Local Man Beats Feds Over Columbia River Island Access
Bradley Miltenberger of Echo, Oregon, (below Hermiston) drove up to Yakima three times to attend federal court and fight a $125 ticket. His gas and food probably cost more than that, but it was the principle of the thing. And he won.
Several years ago he got, and paid, a $300 ticket for allowing his kids to play on an island beach while boating. He was so upset he did research and discovered it's only illegal to "trespass" on Columbia River islands above the "normal high-water" line.
So when Fish & Wildlife officials ticketed him $125 last August for letting his kids play on a beach between Boardman and Irrigon, he fought back.
Federal officials say the "normal high-water" line is the pre-dam line -- 20 feet under the water. But the Army Corps of Engineers says the current water level's high mark is what they use -- which was 20 feet above the beach where Miltenberger's family played last August.
Miltenberger won the case, but it isn't clear if the judge agreed with him or just that the federal officials are not adequately warning the public of off-limit zones.
[Source: East Oregonian]