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

Abstract

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

Blumm, Michael C., The Public Trust Doctrine and Access to a Navigable Lake from Public Parklands: A Law Professors' Amicus Brief (December 11, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3085697 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3085697

Michael C. Blumm (Contact Author)

Lewis & Clark Law School ( email )

10015 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland, OR 97219
United States
503-768-6824 (Phone)
503-768-6701 (Fax)

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