. Supreme Court just
stopped a robbery.
Idahoans who spend their free
time enjoying rivers and streams should heave a sigh of relief.
The court recently refused to
review an appeal by Montana landowners that challenged the stateís 1985 stream
The law preserves the area on
a stream bank between the waterís edge and the high-water mark for public use.
Idaho has a similar law,
which would have been in trouble had the Montana challenge succeeded.
The landowners claimed the
streamside areas as their own. They said Montanaís law unconstitutionally
deprived them of property.
A high court endorsement of
this blatant land-and-water grab would have been like stringing thousands of
miles of barbed wire along Idaho and Montana streams. It would have given
constitutional protection to "No Trespassing" signs along every foot
of stream bank outside national parks and forests.
Small town economies that
rely on visitors to the rivers that run through them would have been smashed to
The high courtís refusal
wisely stopped the attempted robbery of the Westís outdoor treasures and
rebuffed those who would seal them into private vaults.