Ashley

Loxley, AL

#1 Aug 18, 2008
This is such a big issue and it shouldnt be. Most of the riders either live on the river themselves or are family of those living on the river, so there is no trespassing on the land. People have been doing this for years and have never bothered anyone. There is only one man that lives on the river that has a problem and guess what, he owns a 4-wheeler and use to participate in the rides. So now that he feels "unwelcome" around the group he stirs up a big mess. People ride the river on canoes so why cant they be blammed for the litter in the river? All the blame has been put on ATVs and is getting out of hand. We have to put a stop to this!
Jason

United States

#2 Aug 18, 2008
I’m glad this topic has come up. I would like to know exactly what the issue is about. Is it Trespassing? Why is this all this taking place now? If it is trespassing why are many other ATV enthusiasts getting harassed by the Sheriffs Department and ticketed for such silly and outrageous acts, such as “No Horn”. Really? Wasting my hard earned money. I pay their salary just like everyone else. Please put my hard earned money to good use. Get your Meth makers under control for starters! That’s the ones we should be worrying about and having meetings about. I don’t appreciate my money being spent paying the salary of 4-10 officers sitting at the bridge burning up fuel on the clock. Issuing Citations for made up laws. Wasting valuable time and money. Time that could be spent getting the real criminals off the street. Is it really worth it? You do the math. I personally think that this is an inside job. I think somebody has a relative or “good buddy” that is a member of some Law enforcement, or Public Official. This person may have got their feelings hurt or even had a confrontation with someone down at the river in the past. Had some strings pulled and now it has become a topic.
Jason

United States

#3 Aug 18, 2008
You talk about :
There are two major concerns regarding the ATV's and 4 wheelers in the Escatawpa River watershed.
The 1st concern is the vehicle operators trespassing on private property -- the ATV operators must cross private property to access the Escatawpa River..((If a person is trespassing than ticket that individual for trespassing. Since when did public roads and easements of become private? I live on the river. Not all riders enter through private property. Lets think before we speak.))
• They tear down fences and POSTED signs.((Prosecute the individuals for the crimes committed.)) They harass and threaten landowners, their children and even grandchildren.((This should be taken care of by the Proper Authorities at the time it takes place, with the individuals that are involved.)) The ATV and 4 wheeler operators are often intoxicated or high on drugs.((If one is intoxicated or high on drugs, proceed with enforcing the law. Through proper procedures.)) They litter the river with trash and empty beer cans.((There are a lot of others that travel that river beside ATV riders. Lets not start pointing fingers. Who do you think travels the river and picks up the trash? What little trash that has been down there is being picked up by these ATV riders. Do you think that these ATV riders want to take their families to a nasty river? They are riding on that river for the same reasons that you live on it. Its beautiful! And they want to keep it that way TOO! I live on a private road with about 8 other houses on it. I know all 8 families. They all are very “clean people” and still we have trash that makes it to the road. It happens. Whether it be wild animals or the storm we had last night. We just all have to come together and try to keep it clean doing our part. Who else is going to do it? The Sheriffs Department? They are just looking for more ways to get money from me and you! Nobody even took the time to ask the Mobile group of ATV riders when their next Ride the River Clean-Up day was! Our friends at the Sheriffs Department will not let group down there now.)) Often there is activity going on until the early morning hours till 3:00 AM.((Again, Proceed with proper procedures. If one is breaking a law, I encourage my local law enforcement to take action. That is what I pay his/her salary for.)) This has become a very dangerous situation for landowners.((The Property these riders are on, You don’t own. If it is, proceed with taking action.))
Jason

United States

#4 Aug 18, 2008
• The 2nd concern is the damage the ATVs and 4 wheelers are causing to the Escatawpa River watershed system.((Riders have been riding that river since the early 80’s. And besides the trash, the river itself has only become more of an attraction.)) The Escatawpa River is an "impaired stream" because of mercury levels. Turbidity, pH and acidity levels are measured in this river.((Caused mostly by rain and surface run-off from highways not ATV’s.)) "Mudding" can damage a wildlife habitat, accelerate erosion and effect water quality. ATVs and 4x4s riding up and over embankments and operating in flowing streams creates unnecessary erosion and causes an increase in silt flowing into waterways.((Caused mostly by rain and surface run-off from highways not ATV’s.))((Again, Who do you think helps make that river as Beautiful as it is now? Who do you think helps keep it that way?))
What can be done to stop this?
• Sheriff Sam Cochran (who will not be receiving my vote for re-election) said that his department has already issued 135 citations based on calls from landowners. But the size of this problem is so large. Landowners can give the Sheriff's office access to their property so that trespassers can be caught. Also Sheriff Cochran (who will not be receiving my vote for re-election) advised the landowners to write letters to the District Judges as well as the District Attorney. Trespassing is a misdemeanor and carries a $1000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. These cases are brought before the District Judges.
• The game wardens explained that there are only 3 of them for this area. They need the landowners' help in gathering information such as where the trespassers enter and exit the river. There is a law that a person cannot operate a vehicle on State property -- the riverbed is State property.(HELD IN TRUST FOR THE PEOPLE!) 26 miles up the Escatawpa River is navigable.
• Representative Chad Fincher said that now is the time to start working on getting laws proposed for the next legislative session. Landowners can use liability issues to gain support from the Legislature on passing laws. We need a law similar to Mississippi's law that Governor Barber signed into law this past May -- no one can ride in a public waterway in the State of Mississippi.(So are there laws or not?? NO!) WE PAY OUR LAW ENFORCMENT TO ENFORCE THE LAW NOT INTERPRET IT!!
• Representative Rusty Glover commented that maybe we need to explore the idea of putting a local law into effect just for Mobile County.(AGAIN, AN INSIDE JOB!!) This would be easier to do than a law at the State level.(WONDER WHY?)
???? WHAT’S REALLY THE ISSUE HERE???????
• Some real interesting stuff
• http://www.nors.org/
• http:/www.adventuresports.com/ river/nors/us-law-public.htm
• http://www.adventuresports.com/river/nors/us-...
Jason

United States

#5 Aug 18, 2008
The 1st concern is the vehicle operators trespassing on private property -- the ATV operators must cross private property to access the Escatawpa River..((If a person is trespassing than ticket that individual for trespassing. Since when did public roads and easements of become private? I live on the river. Not all riders enter through private property. Lets think before we speak.))
• They tear down fences and POSTED signs.((Prosecute the individuals for the crimes committed.)) They harass and threaten landowners, their children and even grandchildren.((This should be taken care of by the Proper Authorities at the time it takes place, with the individuals that are involved.)) The ATV and 4 wheeler operators are often intoxicated or high on drugs.((If one is intoxicated or high on drugs, proceed with enforcing the law. Through proper procedures.)) They litter the river with trash and empty beer cans.((There are a lot of others that travel that river beside ATV riders. Lets not start pointing fingers. Who do you think travels the river and picks up the trash? What little trash that has been down there is being picked up by these ATV riders. Do you think that these ATV riders want to take their families to a nasty river? They are riding on that river for the same reasons that you live on it. Its beautiful! And they want to keep it that way TOO! I live on a private road with about 8 other houses on it. I know all 8 families. They all are very “clean people” and still we have trash that makes it to the road. It happens. Whether it be wild animals or the storm we had last night. We just all have to come together and try to keep it clean doing our part. Who else is going to do it? The Sheriffs Department? They are just looking for more ways to get money from me and you! Nobody even took the time to ask the Mobile group of ATV riders when their next Ride the River Clean-Up day was! Our friends at the Sheriffs Department will not let group down there now.)) Often there is activity going on until the early morning hours till 3:00 AM.((Again, Proceed with proper procedures. If one is breaking a law, I encourage my local law enforcement to take action. That is what I pay his/her salary for.)) This has become a very dangerous situation for landowners.((The Property these riders are on, You don’t own. If it is, proceed with taking action.))
Wilmer Resident

United States

#6 Aug 19, 2008
just to bring the topic back to the top (bump)
Mark

AOL

#7 Aug 20, 2008
Way to go Jason!
When I read the article of the meeting that we were not informed of I couldn’t believe how they judged all ATV riders as a whole as beer drinking dope heads that have no consideration for other peoples property! We ride with a group here that spends alot of time cleaning up the river other people leave behind. We also hold a ride annually for St Jude Hospital which has raised more than $3000.00 so far and have two bricks in front of the hospital to prove it.(4 wheeling Earville for St Jude) The ride consisted of over 90 4 wheelers which every one were issued trash bags to help in the clean up. Thanks to the Sheriffs Dept this year is cancelled! I’m wondering how many people in that meeting has ever held such an event to help in the cause? But yet we are the dope heads and beer drinking thugs! If this is suppose to be a meeting of the citizens of Semmes then why were we not informed of it? I do understand that land owners are having problems with this issue and if they have an issue with an individual trespassing then do what they have to do but don’t have the Sheriff Dept down here harassing anybody that has a 4 wheeler! I’ve been stopped on the bridge and hassled just because I had a 4 wheeler on the back of my truck. Others have been harassed and tickets wrote because of minute things like no horn or low tire pressure. Which by the way the Judge just yesterday dismissed the cases. Maybe I used the wrong wording instead of harassment its more like prejudice! Our group are law abiding citizens, land owners and business owners and tired of being treated like outlaws! And we are putting a organization and getting legal advise to put a stop to such harassments! And as far as Sam Cochran goes he needs to be reminded that we are registered voters also!
Jason

United States

#8 Aug 20, 2008
Another thing that I was thinking about. I know that there are many people that go to Escatawpa Hollow off 98. I by no means am throwing them under the bus, but I will use this area as an example. Why doesn't the Sheriff's Department have 10 officers down there? What make's Escatawpa Hollow off 98 different from where we are going? I brought my family down to the bridge off Mason Ferry and the cops stopped us and told us we'd be trespassing if we went down to the river to even swim entering from property I had permission to be on. The officer said that the river was State property. The owners of Escatawpa Hollow don't own the property underneath the bridge, it's easement, nor the river. The State does (held in trust for the people). It is obvious that the sheriff's department is picking and choosing where and against whom to enforce the "law".
Mark

AOL

#9 Aug 21, 2008
The Sheriff dept didn’t start harassing people on Mason Ferry Rd till a certain individual moved up here. He's the one that shoots over kids heads and nothing is never done about it. He's is also the one where the Sheriff Department spends hours sitting at his house on tax payers time sitting on the back deck. They may call it observing but we all seen it here and its not. I’m wondering if they know about certain meetings he holds down there. I'm sure the public would like to know. The Sheriff Department has often followed people down the road right on their bumper to the end of the road then turning around and leaving. That’s harassment! I've see this same individual with a spot light that shines over the river during hunting season. Also I know for a fact that his friend that was also in the meeting with him shot an alligator in the river. This is the kind of people that the Sheriff Department is backing!
Jason

United States

#10 Aug 22, 2008
Not only is this harrasment:

CODE OF ALABAMA
Code of Ethics for Public Officials,
Employees, etc.
Chapter 25 of Title 36
(Public Officers and Employees)
(Sections 36-25-1 through 36-25-30)

Section 36-25-5
Use of official position or office for personal gain.
(a) No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used his or her official position
or office to obtain personal gain for himself or herself, or family member of the public employee or
family member of the public official, or any business with which the person is associated unless
the use and gain are otherwise specifically authorized by law. Personal gain is achieved when the
public official, public employee, or a family member thereof receives, obtains, exerts control over,
or otherwise converts to personal use the object constituting such personal gain.
(b) Unless prohibited by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, nothing herein shall be construed
to prohibit a public official from introducing bills, ordinances, resolutions, or other legislative
matters, serving on committees, or making statements or taking action in the exercise of his or her
duties as a public official. A member of a legislative body may not vote for any legislation in
which he or she knows or should have known that he or she has a conflict of interest.
Jason

United States

#11 Aug 22, 2008
(c) No public official or public employee shall use or cause to be used equipment, facilities, time,
materials, human labor, or other public property under his or her discretion or control for the
private benefit or business benefit of the public official, public employee, any other person, or
principal campaign committee as defined in Section 17-22A-2, which would materially affect his
or her financial interest, except as otherwise provided by law or as provided pursuant to a lawful
employment agreement regulated by agency policy. Provided, however, nothing in this subsection
shall be deemed to limit or otherwise prohibit communication between public officials or public
employees and eleemosynary or membership organizations or such organizations communicating
with public officials or public employees.
(d) No person shall solicit a public official or public employee to use or cause to be used
equipment, facilities, time, materials, human labor, or other public property for such person's
private benefit or business benefit, which would materially affect his or her financial interest,
except as otherwise provided by law.
(e) No public official or public employee shall, other than in the ordinary course of business,
solicit a thing of value from a subordinate or person or business with whom he or she directly
inspects, regulates, or supervises in his or her official capacity.
(f) A conflict of interest shall exist when a member of a legislative body, public official, or public
employee has a substantial financial interest by reason of ownership of, control of, or the exercise
of power over any interest greater than five percent of the value of any corporation, company,
association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or any other business entity of any kind or
character which is uniquely affected by proposed or pending legislation; or who is an officer or
director for any such corporation, company, association, or firm, partnership, proprietorship, or
any other business entity of any kind or character which is uniquely affected by proposed or
pending legislation.

Since: Jul 08

Semmes, AL

#12 Aug 24, 2008
I think what was posted was misunderstood by many. It's not the "regular" ATV operators that are a problem for the residents of Earlville. It's the ones that are drunk, high on drugs, partying until 3 AM ... that's the ones. It's the crazys that are naked on the sand bars having sex, crapping on the sand bars, whizzing on the sand bars right outside of the resident's homes.... It's the drunks who start "circling" residents on the ATV's -- residents who are enjoying the river with their grandchildren.

You say "call the authorities" on these people. Well, the residents do. But though alot of this area and on up and down the river, how exactly is a deputy going to capture just one person doing this. It's not like the ATV's have unique tag numbers for identification purposes. Also, I think it's going to take deputies on horses and ATV's to stop all of this.

Put yourself in the shoes of someone who lives in Earlville, on the river, going with their grandchildren on a Saturday to the river to enjoy nature and play in the water. Then add about 6 ATV's with drunk drivers running through the river and sand bars that just about run over you and your family. Now add them stopping to urinate in plan view of your 6 year old granddaughter. Or better yet, strip off and have sex right there in front of everyone. Or, maybe they are partying until 2 AM while you need to get some sleep and go to work the next day.

I personally would be afraid to live in a place like that. It's not like that all the time from what I've been told. And these residents don't have a problem with people who are enjoying the river and NOT tearing up, littering, urinating and crapping in plain view (not to mention having sex), and running up and down the river with LOUD ATV's until 2 AM.

The river is a navigatable waterway 26 miles up stream. You would feel no different than these residents if this was happening on the navigatable street that you live on. And there are laws against operating a vehicle on a street while you are intoxicated. There are laws against urinating in public and exposing yourself. There are laws against having sex in plain sight of 6 year olds. There are laws against disturbing the peace -- especially at 2 AM in the morning.

These residents are fighting the kind of problems that I mentioned above. If you are not guilty of doing this things, well they have no problem with you.

And, some of these property owners' deeds give them ownership of property to the MIDDLE of the river. So, for these that can provide proof that this is their property, then it can be called trespassing.

These residents just want the drunks, druggies and trouble makers to stop. That is all they are asking for. You would want the same if this was happening in your back yard.
CHRIS AND FAMILY

Columbia, SC

#13 Aug 24, 2008
Me and my family have rode the Escatawpa river going on six years now. We go down there to enjoy ourselves let go of the things that have happened during the week, basicaly just relax. We ride with a group that lives down there. We all respect the waters we pick up trash when we see it and leave nothing but a footprint. I understand there are some that come and leave trash, think it is just a peice of dirt to stomp on. We are not like that there are not many places left to relax like this due to disrespectful riders, we should not be punished for there actions. we are trying to do as much as we can to keep the river clean to provide an enjoyable place of comfort. The sherrifs get called every weekend by a man who hides his real self. We are not the ones who hold certain meetings nor do we shoot at familys passing by our house, but it is ok for him to perform these activities. I am not asking this man to leave the river just share this relaxing place of enjoyment, and to think about his self before targeting harmless riders.
please

Corbin, KY

#14 Aug 25, 2008
yeah
Jason

United States

#15 Aug 26, 2008
If the physical characteristics of the river are such that it meets the federal test of title navigability, it is public land up to the ordinary high water line. Since a deed can only convey interests actually owned by the seller, and since the bed and banks of all navigable rivers passed to the states at the time of statehood, it is likely that the state is the true owner. The state's ownership is a "prior existing right" and is frequently mentioned as such on deeds. Somewhere along the chain of property transactions, a deed may have been changed to include the riverbed. Unfortunately, if this happened it was likely done incorrectly.

In some states the property owner next to a river may have certain rights, such as the right to construct a small dock that extends onto the public land at the edge of the river.

Note that a determination that a river is navigable for title purposes is not a "taking" of private property under the U.S. Constitution-the river and the land along it were public land all along. A "taking" can only occur if the land in question was clearly privately owned in the first place.
Jason

United States

#16 Aug 27, 2008
I would like to see a group of riders get together and plan another trip down the river. I think by now everyone knows that there is no such law in the State of Alabama that says these ATV riders can not be down there. Understanding there is private property at the high waterline and beyond. I believe these riders are acutally helping this river by traveling it and cleaning more than trashing.

My major concern about this whole situation is the fact that the Sheriffs Department is wasting not only my money, but your money also! This doesnt bother you that your paying these officers to sit down there all day for such a ridiculas reason? While someones house is being broken into right off Lott Rd. What about the responce time? What about these Meth Labs? The real problem in Semmes/Wilmer/Georgetown! Im pretty sure there is enough real crime going on to keep these officers busy. One more reason for me to believe that its not what you know, its who you know! Anywhere from 4-10 officers at a road block at the river on an old dirt road? Fighting TRESPASSING?? Almost sounds like a Serial Killer is on the loose!. Really?..

And I'm going to leave these "Special Meetings" mentioned in previous posts alone. Dont know....Dont want to know.
Jason

United States

#17 Sep 3, 2008
I guess I might of touched a nerve. Either that or it really isn't the problem that it was made out to be.
Jason

United States

#18 Jan 19, 2009
Looks like someone is gonna get rich off your ignorance. Styxx River has opened an ATV/Motorcross Park! And you know what else??? They have over a mile of river riding! And you know what else?? They have the laws right on there website. "As defined by law, the river and river bed, including all sandbars and beaches, are considered public property. We ask that you stay within these borders. Do not trespass on Private Property." That just proves the point once more. I'll be sure to spread the word for this coming season! I will be on Escatawpa this summer once again! And as far as the leagal issue goes, My attorney is on standby waiting for any of the problems that were encountered last year to surface. By law "I" and "everyone else" owns that river!! Now lets go and have a good time and enjoy the river before it dissapeares. Condos and Hotels are coming soon!!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Semmes Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Review: J.B. Robinson Jewelers Aug 23 Mary Lympkin 1
News Citronelle murder suspect arrives in Mobile, sa... Aug 23 lrq88 1
Rev. Michael g admins to public Aug 23 Michael G Adkins 9
God now approves of Same-sex-marriage!. (Sep '13) Aug 21 Michael G Adkins 12
sad Aug 20 just read 1
For Women Only Aug 19 Cool 2
Review: Deas Millwork (Mar '15) Mar '15 Mobile Homeowner 1

Semmes Jobs

More from around the web

Personal Finance

Semmes Mortgages