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The Insatiable Thirst for Access

The Insatiable Thirst for Access

By Terry L. Anderson

When the Montana Supreme Court issued its decision regarding access for floating the Dearborn and Beaverhead Rivers in 1984, no one could have imagined the battles that would ensue over the next 30 years. Not only did the court ruling open most Montana’s rivers and streams to recreation “without regard to streambed ownership or navigability,” it laid the foundation for invoking the “public trust doctrine” in a myriad of resource policy debates.

That doctrine was invoked in the 1984 Supreme Court decision on the grounds that the Montana Cons...

 

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