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  • Maggie Yerman
    ... All bridges are access points as long as you stay within the 66 foot right of way for the road.  A right of way is by definition, land that you, as a
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 1, 2013
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      > These were posted on facebook this weekend. Chuck Julian response follows.
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      >          Andy Williams <https://www.facebook.com/andy.williams.96995>
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      >
      >          We picked up two bags full of garbage yesterday, at the
      >          Seymore Rd. site. Was clearly not from paddlers, but
      >          fisherman. Still thought it would serve well to clean it up.
      >          Pick up your trash people. How about
      some signs throughout the
      >          route as reminders? Also , where can I find some rules and
      >          regs on right away to access points? Is there any?
      >
      >          <https://www.facebook.com/becky.sergentwilliams>
      >          Becky Sergent Williams
      >          <https://www.facebook.com/becky.sergentwilliams>Just went to
      >          seymour rd, got told by one side of the rivers landowner that
      >          this is all private property and there are no canoer access
      >          signs anywhere on the road or bridge stating otherwise.
      As i
      >          looked around, i realized there are no access signs. Ileft,
      >          what should i have done or said? I told him this map showed
      >          this as an access and he said "its wrong" then proceed to let
      >          loose about how all the "blacks" trash the shore with their
      >          fishing garbage. It was not enjoyable.
      >
      All bridges are access points as long as you stay within the 66 foot right of way for the road.  A right of way is by definition, land that you, as a member of the public, have the right to cross.  The land owners may not like it but they cannot stop you as long as you don't go further than 33 feet from the center line.  They cannot stop you any more than they can stop you from driving or walking down the road.  In addition, the courts have ruled that land below the normal high water mark of public waters is public right of way land.  You are allowed to walk along that regardless of what the land owner says.  A navigable river such as the Shiawassee is considered public waters and hence the British common law rule that you are allowed access comes into play. Once you are onto the part of the river that is below the high water mark, you are allowed to go beyond the 33' right of way of the road because of the right of way for the navigable water.  It is that law which, was decided upon by the Supreme Court, that allows people to walk below the normal high water mark of the great lakes, across beaches that land owners thought previously were strictly private.  Most law enforcement people will understand the 66' wide right of way.  Fewer will understand the rights of way that apply to Water Ways, so if you can avoid going on that land, you are better off.  You might want to bring a 50' tape with you so that you can measure just how far you can go without trouble.  Typically, telephone poles are put on the edge of the right of way, so they are a reasonable indication when you see them.  66' rights of way apply to most public roads.  In some cases, the rights of way are wider than 66', such as with divided highways. Private roads are another story.  Some areas allow rights of way as narrow as 20' on private roads.  Almost all private roads are posted as such.  Seymour Lake Road is a County road with a 66' right of way.  Most counties have GIS maps that show the road right of way on top of an areal photo.  You might want to stop by the county and see if they will print that portion off for you.  Since you will be able to see landmarks, it will be pretty clear where the right of way goes.  In some cases, the rights of way are wider at bridges due to the extra space needed to construct bridges.  A county may will show that if it is the case.  It will also show it if the County purchased a right of way that was larger to allow river access.

      Chuck Julian


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