Most of us know of the endless fictional battle of the black spy against the white spy. Equally matched opponents of the dastardly coming up with increasingly sophisticated ways of doing each other in is the premise behind this Mad magazine cartoon. Spy vs Spy first appeared in Mad in 1961, and for those interested, here is a info link about the cartoon... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spy_vs._Spy
Those two spy's in the cartoon are about the only thing I remember about Mad magazine other than mascot Alfred E. Nueman, but a news item out of Colorado territory caught my eye that reminded me of it. The Colorado news involves a dispute about private property rights of a land development corporation and river rafting along the Taylor River.
According to the article, the large corporation purchased land along the Taylor River for an exclusive home type development with private fishing included with the purchase price. The problem comes from legal river rafting outfitters that float the Taylor, as the private property owner contends these "trespassers" leave trash and worse on the banks of the river. I'm sure that shouting raft passengers don't exactly fit in with a private fishing retreat either.
The outcome of the legal action of the private property owner against river rafters could be a big deal if the property owner wins. Even though the outfitters pay substantial permit fees to both state and federal agencies to carry folks down the public commons river and from public land to public land, they certainly don't own the rivers banks and bed through the private property. Colorado law says it's OK to float through private property as long you don't touch the banks and river bed, so the developer would seem to have an uphill battle.
Spy vs Spy never has a clear winner. Oh sure, one side usually wins the day, but never the war. Whatever happens with the Taylor River and it's rafters, a clear winner won't be found depending on your point of view. Either private property owners will have to deal with potentially obnoxious public waterway users, or private citizens will be forced off their public waterways in favor of private property rights.
So is it business interest against business interest, or private property rights versis public access? I just hope the outcome isn't determined by deep pockets!
You can read more about the debate here... http://www.gunnisontimes.com/index.php?content=C_news&newsid=6341