The “battle” of owning the water rights on Craigs Creek is continuing for the next few months.
Families are joining together to try and assure that the pleasure of using a creek remains intact.
Though uncleanliness from people using the creek happens, it still appears the overall preference is to keep the waterway open for all to enjoy.
Several families have commented on the water rights issue:
- “The creek should be able to be enjoyed by all, but those using the creek need to respect the properties they go past as they float on by, enjoying Gods creation.” – Carol Looney.
“I grew up on this creek. I remember my grandmother Violet Reynolds Dudding floating and reading a book, but it was just her on her own, no kayak. I think only God can dictate the water ways because He is the one who created them for all of us to use. I find it sad that I cannot go to property that my grandmother’s family use to own, so I can show my granddaughter where I spent my summers. Plus, I remember Camp On Craig and them teaching us at summer camp how to canoe. I love the escape of being at the creek and around water. It is just a peaceful time. I hate that people who own all these properties wants to try to control water ways because they own both sides of the creek banks. I hope this court case gets thrown out and people get to enjoy the creek for years to come.” – Brenda Lipes
- “There’s already nothing for kids to do so let’s just take that from them too!?…Not all children play video games all day. Some like to fish, kayak and just float. That’s one of our biggest family things to do during the summer.” – Chastity Phoenix Sirry
- “I don’t see how anyone could own the water.” – Samuel Catterton
- “I think it’s shameful that anyone would try to take that away from everyone.” – Kelly Kreps Thomas
- “I think it is really sad that someone is trying to block the creek.” – Jean Elmore
- “No one person owns the water, just the property on either side or both sides. The state “owns” the creed/river waters and the right to fish in navigable waters, so this makes them available for public to use them and enjoy them. As long as the person(s) do NOT get out onto the owner’s property and are just floating by, then I don’t see how they can stop anyone from floating by their property. If people are breaking the law, then that is what the law enforcement are there for. I know this has been taken to court before and a land owner lost and he did own property on both sides for several miles along the creek. I don’t understand how the law would have changed from then to now.” – Stephanie Snider Looney
- “No one owns the creek. This has been tried before. It is navigational water.” – Lee Looney
- “Me and my siblings stayed on the creek when we were kids and we loved it! We swam, fished and that was our life growing up. I think it is wrong to try to stop people from using the creek for enjoyment.” – Carolyn Sue Via
- “I’m not defending anyone that is trying to stop people from kayaking/floating, but the landowners own the pay the taxes on the land under the water. You have to touch bottom somewhere at some time! I think landowners should not be taxes on that portion of their property that is covered by water. Maybe if they didn’t have to pay taxes on that then they would feel better about it being open to the public. If you are paying taxes on a piece of property, would you want everyone using it? I doubt it.” – Sammy Abbott
- “I totally agree that property owners should not be taxed on any property that is covered by water. I think not being taxed would be something worth fighting for. And yes, my dad had property on Johns Creek that was used by many people fishing, floating, kayaking and yes, we had to clean up the sides of the creek quite often. I personally feel people should be able to use the creek. I have personally witnessed the happiness and joy of people floating by or fishing with their kids, family and friends.” – Stephanie Snider Looney
- “The land owner would have to have a kings grant to own the ground under the water if the land owner doesn’t have a king grant then people can wade down the creek and the only way that the land owner can say something is if people get out of the water on the banks of the land owner.” – James Hicks
- “That is one thing in Craig County that the community members can do as a family. Not one person owns the middle of the creek. It is a sham that one person has that much time on their hands to cause such a stir!” – Gina Smith
- “If this private land owner wins, it will ripple across the state and allow every recreational water way to be carved up.” – David Givens
“I hate to see it closed, but people trashing the creek is a valid reason for the land owners to complain! If people would respect the land and creek and the landowners, there probably would not be a problem!” – Danny Kesler
- “I own property on Craig Creek and one on the Greenbrier River in WV. As a property owner of both, people have a right to float down. I don’t mind if anyone hangs out and takes a break on the side. Just be respectful.” – Angie Guthrie-Ponton
- “The only thing I can say, is that we, as landowners of both sides of the creek do not have a problem with people passing through our property. I think it is an awesome thing that we have kayakers who love to bring their families and float by. Most of the floaters are good people and do not leave trash. I would say that for every 10 people that leave trash, there is 110 people following behind that pick it up. Landowners only want respect so as long as the floaters show respect, we have no problems.” – Steve and Faye Powers
Additional submissions of comments can be sent to [email protected].
The heartfelt goal of the community seems to be to come to an agreement which will benefit landowners as well as water users, preserving the land and the water and the fun families can still have as well as fishing.