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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of June 11 - 17, 2003


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 access law.

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 bits.

The high courtís refusal wisely stopped the attempted robbery of the Westís outdoor treasures and rebuffed those who would seal them into private vaults.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.