USAC Legal Update
A few members have brought it to our attention that while they support the cause of USAC, it would be nice to know what is going on with the Provo case. If you haven’t been there in a while, our website does have a “news” tab
where we update the membership. All of USAC’s legal and financial resources have focused on developing historical reports to answer the “threshold issue” the Utah Supreme Court outlined in its decision to remand the case: whether “there is a basis in historical fact — in the understanding of public easements in the late 19th century — for the easement recognized in Conatser.”
The Public Waters Access Act of 2010 curtailed public access to about 2,700 miles of Utah’s fishable waters. Winning the Weber case was the first step, opening up a small part of this total to public recreational use. If USAC prevails in the Provo case the public stands to gain access to the rest of these 2,700 miles for lawful recreational use. The fight continues, as it must.
Admittedly, this has been a slow process (as are most court battles that involve well-funded opponents), but USAC’s counsel is moving forward towards trial, which has not been set at this time. We want our membership to know what is going on, but we have to be mindful that our opponents can also see our posts and newsletters, so we purposely keep them vague.
We understand that it feels like we are always asking for donations from our members, but please know, your lawyers at USAC have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in billable hours because the cause means that much to them. The USAC Board of Directors are unpaid volunteers and are “working” board members. Our main guy “on the hill” spends his evenings, weekends, and many working hours lobbying the Utah legislature for support of public access to our waters statewide. Money donated to USAC goes to cover the expenses that can’t be offset by volunteer hours. It pays for critically important things, such as court filing and transcription fees and historical research — all required to keep fighting the good fight.
Our commitment to you is that we will get better at transparency of our efforts, but if you are ever feeling like you need to know what is going on, please contact us
and we will do our best to brief you. Thank you for your patience and support throughout this journey.