Conservation news – Public Use Lawsuit – Jackson River

I have cut and pasted an important bit of information from an email of one of our Chapter Board members, please read:

Beau Beasly’s article on MidCurrent provides all the info – link to article ->

Jay / Randy – thank you very much for highlighting the Jackson river problem on the NVTU and Potomac River Smallmouth Club websites.

However, I would like to ask you to take a more aggressive approach to getting the word out and e-mail the following (or an edited version) to your respective mailing lists. This issue is too important to be passive and hope for people to visit the website.

Here is what I recommend you send:

Please join with us to fight for the right for anglers to use public water! We need to mobilize now to make a difference!

A developer is suing 3 anglers in Virginia for fishing a section of the Jackson River that the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries considers public. If the court rules in favor of the developer, rivers throughout Virginia will be off limits for recreational use at the whim of the riverfront landowner in spite of a Virginia law that places the riverbed under the ownership of the State. These things have a way of spreading, so an unfavorable decision could ripple nationwide as a horrible precedent.

The goal is to:

1) convince the Attorney General of Virginia to attach to the case to defend the public’s right to use its own river resources, and

2) raise a legal defense fund for the three anglers who don’t have deep pockets, to fight what is really a fight for all of us.  They will likely need up to $100,000 to conduct a proper defense through the trial and even more should the case get appealed and move through higher courts.  If they run out of money, we all lose.

Can you add your voice and support to the cause?  Please send an email to the Attorney General (KCUCCINELLI@OAG.STATE.VA.US) respectfully requesting that he throw the weight of the Commonwealth behind the defense.   In addition, we need a flood of donations – even a buck will help – here is the link to donate:  Please donate a much as you can.

The river defense website that has all the court documents and other information is at

Example email to cut and paste:

Use the subject of “Protect citizen access to Virginia’s Rivers”

Mr. Cuccinelli, I urge you to:

  • Join as Party Defendant in North South Development LLC, et. al. v. Garden, et. al., Alleghany County Circuit Court Case#CL11000043.
  • Be present at the July 25, 2011 hearing in Alleghany Circuit Court where the judge will hear arguments to compel the state to join.
  • Defend the interests of the people of Virginia to use and enjoy the Jackson River and any other rivers where injunctions may be sought to limit use.

Public use of rivers is under assault around the country from those who would privatize them and I urge you to protect the right of Virginia’s citizens to use their own rivers.

Thank you



Steve Moore

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