Permanent Public Access Secured on Missouri's Finley River

The Missouri Court of Appeals has rendered its verdict on the appeal of the decision in favor of public access to the Finley River at Lindenlure. In a unanimous ruling by all three judges, the August 2022 ruling in favor of public access was affirmed on every single point! PERMANENT PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE FINLEY RIVER AT LINDENLURE IS NOW SECURED!

Lindenlure gate closure

Lindenlure Gate Closure

Missouri BHA first joined the fight by supporting the River Access Coalition (RAC), spearheaded by David Romano, in January 2021 and began networking, fundraising and raising awareness of the unpermitted gate that was installed by landowners, Mike and Carla Adams, at the end of Canyon Road. This gate blocked access to a popular access point to the Finley River where families had learned to fish and swim for generations. Romano and two other landowners with land bordering the public access sued the county and the Adam’s family for illegally blocking the road and access to the river. On Aug. 26, 2021, the circuit court judge for Christian County ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, stating, “The Court finds that Canyon Road is a public road pursuant to common law dedication. … Alternatively, the Court finds that the public has a prescriptive easement to cross the Access Area to reach the Finley River.”

After nearly 3 years of the defendent's appeals, that decision has been affirmed. “We are so grateful to have had the chance to support RAC in this fight over the past few years and we are thrilled with the victory! Not only is it a great win for public access, but we have made great friends and allies with the RAC leadership team, and we look forwarding to working with them on more projects in the future!”, said Missouri BHA Chairman, Paul Keeven.

Romano issued a statement saying, "I want to thank my co-plaintiff Adam Evans and everyone who came together to make this happen, and especially the RAC officers and board members who worked tirelessly for this on behalf of the public. And with what we created, we will continue to organize cleanups and events to keep this treasure beautiful for all 🙂 We are also not in opposition to the landowners at Linden anymore -- with public access secured by law, we have the same interest in keeping our rivers clean and safe -- my river, your river, our river!"

 

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