There may be a new dawn in river and stream access in Colorado or access may forever disappear.

In the west, Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting.

When I moved to Colorado several decades ago, the biggest shock, I received was learning or attempting to understand Colorado’s water laws. In the Midwest, where I’m from, water was a problem: we worked to get rid of. My property law professor was an expert in field pipes. Water Pipes were pipes put into the ground by the federal government to help drain water from the fields. Any issues were over ownership, control and maintenance of the pipes, not the water that came out of them.

Colorado Water Laws were developed when the only use of water was for drinking, (when no whiskey was around), irrigating crops and mining. Until the last decade, use of water for any other purpose was not only a civil issue subjecting you to a suit for the loss of the water, but possible criminal action for theft.

In 1979 the Colorado Supreme Court Decision People v. Emmert, 198 Colo. 137; 597 P.2d 1025; 1979 Colo. LEXIS 814; 6 A.L.R.4th 1016 was decided, which allowed people to float on the surface, but not touch the sides or the banks of a river. That decision created an uneasiness that has survived, mostly allowing whitewater rafting, kayaking and canoeing in many areas.

Even so, many landowners disagreed with the decision. That disagreement was based on owning both sides of the land or “touching” the bottom of the river. Landowners would build dams so that a kayaker had no choice but to “touch” the bottom to get around the dam. When you saw a dam, you usually saw a sheriff’s deputy at the takeout ready to issue you a ticket.

If a landowner owned both sides of the river another trick, you would see is fencing strung across the river, sometimes with railroad ties attached to prevent boaters from paddling down the river. Most boaters called them death traps because getting caught in one could kill a kayaker.

However, the worst was paddling down the river and hearing shots or looking to the bank and see someone pointing a gun at you. At least once a year I would receive a call from a kayaker who had been threatened at the end of a gun for floating on a river or creek. Generally, there was nothing you could do. The district attorneys did not like prosecuting paddlers for trespass, (after a lot of phone calls form a lot of CO attorneys). At the same time, it was more difficult for them to prosecute a voter for “defending” their property.

The city of Golden took a bold step and was able to convince the Colorado Supreme Court that water had a recreation purpose. That allowed Golden and a dozen other cities to put in kayak parks. Until that decision, the park could be built, but there might not be any water in the park to float a boat.

However, in the rule areas, fencing and guns still ruled. However, this may be coming to a head. In an article published February 3, Who owns the bottom of the river? Lawsuit pitting fisherman against landowner on the Arkansas River could answer the question
a fisherman has taken the issue to court. The article exams a lawsuit filed by a fisherman against a landowner. Read the article to get the facts straight, but generally the fisherman was tired of having rocks thrown at him and threatened by a gun when he enters the river at a public location, a river put in and walks downstream fishing.

The landowner may not own the water, but he owns the bottom of the river, or so he claims. (The landowner was prosecuted for shooting at the fisherman!)

The Utah Supreme Court looked at this same issue several years ago and concluded the state owned the bottom of the river. Utah Stream Access Coalition, v. Orange Street Development, 2017 UT 82; 852 Utah Adv. Rep. 69; 2017 Utah LEXIS 200. However, the legislature then passed a law overturning the decision. See Recreational Use of Public Water on Private Property. You can’t fish on a stream in Utah, but Utah believes you should be able to mine our National Parks and Monuments.

How will the Federal District Court, where this case has been filed, rule? I have no idea; I’m not a court watcher. I want them to rule that standing on a river bottom is not a reason to get shot. I want them to rule that putting your hands down to get over a manmade dam is not a reason to be arrested for trespass. I want them to rule that it is 2018 and tourism is the larger employer, largest generator of jobs and the basis for Colorado’s economy and shooting tourists and locals should not be allowed because they can’t walk on the water.

Go here to read the complaint filed in this case: Complaint

Do Something

Keep your finger’s crossed, not much else we can do except watch and wait for the decision.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

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You Should Subscribe to Expedition News: Informative, Upbeat and Helping Push the Boundaries

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EXPEDITION NEWS, founded in 1994, is the monthly review of significant expeditions, research projects and newsworthy adventures. It is distributed online to media representatives, corporate sponsors, educators, research librarians, explorers, environmentalists, and outdoor enthusiasts. This forum on exploration covers projects that stimulate, motivate and educate.

March 2018 – Volume Twenty-Four, Number Three

Celebrating Our 24th Year!



Berua, one of the local guides you might meet along the Papua New Guinea trek. (Photo taken by Philipp Engelhorn in 2006)

Teammates Wanted for Papua New Guinea Trek

Author and television producer James Campbell is looking for six qualified backpackers to join him on a trek across the Papuan Peninsula of Papua New Guinea in June 2018. This will be Campbell’s second trip on the trail.

In 2006, Campbell organized a small team of outside adventurers to retrace, for the first time, the 150-mile WWII route of a battalion of American soldiers. Military historians call the 42-day trek “one of the cruelest in military history.” Navigating the same swamps, thick jungles, and 9,000-foot mountains, it took Campbell’s team 21 days to cover the distance from a village called Gabagaba on the Peninsula’s south coast to the village of Buna on the north coast.

This June, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Buna, which U.S. Army historians call the first major land victory of the Southwest Pacific, Campbell will repeat the trek. Inspired by Campbell’s 2006 journey, the PNG government is now considering setting aside a portion of the territory along the trail as a national wilderness park to protect the remote Highland villages as well as a mountain ecosystem that includes birds of paradise, tree kangaroos, cassowaries, native possums, and rare butterflies and orchids.

Campbell’s hope is that this repeat trek will provide the PNG government with the nudge it needs to establish the park.

Campbell’s 2006 trek was unsupported. Since then, an Australian company, Getaway Trekking, has set up an operation on the trail. Getaway is committed to preserving and protecting both the ecosystem and the local cultures. Getaway’s operating principle is that much of the money paid by future trekkers will go directly back into the villages for labor, food (from local gardens) and accommodation.

For Campbell’s three-week, June 2018 trek, Getaway will provide all logistical support. Costs include all in-country accommodation, transport, food on the trail, internal flights, and a personal carrier. Participants will be responsible for getting to and from PNG.

For more information: bogmoose, 608 333 1177.

Adventure Canada Partners with the Sedna Epic Expedition

Adventure Canada is partnering with the Sedna Epic Expedition, an international team of women – ocean explorers, scientists, artists, educators and scuba diving professionals -to scout, document, and record disappearing sea ice in the Arctic. The project will combine indigenous and scientific knowledge to document climate change while it empowers Inuit girls and young women in the Arctic.

Team Sedna will mount a snorkel and dive expedition aboard Adventure Canada’s vessel, the Ocean Endeavour, from August 6-17, 2018, during the Arctic Safari expedition to Nunavut and western Greenland. Adventure Canada embraces Inuit culture and traditions, and has successfully operated in the Arctic for more than 30 years.

“Sedna’s sea women, Inuit advisors, and young Inuit team members look forward to collaborating with Adventure Canada’s resource team, and to deliver our signature, hands-on ocean outreach program in Nunavut’s Inuit communities,” said Susan R. Eaton, the Calgary-based founder and leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition.


Route of the Ocean Endeavour in August 2018.

The experiential ocean outreach program for Inuit youth and elders will take place in Qausuittuq (Resolute) and Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) where Sedna’s sea women will showcase sea critters in mobile aquariums and lead underwater robot-building workshops and snorkel safaris, bringing the ocean to eye level for Inuit communities and Adventure Canada travelers.

During the Arctic Safari expedition, Sedna’s team will engage with passengers aboard the Ocean Endeavour, inviting them to participate in their citizen science ocean programs, including a ship-based marine mammal and seabird survey. The sea women will present lectures on topics ranging from climate change to maritime archaeology and underwater photography and videography.

For information about joining Sedna’s team of women explorers during Adventure Canada’s Arctic Safari, visit or call Susan R. Eaton at 403 605 0159. Learn more about Adventure Canada at

Science Guys

“When you explore, two things happen: you discover things and you have an adventure,” says science educator, mechanical engineer, television host, and New York Times bestselling author, William Sanford “Bill” Nye, who closed the 2018 American Library Association conference in Denver last month. He shared the stage with co-author Gregory Mone, a novelist, science journalist, speaker, and children’s book author.


Bill Nye (left) and Gregory Mone

As creator of the Emmy award-winning, syndicated television show Bill Nye the Science Guy, Nye first became a household name while introducing the millennial generation to science and engineering. He now appears in his much-anticipated return to the screen, in the Netflix series, Bill Nye Saves the World. Nye is on a mission to help foster a scientifically literate society.

Nicknamed the “Shiny Object Man,” Nye seems to be interested in everything. “Three things everyone wants,” he tells the librarians, “is clean water, electricity and the internet. Electricity is astonishing. It can process all this information and it can make toast.”

Mone has covered artificial intelligence, robots, physics, and biology as a magazine writer. In Jack and the Geniuses, inspired by the 100 volumes of Tom Swift books first published in 1910, Nye and Mone take middle-grade readers on a scientific adventure that features real-world science and scientific facts along with action and a mystery that will leave kids guessing until the end, making the books ideal for STEM education.

“We want Jack and the Geniuses to push back on the anti-science movement,” Nye says.

On the subject of alien life, Nye comments, “If we would find evidence of life on Mars or Europa (smallest of the four Galilean moons orbiting Jupiter), it would change the course of human history.”


“Space travel is the best thing we can do to extend the life of humanity. … I will go if I can be assured that SpaceX would go on without me . . . I’ve said I want to die on Mars, just not on impact.”

– Elon Musk, PayPal founder, Tesla CEO, and SpaceX CEO/CTO (Source: Vanity Fair, March 10, 2013


Adventure Scientists Help Adventurers Add Value

Wherever you travel, there are scientists desperate for data from around the world. You can provide an invaluable service – becoming the eyes and ears of researchers worldwide – by simply collecting data and shipping it back to a non-profit organization based in Bozeman, Montana, called Adventure Scientists.


Since its founding in 2011, Adventure Scientists has sent thousands of explorers and adventurers on missions to collect data from remote, difficult-to-access locations for its conservation partners. These partnerships have led to the discovery of more than three dozen new species, provided key information to guide climate change decision-making, and helped protect threatened wildlife habitat around the world.

Consider Expedition 196, an attempt to visit all the countries of the world. Without a purpose besides setting a Guinness World Record, it would have been merely an expensive stunt. But Cassandra De Pecol, 27, wanted to achieve more. She added legitimacy to her travel adventure by filling 33 separate liter-sized water sample bottles along her route and shipping them all back to Adventure Scientists for its study of the insidious proliferation of microplastics in the world’s oceans.

Microplastics – or plastic particles smaller than five millimeters in size – pose a significant environmental risk when they enter waterways, according to the Adventure Scientists website. The sources of these often microscopic particles can be from washing nylon apparel, cosmetics, even toothpaste, and debris such as plastic bottles and bags.

Sadly, Adventure Scientists found evidence of microplastics in an average 74% of samples received worldwide – 89% for saltwater samples, 51% for freshwater. The data is part of one of the largest microplastics studies on earth.

“The numbers are absolutely shocking,” Adventure Scientists founder and executive director Gregg Treinish tells the 2017 National Geographic Explorers Festival on June 16, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Treinish, 36, a wildlife biologist and backcountry guide who has hiked the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail and spent nearly two years hiking 7,800 miles along the Andes, wanted his journeys to make a difference, considering the enormous problems the world faces, from coral bleaching, illegal timber harvests, deforestation, and shark finning, to name a few issues. (See: )

“It’s important that this data is used to influence change,” Treinish says.

Take roadkill for instance, a sad fact-of-life for millions of animals each year. According to Treinish, researchers need annual data about wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) across the U.S. In 2011-2012, there were 1.23 million deer-vehicle collisions in the U.S., costing more than $4 billion in vehicle damage, according to State Farm.

With the necessary data, Treinish says they can identify which species are most at risk, whether any “hot spots” exist that are extraordinarily perilous to animals, and where to place wildlife underpasses and overpasses that in some locations have reduced roadkill deaths 80%.

Treinish, named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2013, said he founded Adventure Scientists in 2011 to link adventurers in hard-to-reach places to scientists who needed data from those locations.

“I started biological and ecological expeditioning, using my outdoor skill sets to make a difference in the world. I was sure that given the proper tools and a similar skill set, there were others like me.

“I have been proven right thousands of times ever since. Explorers come to us to have an adventure with a purpose. We send them on missions worldwide.”

In addition to the study of roadkill and microplastics, the organization has collected data about animal feces (scat) to study the antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus bacteria which exists within every animal on the planet, including humans; studied pikas in high alpine environments; researched how butterflies can be biodiversity indicators for ecosystem health; and is creating a genetic reference library of endangered trees along the U.S. West Coast.

Becoming an Adventure Scientist volunteer could possibly help explorers raise funds for their next project, and certainly provide much-needed data for researchers. It all starts by visiting their website and telling them where and when you plan to travel. There is no cost to participate. Adventure Scientists will even pay shipping costs for samples.

For more information:

Trip Report: Paddling the African Great Lakes

By Tamsin Venn, publisher, Atlantic Coastal Kayaker Magazine

In January, explorer Ross Exler, 31, set out on a quest to paddle the African Great Lakes. The goal was to paddle across the three largest: Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika, and Lake Victoria. Reportedly, the expedition would be the first unsupported, human powered, solo crossing of those lakes.


Ross Exler

The total distance is about 1,000 miles of kayaking and 600 miles of biking from lake to lake through remote regions of Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Good news. On Feb. 20, 2018, he started down Lake Tanganyika, having completed Lake Malawi, dubbed the “Lake of the Stars” by David Livingstone where the hundreds of lanterns fishermen use to attract the lake’s sardines, usipa, resembles stars in the sky.

He expects to complete the expedition sometime this month.

Exler, a resident of Manhasset, N.Y., notes, “Almost all of the people are dependent on the lake and the land around it for subsistence fishing and agriculture. Unfortunately, their practices are not sustainable. About half of the population is under 14, so the population is growing quickly and problems will just be exacerbated.”

Exler is completely self supported with the use of a folding expedition kayak, designed by Mark Eckhart of Long Haul Folding Kayak in Cedaredge, Colo., and a folding bicycle and trailer. The company’s goal is to provide a safe and reliable way to reach the most remote locations in the world.

He will work with The Nature Conservancy’s Tuungane Project, on Lake Tanganyika, that addresses the extreme poverty that underpins the region’s environmental degradation. TNC’s efforts are introducing fisheries education and management, terrestrial conservation, healthcare, women’s health services and education, agricultural training, and other efforts to increase the quality of life.

Exler plans to visit some of the project villages and team up on social media to try to get TNC’s work and general knowledge of the African Great Lakes in front of a larger audience.

For more information:,



Will Steger is on the move again.

There’s No Stopping Will Steger

There’s no stopping peripatetic explorer Will Steger of Ely, Minn. According to a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Mar. 1), Steger will take an unprecedented solo trek in Canadian Arctic Barren Lands, a place that, reportedly, no one has considered exploring at this time of year.

Starting March 21, the 73-year-old explorer will travel alone on a 1,000-mile, 70-day journey through the Barren Lands, a remote region in the Canadian Arctic with a nasty reputation for high wind. It will be Steger’s longest solo expedition and, he said, it will push him in ways like never before, according to the story by Scott Stowell.

To his knowledge, this trip will be the first time anyone has attempted to cross the Barrens’ rivers systems during breakup, that transitional weather period between winter and spring.

“Steger’s adventure will begin from the Chipewyan Indian village of Black Lake in northwestern Saskatchewan just east of Lake Athabasca. He plans to reach his final destination at the Caribou Inuit community of Baker Lake in Nunavut near Hudson Bay in early June. It’s likely Steger won’t encounter other people in the 1,000 miles between the two villages that bookend the expedition. He’ll be a minimum of three hours away from the nearest human by bush flight,” writes Stowell.

Steger says, “I need these breaks to regenerate. I think every human being should have [them]. Very few people take time out because they’re so busy they can’t afford it.”

Read the story here:


Mae Jemison appears in Boulder. (Photo by Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado)

“Space Isn’t Just for Rocket Scientists and Billionaires”

More than 1,200 guests – including bright-eyed elementary schoolers who aspire to be astronauts, inspired mid-career female scientists and fellow Star Trek fans – filed into an auditorium on the University of Colorado Boulder campus last month for a sold-out address by former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to go into space.

Her takeaway message: The challenges of space exploration mirror the challenges faced in the world today, and we all have a part to play in its success.

“Space isn’t just for rocket scientists and billionaires,” Jemison said. “We have to figure out how to make it accessible.”

Before flying on the Space Shuttle Endeavor in 1992, Jemison graduated from Stanford and Cornell universities, worked as a physician and served as a Peace Corps medical officer in West Africa. At 61, she is now principal of the 100 Year Starship, a U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) -funded project working to make human travel beyond the solar system a reality in the next century.

Future space exploration will be fundamentally different than the current model, she said, and will require all of the same elements – energy, food, medical care, even clothing – needed to sustain life on Earth. Achieving audacious goals in space demands the intelligence of a diverse array of contributors, not just a chosen few, she said.

She admitted she’s afraid of heights and had to determine whether she would rather be afraid of heights or be an astronaut.

Read more here:


Travel With Purpose Book Seeks Stories of Voluntourism

EN editor Jeff Blumenfeld is seeking examples of everyday people who devote a portion of their vacation, business or family travel to volunteer services. The most appropriate case studies will be included in his new book titled, Travel With Purpose (Rowman & Littlefield), expected out this fall. If you or a friend or loved one has given back in some way during travel, please contact him at editor.



Denali’s Raven

One of the stand out short documentaries presented during last month’s Boulder International Film Festival is Denali’s Raven, an intimate look at a female Alaskan bush pilot who was a former alpinist. Leighan Falley spent years as a ski guide and climber on the Alaskan range. But after becoming a mother, she quit guiding and took to the skies as a mountain pilot, bringing her daughter, named Skye, along for the ride. She works with Talkeetna Air Taxi.

“The transition from being an alpinist and going on expeditions and being a pilot is a good one because I could still go into the Alaskan range every single day and come home to my family every single night.”

A beautiful film, view it here:


These two Nepalis had their eyesight restored thanks to Dooley Intermed’s 2017 Gift of Sight Expedition.

Gorkha Gift of Sight Documentary

A team of leading ophthalmologists traveled last December to a remote region of Nepal to tend to the eye care needs of over 800 remote villagers in the Upper Gorkha region, near the epicenter of the massive earthquakes and aftershocks in 2015. Centered in the roadless town of Machhakola, the region has a population of over 600,000 and is currently without a dedicated eye care facility. Seventy-one sight-restoring surgeries were conducted. Expedition News was proud to be a part of the project.

The new 11-min. documentary was produced by Daniel Byers of Skyship Films. View it here:


Sailing Stories Return to The Explorers Club HQ, April 14, New York

On Apr. 14, 2018, The Explorers Club will host its annual Sailing Stories, a day focused on sailing-based exploration and conservation at its global headquarters in New York. Speakers include:

Pen Hadow, one of the world’s leading explorers of the Arctic Ocean. He led two, 50-ft. yachts into the North Pole’s international waters, the first non-icebreaking vessels in history to do so, to demonstrate the increasing accessibility and emerging threat to wildlife by the reduced sea-ice cover.

Richard Wilson, twice the oldest competitor in Vendée Globe, a single-handed (solo) non-stop yacht race around the world without assistance. Wilson will share how he uses sailing as an educational tool teaching and conveying positive values to children.


Sara Hastreiter

Sara Hastreiter, Volvo Ocean Race sailor, will discuss how sailing in this relentless 40,000 mile, nine month race around the planet, known as the Mt. Everest of sailing, inspired her monumental goal to sail all seven seas and climb the Seven Summits.

Carson Crain, skipper and team leader for the United States in the 2017 Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, will discuss the competitive dynamics in this extreme international sailing competition for under 25-year-old sailors.

Lincoln Paine, a maritime historian and author, will discuss his award-winning book The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (Vintage, 2015).

Tickets are $75 before Apr. 9. Purchase by emailing reservations or calling 212 628 8383.


Get Sponsored!

Hundreds of explorers and adventurers raise money each month to travel on world class expeditions to Mt. Everest, Nepal, Antarctica and elsewhere. Now the techniques they use to pay for their journeys are available to anyone who has a dream adventure project in mind, according to the book from Skyhorse Publishing called: Get Sponsored: A Funding Guide for Explorers, Adventurers and Would Be World Travelers.

Author Jeff Blumenfeld, an adventure marketing specialist who has represented 3M, Coleman, Du Pont, Lands’ End and Orvis, among others, shares techniques for securing sponsors for expeditions and adventures.

Buy it here:

Advertise in Expedition News – For more information: blumassoc

EXPEDITION NEWS is published by Blumenfeld and Associates, LLC, 1877 Broadway, Suite 100, Boulder, CO 80302 USA. Tel. 203 326 1200, editor. Editor/publisher: Jeff Blumenfeld. Research editor: Lee Kovel. ©2018 Blumenfeld and Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. ISSN: 1526-8977. Subscriptions: US$36/yr. available by e-mail only. Credit card payments accepted through blumassoc). Read EXPEDITION NEWS at Enjoy the

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Legal, Risk Management & Insurance Issues facing the Outdoor Recreation Industry as, I see it.

As the industry grows and matures, it is attracting litigation. Additionally, the industry is marketing and attracting more people with no real knowledge of the risk and as such are more willing to sue.

The Outdoor Recreation Industry is facing a lot of new as well as the same-old problems they have in the past. Two components are creating the problems. Most of the industry does not have trade associations looking out after their member’s interests, and the industry keeps shooting itself in the foot.

Overall, here are the big issues I see the industry facing in 2018.

  1. There has been a substantial increase in the number of lawsuits in the industry. I used to find 20 new lawsuits a year and had another 250 stretching back into the 1930’s I could write about. I figured I could write for about ten years and cover 90% of the issues. Now I’m finding 250 a year. I’m never going to run out of lawsuits to review and write about.
    1. That increase seems to be proportionally to the activities that advertise their sports, especially those that advertise to families or groups.
      1. Zip Lines
      2. Ropes or Challenge Courses (These first two items have their industry associations working harder to promote litigation against them, still, then to stop it.)
      3. Skiing (but mostly skier v. skier collision cases) If you can’t sue the ski area, sue your friend you were skiing with or someone you never met.
    2. There are some industries where the number of lawsuits is dropping.
      1. Skiing. There are fewer lawsuits against ski areas, there are more lawsuits between participants at ski areas.
      2. Whitewater rafting, seems to have fewer lawsuits, although that is also probably to a maturing of the sport, there are less people getting injured.
  2. The Plaintiff’s are getting more sophisticated and working harder at attacking releases. Prior to 2010 occasionally, you would see plaintiff’s attempting to have the release thrown out of the litigation. Now days you see every lawsuit attacking the release and a few of them winning. Enough plaintiffs are winning that it is encouraging other plaintiffs to sue and try to void the release they signed.
  3. We still have a large contingent of people attempting to try to make it harder to sue. However, this ultimately making it easy to win a lawsuit against the industry. It’s like building a terrific trench system during WWI. The trench worked perfectly unless you were overran and then your perfect trench becomes the best defense to your arguments or attacks.
  4. There are more product liability lawsuits, and more lawsuits based on the failure to properly understand or use a harness. Most of these are occurring in the climbing wall industry, a few in the ropes’ course industry.
  5. Individual sports are having no lawsuits still. However, that will soon change. As a recreational area grows in popularity a trade association or organization believing they can get good PR or increase their membership is creating standards, classes and ways to sue that never existed before. Soon you will have a way to sue a belayer while climbing on a wall or on the rock because a standard was created. The standard is the duty, that if violated by the belayer makes the belayer liable.
  6. California Proposition 65 is going to make life miserable for manufacturers.
  7. None of the trade associations are working to help the industry learn and stay away from litigation. No one announced the changes to California Proposition 65. However, that could cost companies in the recreation industry millions if not more. Threatening letters have already started to arrive in manufacturer’s mail boxes demanding money because the manufacturer did not follow or even know the rules.

This is not a complete list, but it is a lot. I’ll expand on some of these ideas through the year.

Hopefully, I’m wrong.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

To Comment Click on the Heading and go to the bottom of the page.

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By Recreation Law    James H. Moss

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I understand the emotions and concerns, but this law would create a nightmare for Search & Rescue, Fire & Law Enforcement.

If my adventures don’t include some type of “potentially life-threatening distress” I’m not having fun. SAR and EMS would follow me around just to cut down on phone calls.

A man died this summer when his “friends” allowed him to drown and disappeared. See Forrest Fenn treasure hunter Eric Ashby missing after rafting accident. Basically, a photographer saw the man in distress and did not report the issue. The friends of the man in his raft did not report him missing for ten days. His body was eventually found.

I’ve worked that section of the Arkansas River for fifteen years as a raft guide. That photographer on the bank, if the one identified in the article, sees hundreds of people in distress every day. They get pulled out of the river and continue rafting. A large percentage of the people are guides.

The photographer is looking upstream; the rescues occur downstream. The photographer is doing his job. On top of that, there is no cell phone coverage where the photographer is.

So, a group of the deceased friends are attempting to make a law requiring you to call 911 if you see someone “potentially life-threatening distress” you would have a duty to report it. See Eric’s Law: Friends of missing man seek legislation.

First off, your definition of life-threatening distress, my definition and the little old lady down the block are vastly different. People in my neighborhood send out emergency notices if they see a snake on the sidewalk. For them that is life threatening. (You should read my response to those posts……..)

In those situation’s Search and Rescue (SAR), Fire, Ambulances and law enforcement would be constantly chasing bad complaints.

The last thing I need is someone not understanding what I am doing calling in someone to yell at me for doing it because I’m stressing the idiot watching me.

I understand how frustrating it must be to lose a friend and believe someone saw them at a time when they could have been saved. Even so, it could have been saved is as nebulous as it gets, and it can only get worse. So there are a lot of flaws in this entire idea.

It has been long established in the law that there is no duty to rescue. Consequently, there is no duty to call 911. I still remember reading about that issue in law school. As an Eagle Scout and former EMT, that sort of bothered me. However, reading the case law, it made a lot of sense. As I’ve “grown” in this area of the law, I not only understand it more, I support it.

There is a duty to rescue if you are the person who put the person in peril. So a commercial raft guide has a duty to rescue people in his boat. A non-commercial guide may have a duty to rescue if he intentionally knocked someone out of his boat.

There are also some duties to rescue in some states. Spouses may have a duty to rescue the other spouse; Parents should rescue their children; common carriers have a duty to rescue their passengers,

There are several states that have an implied duty to rescue because they have created Good Samaritan laws for the people who call 911.

However, overall there is no requirement to call 911. Nor other than an isolated incident every decade, is there a need for such a law. 911 is inundated with calls as it is and rarely is a rescue required.

And the other issue underlying this entire discussion. Searching for Treasure!

And as far as searching for treasure; There are people wanting to stop that too! What idiots. Let me die having fun, doing the thing I want to do. If I don’t have the training and experience to get myself, home, that is my problem; Not the person who created the treasure hunt.

The western hemisphere was discovered because of treasure hunters. The US was founded based on looking for treasure. It is the very nature of our existence.

Quit allowing people to tell you to have fun, requiring you to have fun only their way and trying to get you arrested when you do have fun.

Pay attention to your state legislatures this year, if you want to continue in the outdoor recreation industry without the burdens, others would like to place on you.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

To Comment Click on the Heading and go to the bottom of the page.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn.

If you are interested in having me write your release, fill out this Information Form and Contract and send it to me.

Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

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By Recreation Law    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer,


I see franchises or businesses with multiple locations using the same release at all locations. You may be losing out on an opportunity, worse setting yourself up to lose 90% of the time.

If one of the states you have a location has better laws supporting the use of a release than your home state, change the jurisdiction and venture clause to that state. On top of getting better release law you’ll be less likely to have a jurisdiction and venue fight. If your jurisdiction and venue clause have no relationship to the defendant, the accident or location, you are probably going to have one anyway.


Jurisdiction and venue clauses are important in a release. Plaintiff’s are working harder at voiding the jurisdiction and venue clause in releases when they have little or no real relationship with where the accident happened.

If you are writing releases for a business with multiple locations, you might look at the jurisdiction and venue clause in each location in relation to the law of the location and the chances the plaintiff will be successful in his or her attempt to void the jurisdiction and venue clause.

Do Something

I argue, plead and write a lot about jurisdiction and venue clauses. They are the second most important clause in a release after the negligence clause. (See Jurisdiction and Venue (Forum Selection clauses) are extremely important in your releases.) A venue clause states where any lawsuit is going to be held, and the jurisdiction identifies the law to be applied. These sections or clauses have to have a relation to the location of the accident. (See Your Jurisdiction and Venue clause must be relevant to the possible location of the accident. Screw this up and you can void your release as occurred in this ski racing case.)

At the same time, not all states support releases the same way. Several states do not allow the use of releases. (See States that do not Support the Use of a Release.) Some states allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue. (See States that allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue.) And every state treats releases differently. Some making it much harder to write a release correctly then others.

On top of that you want to create a barrier, if possible, to a lot of litigation by making a lawsuit difficult for the plaintiff. Making the plaintiff find an attorney and litigate in a state where they do not live makes filing a lawsuit much more difficult. Many plaintiffs will spend years trying to sue in their own state. In Moki Mac River Expeditions v. Drugg, 221 S.W.3d 569; 2007 Tex. LEXIS 188; 50 Tex. Sup. J. 498, the plaintiff’s filed a lawsuit in Texas in 2001 and six years later the Texas Supreme Court dismissed it and sent it to Arizona where the trip occurred, and the accident happened.

Jurisdiction and venture clauses are critically important in a good release.

At the same time, cookie-cutter law is not good, even in some releases. In reviewing the reports of a fatality, the other day, I found the business release on line. The release had a jurisdiction and venue clause which sent the lawsuit back to California where the company office was. The fatality occurred in Colorado. Colorado and California law on releases is similar, both are supportive of releases and both allow a parent to sign away a minor’s right to sue.

The company had more than seventy facilities in North America, including several in states where releases are void. The home office is based in California, although that took some work to find, with a Utah area code for a phone number. On a hunch, I checked with the Utah Secretary of State and found several companies and corporations with the same name. Guessing, either the business started in Utah and moved to California or the business is based in Utah and using an office in California for the basis for jurisdiction and venue in its release.

If the latter is the case, the lawsuit, even with the release, it would be easy to bring suit in Utah and argue the lawsuit should be there.

Worse, the operations are franchised from a Utah or California home office, and the business is owned by a different group of entities or people within each state. Colorado has several companies with the name. Alternatively, every time the company opens a location it creates an LLC for each location.

Each of these creates the possibility of a good argument for voiding the jurisdiction and venue clause in the agreement. There is a better relationship between the parties, plaintiff and defendant, and more reasons to sue where the accident happened.

Either way, as you can see there are numerous ways to argue, successfully or not that the jurisdiction and venue clause should be ignored in a specific case.

What does this lead too? If the plaintiff’s attorney does a little investigation, they can start and make a good argument that the jurisdiction and venue clause should be in a different location, then where it says. Those arguments would be:

Whatever reason you need to write the jurisdiction and venue clause in a release, now days it has to have a greater relationship with the accident location because it will come under greater scrutiny that it did a few years ago.

Blanket cookie cutter releases will not work in the future. Plaintiffs have determined new ways to force possible defendants to come to their location to defend a lawsuit.

Make sure you understand the law of the state where you think you want the lawsuit or the law of the state where the lawsuit could be and pick the one with the greatest chance of success based on the law concerning releases and the issues of jurisdiction and venue.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

To Comment Click on the Heading and go to the bottom of the page.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn


If you are interested in having me write your release, fill out this Information Form and Contract and send it to me.

Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

To Purchase Go Here:

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Google+: +Recreation

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Mobile Site:

By Recreation Law    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer,


European Court of Justice decision allows Manufacturers to restrict sale of their products to retailers who will NOT sell online.

Manufacturers can now stop the sale of their products on sites like Amazon and eBay.

The decision maybe limited to the luxury products segment of the EU.

There is still a lot of unknowns concerning this decision. However, what most commentators do agree on is it is unlikely if not impossible for a Manufacturer or Distributor to be fined for placing restrictions on retailers. Because there is so many unanswered questions from the decision, and the decision leans to allowing the restrictions, the fines will not be triggered.

There seem to be two requirements the Manufacturer or Distributor must have to enforce the ban on sales.

(1) the resellers are chosen on the basis of objective criteria of a qualitative nature laid down uniformly for all potential resellers and are not applied in a discriminatory fashion; and

(2) the criteria laid down must not go beyond what is necessary.

Although a lot of the decision is still to be determined, the decision has allowed a sigh or relief on most manufacturers concerning their ability to restrict sales to online retailers and protect in their mind, the value of their goods.

What is not clear is the definition of luxury and how sweeping the decision is. Does “luxury” flow to the local stores or just high-end boutiques.

So this will be a wait and see as the courts work their way in tweaking and defining the decision.

You can read the original decision here: Judgment of the Court (First Chamber)

For more articles on the subject see:

Luxury Brands Win Right to Block Sale of Goods on Amazon in Europe

ECJ rules in favour of Coty over online sales ban

EU Court: Coty Verdict Strengthens Brands’ Position Against Online Platforms

What do you think? Leave a comment.

To Comment Click on the Heading and go to the bottom of the page.

Copyright 2017 Recreation Law (720) 334 8529

If you like this let your friends know or post it on FB, Twitter or LinkedIn


If you are interested in having me write your release, fill out this Information Form and Contract and send it to me.

Author: Outdoor Recreation Insurance, Risk Management and Law

To Purchase Go Here:

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Google+: +Recreation

Twitter: RecreationLaw

Facebook: Rec.Law.Now

Facebook Page: Outdoor Recreation & Adventure Travel Law


Mobile Site:

By Recreation Law    James H. Moss

#AdventureTourism, #AdventureTravelLaw, #AdventureTravelLawyer, #AttorneyatLaw, #Backpacking, #BicyclingLaw, #Camps, #ChallengeCourse, #ChallengeCourseLaw, #ChallengeCourseLawyer, #CyclingLaw, #FitnessLaw, #FitnessLawyer, #Hiking, #HumanPowered, #HumanPoweredRecreation, #IceClimbing, #JamesHMoss, #JimMoss, #Law, #Mountaineering, #Negligence, #OutdoorLaw, #OutdoorRecreationLaw, #OutsideLaw, #OutsideLawyer, #RecLaw, #Rec-Law, #RecLawBlog, #Rec-LawBlog, #RecLawyer, #RecreationalLawyer, #RecreationLaw, #RecreationLawBlog, #RecreationLawcom, #Recreation-Lawcom,, #RiskManagement, #RockClimbing, #RockClimbingLawyer, #RopesCourse, #RopesCourseLawyer, #SkiAreas, #Skiing, #SkiLaw, #Snowboarding, #SummerCamp, #Tourism, #TravelLaw, #YouthCamps, #ZipLineLawyer, EU, European Court of Justice, Coty, Amazon, eBay, Luxury,


Every Manufacturer worldwide selling in California must meet these new Labeling Requirements. New California Proposition 65 warnings will become effective in one year.

Get your labels up to date or it could be costly. Every product, item, think, sold in California must comply.

The Outdoor Industry has had its first notice letter mailed to a manufacturer based on California Proposition 65.

New Regulations for California Proposition 65 will affect products, websites and catalogs and in some cases the products itself. All products manufactured after August 30, 2018 sold in California must have this label on the product. Failure to conform can incur penalties of $2500 per day per violation of the law.

All products currently being sold in California that contain one of the known products must have a label on it now.


California Proposition 65 (California’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) requires products that contain any of a list of chemicals must have a warning label about the product. The list of chemicals on the list can be found here: Chemicals or Listed under Proposition 65. You can download a list of the chemicals here. There are currently 967 chemicals on the list and the list adds new chemicals yearly. However, there is a one-year grace period to comply with the required warnings after a chemical has been added to the list.

In the past, if you thought, your product might contain one of the chemicals on the list; you simply put the warning on the product. Those days are gone. Now, you MUST know all chemicals in your product. If your product contains one of the chemicals, you have to list at least one of the chemicals on your label. The broad approach to warning will no longer work.

The new labels have been created to counteract this mass labeling by requiring a list of the dangerous products in the product to be included in the warning. The labels must include a specific yellow triangle, a link to the California Proposition 65 website and other information.

The bigger problem is the list of chemical’s changes every year. In the past, it has changed several times during a year. However, the state of California seems to be attempting to limit the changes to yearly now, publishing the new list every July.

Warnings are broken down into two categories, those that may cause cancer and those that may harm an unborn fetus. The first group is identified as carcinogens. The second group is identified as reproductive toxicants.

The new warning will look like this if the chemical is on the list that might cause cancer:

If the chemical is on the list because it may injure a fetus the warning must look like this.

If your product contains chemicals that are on both lists, meaning the chemical can cause cancer or injury to a fetus, that warning must look like this.





This is a different warning if you place the warning directly on the product. If the warning contains both a carcinogen and a toxicant, the safe harbor warning will look like this.



However, this warning has minimum type size requirements. The type size must be a minimum of 6pt or nor smaller than the largest type size used for other consumer information on the product.


The New Warning and Requirement to list the known chemicals in the warning are not all that is now required. Warnings must also be posted in Catalogs and on websites. For catalog sales, the warning must be located in a position to be associated with the product that is being sold that contains the chemical. This means you can’t just post the warning in the beginning of the catalog; it must be on the page with the product.


Websites must have the warning on the same page as the product is being sold on. If not on the same page as the product, the warning must be communicated to consumers prior to finalizing the purchase.

My Thoughts.

I would urge you to adopt the new warnings and put them on your products now. Even though your product was manufactured prior to August 30, 2018, you may still be forced into a court of law to prove the manufacturing date. Plan now to put the new labels on and safe that possible nightmare.


What if I don’t sell products in California?

    You may not sell products in California. That is not the issue; the issue is if your product is sold in California, you will be the one paying the fines and penalties.

What if I label the products “Not for Sale in California?”

    When was the last time you read a label? Your product is labeled and sold to someone in Nevada, who then travels to a flea market in California. Again, you pay the fines.

What other ways are there around this?

    There aren’t any.

What if my manufacturer won’t tell me the chemical composition of the components in my product?

    Find a new manufacturer, quickly.

Based on current articles and reading there is no way around this. You either find out what is in your product, or you go out of business. If you don’t go out of business a lawyer or the State of California will put you out of business.

Speaking of that, the law allows law by private citizens to sue manufacturers for failing to comply. The citizen gets a portion of the money collected, and you pay for the attorney who sued you as well as your own attorney. There are law firms and “consumers” setting up and starting these lawsuits already.

One law firm purchased 60 outdoor products in one day from an online retailer. All of the products were tested and demand letters quickly went out. If you expect to hope no one will find your product, that is not going to happen.

Get ahead of the game.

If you want help with this email or call 720 334 8529.

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