Note: I discovered yesterday, to my chagrin, that I had a number of draft posts dating back to early 2013, which I’d never finished. So I’m going to post them now, all in a flurry. Some of these issues I’ll get back to and do an in-depth and up-to-date post, and some of them I probably never will.
Original 2013-01-07: Stories, editorials, and letters to the editor on the topic of the river levees in the Pocket and Little Pocket area were in the news this week. A small group of homeowners, some of whom have encroached on property that does not belong to them, are arguing against public access that would provide a continuous path along the Sacramento River. The levees were built with public money, local, state and federal, and it seems to me that property owners have no valid rights to prohibit access.
Added 2015-08-17: The legal situation is diverse, depending upon the history of each individual levee. Sometimes the levee was built with an easement “on top of” private land, in which case the property owner has some say about the levee, but the easement agreements never gave exclusive use. In other situations the land on and beneath the levee is the property of a levee district, in which case it is entirely the right of the levee district to manage access. However, since these levee districts are quasi-public agencies (they were chartered and received or receive public funds), there would need to be a compelling reason to deny public access. I never got around to the research that would be necessary to document the situation, which may well vary by the levee section, for this levee along the Sacramento River.