First off- Happy New Year! USAC has been gearing up for the 2022 Utah Legislative Session and we are pleased to announce that, through the hard work and sponsorship of Rep. Timothy D. Hawkes (R-Centerville), we have a navigable waters bill that we enthusiastically support.
House Bill 129 (a.k.a. H.B. 129) requires the State to determine whether a river is navigable where it flows through private lands, if requested to do so by members of the public. As everyone painfully knows, navigable rivers are the only ones we clearly have access to under the Public Waters Access Act of 2010. And right now, the only way to know whether a river is navigable is to spend many years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in court, as USAC successfully did on the Upper Weber River. H.B. 129 will make it much easier, cheaper and faster to get navigability determinations and will help break the present stalemate that is keeping the public from recreating on rivers to which we should lawfully have access.
The full version of the bill can be found HERE. Please take a moment to read through this SUMMARY OF THE BILL. This bill is a great opportunity, but does not mean we will give up the fight in the Courts.
HOW CAN I HELP? | CONTACT HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOW!
The first stop for H.B. 129 during this Legislative Session will be the House Rules Committee. First and foremost, we need everyone who lives in the district of one of the House Rules Committee members to contact their legislator now. As a constituent, your voice will have the greatest impact. We need you to tell your legislator why you support H.B. 129 and urge them to pass the bill out of Rules Committee and on to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee.
If you want to make an impact, it is best for you to speak to your legislator face to face. Next best is a phone call, and third best is an e-mail. If you can speak to your legislator in person or by phone, you can use these TALKING POINTS to make the case for H.B. 129. If you can only send an email, use the talking points to generate a personalized message—but don’t just copy and paste.
In all cases be sure to identify yourself as a constituent . For emails, do this in the subject line. For example, SUBJECT:HB 129 Input from a CONSTITUENT – Please Support This Bill! Always remember to include your name and address in the body of the message.
We also encourage communications from those of you who live outside the committee members’ districts, even though your comments won’t carry the same weight as a constituent. This is why, if you are a constituent of a House Rules Committee member, we need you to act now.
Here is a list of the the House Rules Committee Members:
If you are not sure who your legislators are, you can easily look them up by going to theUtah Legislature Home Page HERE, clicking the “My Legislators” button on the bottom right, and entering your address and zip code in the “Find My Legislators” Pop-Up Search Box.
We know that it can be intimidating to speak with your legislators. We get it, and we’ve been there. We also know the feeling of being overwhelmed with so much information to sift through. We know this issue is certainly complicated, but we have to rise to the occasion to make this happen. Don’t forget, your legislators work to represent YOU. They actually do want to hear from YOU!
Remember, The Utah Stream Access Coalition is a 100% volunteer, grassroots organization. We rely on your donations to keep this fight going. Please consider donating to USAC by clicking HERE.
Stay tuned for more emails as we build momentum for the legislative session in 2022. Follow us to stay connected for the latest information on Facebook or Instagram.