First thing in the morning Dexter Prescott put in a call to his attorney, Dewey Cheatum. The lawyer was a long time friend, fraternity brother and confidant. His expertise was litigation…he sued people and corporations and he won. He started out chasing ambulances doing the fake-whiplash-shady-doctor thing, and worked his way up to the big time, suing major pharmaceutical companies over defective penal implants and poorly designed trans vaginal mesh products. In fact, he would sue anybody anywhere for anything as long as he could make a buck. Some said he would sue his own mother if he thought he could pocket some cash. Dewey made so much money suing people he got bored and took up fly fishing. He even got himself on the Board of Directors of the Big Riffle Foundation.
But Dexter Prescott needed some legal advice.
“How can I keep people out of my water”?
“Got some bad news for ya, buddy, you can’t keep ‘em out, it ain’t your water, only the land surrounding it.” Cheatum replied. “The public has the right to access your stream from the Madison River as long as they stay below the high water mark. Not only that, it’s a tributary of the Madison and has been since Popeye was a punk. No bueno, amigo.”
“But, but, but…what if I blocked access? What if I put up signs, electric fences, used attack dogs, had my man Shorty scare ‘em off? Intimidate ‘em”?
“No can do pard,” answered Dewey. “ That stuff is illegal as long as the stream is flowing. Plus there is that “traditional use” thingy. There’s a history there, folks been using it for years…Native Americans used it. They even camped here.”
“But there might be a way…”
“Tell me, help me.”
Dewey Cheatum thought for a moment…
“You could build dams”
“Yeah, it would be a tough sell, but if you could convince the Water Board to issue you Code 12 Permits stating an undue Act Of God caused this creek to feed into the Madison and it was causing undue stress, anguish, loss of income, irreconcilable pain, etc., etc…”
Dewey Cheatum was on a roll now, his scheming mind was drifting back to his ambulance chasing days.
“You might be able to talk them into to it.”
Prescott perked up. He remembered something. The place he stayed at recently, that dude ranch, the guy that worked there, the juicer, Otis I think his name was, wasn’t he on the Water Board?