Outdoor enthusiasts want access, land owners want property protection

Headwaters of the Arkansas River basin. Photo: Brent Gardner-Smith/Aspen Journlaism

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Robert Boczkiewic):

A 76-year-old fly fisherman who likes to fish near the small town alleges the owners of a nearby home resorted to violence, including firing a gun, to stop him and friends from using the fishing spot.

The lawsuit alleges that Mark Everett Warsewa, the property owner who allegedly fired the gun, contends the riverbed at that spot is his property. Records show he is an appraiser for Fremont County government.

The fisherman, Roger Hill, attached to his lawsuit a hand-written note, which he says Warsewa wrote in 2012, that says: “Guys There are 63 miles of Public Water on the Arkansas River, Use Them! There are no easements on the River in this section. I know, I work for the Fremont County Assessors’s Office, You can and will be charged with trespassing! I have your plate number. I’ll have Sheriff Jim Beicker run it.”

Hill wants a judge to declare the riverbed belongs to the state of Colorado “so he can again safely fish at his favorite fishing spot,” his lawsuit states.

Hill, of Colorado Springs, filed the lawsuit in February in U.S. District Court in Denver. He said he wades into the river from public land.

Linda Joseph is also a defendant. The lawsuit says she and Warsewa, 60, own the property and home nearest the fishing spot, where Texas Creek flows into the Arkansas.

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