LOWER SWAN RIVER ACCESS CLOSED TO PUBLIC
The Lower Swan River access at Rainbow Drive has been permanently closed and there are now NO TRESPASSING signs displayed. The land owners complained to the Lake County commissioner about crowds, parking, garbage etc…
I know a lot of local responsible folks who enjoyed using this access regularly who would like to see it re-open. The problem is not going to disappear by closing this public access. Closing this access will only shift the problem down stream to the S. Ferndale Drive Bridge where parking is even more limited and boat access is difficult. S. Ferndale Drive also sees more automobile traffic which will cause conflicts with floaters, fisherman, and trailers as this access abuts the road. Rumor has it they will eventually kelly-hump and limit access and parking at the bridge too. The long term goal is to shift recreation traffic to the FWP site a couple miles down river, cutting our float in half. This float is only 4 miles long and to loose half of it would be a BIG bummer for the local community.
Anyone who wants this access to remain open should CALL AND EMAIL the Lake County Commissioner and let him know how you feel.
Lake County Commissioner
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I will definitely call that commissioner cat…
We continually comment how wonderful living in Bigfork has been without the typical NO trespassing, NO swimming, NO fishing, (NO fun) signs that are common in other states.Each summer we bring friends to float the Swan at Rainbow Drive – our favorite place to go! It breaks my heart to see this closed. A FEW inconsiderate people shouldn’t ruin this beautiful part of the river for everyone. Please do the right thing and reopen this wonderful access!
There has to be another solution. Closing the only logical access will cause folks to get creative finding less desirable places to put in the river and shift the problems to others. Instead of closing this access, allow the community to be involved in finding ways to keep it open.
This site was closed by Lake County with no public announcement or notification and call for comment. Are we dealing with an action precipitated by a few “contributors” to another suspect politician? This site has been available for at least the last 50 years for a fishing access and is now posted “No trespassing” – a public access – publically owned – BY WHAT AUTHORITY?? Those of us who do not reside in Lake County have no voice in this – however many of us support and do business with Lake County merchants and businesses who DO have a voice. Perhaps a movement to boycott Lake County business might get a response from those who do vote for these clowns who pander to whoever supports their political campaigns. Anyone who may object to these comments can reach me locally 837-0884.
I completely agree with the comments already mentioned. There is a solution to this problem other than giving way to the people who are complaining that probably don’t even live here full time. I will continue to float that river now and as long as I’m alive. It’s gonna take a lot more than a sign to stop me. Lake county should in their infinite wisdom look into purchasing the surrounding land and expand the parking. Because we all know the 5 parking spots that are currently there is nowhere near enough room for the 1000’s of people who pass through it in the last few months of summer. Come on lake county, do the right thing!
I can sympathize with the land owners when it comes to dealing with the public at river access points. However, the problem is not going away and the FWP site down river won’t ever get used. The Montana Stream Access Law will always protect public access at the S.Ferndale Drive Bridge so all of this traffic will just divert there and we are back to square one. It needs to be dealt with at the current location, shifting it down stream 150yrds will just make things worse as this is a well traveled one lane bridge. I’m not really sure what the solution is but the FWP site is absolutely NOT the answer. Expanding the parking and enforcing the no parking rules is a start.
CC: ‘ ([email protected])’
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to you as a Bigfork resident. I do not know the reason/s for closing the public access on Rainbow Drive. Public access has already been limited do to poor planning on the county’s part. Granted, those decisions were made before your time, but that puts more of a burden on you to ensure that every effort is made to resolve the issue. If it means buying private property to increase public access, I believe that should be considered. As a taxpaying, voting, Montana homeowner I assure you that I will not only lobby the county, but my neighbors, our state legislature, and even legal counsel to examine this closure.
Other concessions could be made to local landowners, including banning alcohol and heavily enforcing this on occasions, issuing citations to those violating these conditions. I have a feeling the drunken few are making matters much worse for the rest of the community. That’s what the read in the Eagle would seem to indicate.