The Public Trust Doctrine and Access to a Navigable Lake from Public Parklands: A Law Professors' Amicus Brief
70 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2017 Last revised: 22 Apr 2018
Date Written: December 11, 2017
This brief to the Oregon Supreme Court, signed by over 60 law professors and 5 public access organizations, challenges the decision of lower Oregon courts ruling that a municipality -- supported by the state -- could restrict public access from public parks surrounding a navigable lake under Oregon law to residents of the city. The brief relies on the Oregon Statehood Act and considerable Oregon judicial precedent to argue that public access from public lands to public waters is a cardinal principle of Oregon law, emphasizing the state's public trust doctrine as well as the state's Privileges and Immunities Clause. Among other things, the brief argues that the public trust doctrine applies to parklands adjacent to navigable waters, local governments, and to privately owned submerged lands.
Keywords: public trust doctrine, public access, navigable waters, public property, natural resouces law
JEL Classification: H1, H77, H82, N5, N7, Q25, Q22, Q24, Q25, Q28, Q58, Z18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation