National Organization for Rivers and Vanessa Jones

National Organization for Rivers

In this day and age there are people and organizations that seem to strike a chord with each one of us. And when we truly get a chance to really talk to those people or meet with an organization we find kindred spirits and a passion for the same things. Recently, I was able to sit down and talk to one such person about an amazing organization that really got me excited. I hope that by the end of this post that you will feel the same both about Vanessa Jones and The National Organization for Rivers (NOR).

I was able to sit down and talk to Vanessa about herself and the goals of NOR. It was a very eye opening conversation and I felt it would be a good thing for everyone to be aware of the issues that NOR deals with. Following this post you will find links to NOR that you can use at your convenience to scan at a later date.

Vanessa Jones and Nate Dog
Photo Courtesy of Vanessa Jones

What attracted Vanessa to NOR and their mission was that she has been a kayaker for as long as she can remember. She started in a two-seater kayak with her father and traveled all over the place exploring different areas.  As she got older she got her own kayak and continued exploring. She has always loved the water and as time has gone on she has experienced what she called “pain to see access to what should be considered public water limited by individuals who do not understand the law of the land.”

Vanessa got started with NOR in April 2013 while studying Marketing at the University of Denver while on her way to completing her Masters in Marketing. Vanessa came across NOR during her Digital Marketing class and decided that the site that NOR was running at the time was in need of some help and then made the decision to make their site her project for the class.

Vanessa is currently the Director of Development for NOR and her position entails a number of different things currently. And what I found to be very cool about her is that her passion for rivers is foremost at the core of what she does. So this is no hobby that she working on or a passing fancy, no way no how!!

So what is the National Organization for Rivers (NOR)? NOR is an organization that exists on the premise that all navigable waterways belong to the public and that every citizen has access to all navigable waterways. They work to educate the public about the rights to water that we have been given by federal law. This education is presented via books, handouts, and posters, along with the NOR website that are all produced by this organization.

NOR came about in 1978 at a time when water rights issues were on the rise. Due to overriding misunderstandings about water right laws on navigable waterways the organizers of NOR decided that there needed to be a way to make sure that all users of waterways understood the laws that gave or prevented access to waters used recreationally or commercially.

NOR uses its focus on public education to spread the word of public use rights on all navigable rivers. And, it seems to be working quite well in many areas. There are some great examples of how NOR and it's mission is currently working on waters all over the country. Check out this link and you will see how things should work when it comes to river access issues, A Fisherman's Story.

Because of the materials that NOR has produced, Ed, the fisherman in the story was able to change the views of landowners and law enforcement in the communities he was fishing. They have produced handouts and books that anglers and all river users can carry with them if an issue arises. And some of their materials are free and downloadable. Included at the bottom of this post will be a number of their free handouts that you can download and carry with you.

So, what can an angler or river user of any kind do to help with the mission of NOR?

There are some very easy things you can do to advance the goals of NOR and protect your rights when on the water.

1. Print out the handouts from NOR and carry them with you so that if an incident arises with a landowner or law enforcement you have something that you can show them.

2. Join or Donate to NOR.

3. If you come across an issue on a river go to the NOR website and click on the Contact tab and make a report the issue to them.

4. Make sure that you let all river users know about NOR and what they can do as well.

NOR is a great organization and stands for the rights of all public users of navigable rivers around the nation! I will be actively working with NOR for the long haul to protect my rights and your rights as well. Keep any eye out for updates on this group in the days and weeks to come.

Downloadable Documents
National Organization for Rivers National Handout
National Organization for Rivers Colorado Handout

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