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Joe Orgeron & James Cantrelle On Posted Water

We sent a questionnaire pertaining about posted water to these two candidates for State Representative District 54. Here are their answers.

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Our questions are in bold, their answers are in non-bold.

Here's the first from Joseph A. Orgeron, Ph.D.:

Joseph A. Orgeron, Ph.D.
NameJoseph A. Orgeron, Ph.D.
Office sought or occupiedState Representative District-54
Campaign emailJoseph@Orgeron.com
Campaign phone number985-475-4893
Full-time occupationProfessional Services Consultant & Adjunct Professor NSU
1)     The Public Trust Doctrine of the United States and most states in the union has long held that “Running Waters and the Arms of the Sea” are public things with very limited exceptions. Do you agree in principle that the “Ebbing and Flowing waters of the State of Louisiana” should be public things susceptible to public access?

Yes.

2)     The laws of the State of Louisiana forbid the Alienation of Public Things Without Remuneration.  Over the years, the State of Louisiana has allowed corporations and individuals to alter the banks of public water bodies to them claim private ownership of said public waters for personal gain. Do you support the private ownership of ebbing and flowing water without remuneration?

No.

If an area with ebb-n-flow waterways is not being paid for (via some form of remuneration, then it should be open for public access.

3)     Louisiana State Law current requires the State of Louisiana to claim eroded water bodies for the benefits to its citizens. Over the years, the State has failed to act on these water bodies claiming that the State Lands Office is underfunded with limited qualified personnel. Will you pledge to work with DOA to properly fund the State Lands Office allowing it to perform its statutory duties?

No.

The coast is currently changing rapidly (either via erosion or hopefully via restoration efforts). I WOULD consider pledging to fund methods for the DOA / State Lands Office to use new technology (sat-imaging) to more cost-effectively preform is statutory duties.

4)     In the name of “Coastal Restoration” the State of Louisiana has / is spending hundreds of millions of public dollars to rebuild coastal marshes. Many of these areas are then turned over to private hands who then restrict access. As it relates to the waterways and the ebbing and flowing waters of the State of Louisiana, would you agree that where public monies are spent to improve / enhance these waterways that public access should generally be allowed?

No.

So you want to (by law) claim eroded water bodies FROM land-owners and then ALSO claim any rehabilitated lands? Even with the use of public monies to improve the overall state of the estuary and coastal-buffer protection, it does not seem (on the surface) fair to perform takings on erosion AND on rebuilding.

5)  The State of Louisiana has never legislated a definition of ‘Navigability’, leaving way for many inconsistent court decisions on access issues. Will you commit during your term to legislate a modern-day definition of Navigability on the waters of the State of Louisiana?

Yes.

It surely does seem that it is time to resolve the issue of Navigability and Liability in waterways through public and private areas in Louisiana.

6)     In many coastal areas of Louisiana, citizens and visitors alike are being ticketed for trespassing while floating a boat on ebbing and flowing waters despite. In many of these areas, ownership of the waters or water bottoms is in dispute with instances of no proper survey having ever been conducted. These instances leave many unable to defend themselves. Would you support legislation requiring the accusers of a trespassing charge to ‘guarantee title’ to the areas alleged in a waterway trespassing complaint?

No.

I am not 100% sure as to what is meant by \'guarantee title\'. If a (supposed/claimed) landowner makes a formal complaint to have a purported-trespasser arrested and at a time of adjudication, if they cannot prove that they own the property, then charges should be dismissed AND court/legal fees paid for by the (supposed/claimed) landowner. Just as a loser-pays/tort-reform manner.

7)     In 2017, Tourism was the #2 income producer in the State of Louisiana, second only to fees and taxes. Over the last few years, Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (B.A.S.S.) and other Tournament Trails have pulled out of Louisiana citing its contradictory laws and harassment over waterway access issues. B.A.S.S. actions alone resulted in >$25 million dollar loss.  Do you agree that this is an issue that can no longer be ignored and needs to be addressed immediately?

Yes.

I have acquaintances that are land/lease-holders as well as acquaintances who are professional inshore charter fishermen ...and I am aware of the contentious issue that has persisted for some time concerning access to navigable waterways versus the liability to the lease holder associated with any incidents occurring within the confines of their leases. It\'s does seem that it may be time to resolve some of these issues.

Please provide any additional comments in the space below:

I am an avid Jet Ski rider and enjoy long distance touring through coastal southeast Louisiana. I often use Google Earth to provide myself a GPS-guided track (attempting to avoid any waterways with obvious barriers/bulkhead, etc.) for my trip/paths. In several instances I have come across waterways that had signs noting \'POSTED No Trespassing\' -- to which I simply continue on, considering that the sign is intended to mean no trespassing onto the land in that area and that as long as the waterway being used is (not a dead-end, but rather) opened to other lease areas on each end, that I am allowed to traverse the waterway (...with the knowledge on my part that there would be no \'taking\' of any commodity from the area). Also, I realize that by traversing this posted area, I may be implicitly forgoing any rights to claims of damages from the lease-owner should an incident occur. I would like to learn more on this topic and find a solution that allows for accessibility through leased areas (via open on both end navigable waterways) and proper protections for lease-holders on liability claims.


Here's the reply from James Cantrelle.

james cantrelle
NameJames Cantrelle
Office sought or occupiedState Rep District 54
Campaign emailCampaign@Jamescantrelle.com
Campaign phone number9852260308
Full-time occupationSelf Employed
1)     The Public Trust Doctrine of the United States and most states in the union has long held that “Running Waters and the Arms of the Sea” are public things with very limited exceptions. Do you agree in principle that the “Ebbing and Flowing waters of the State of Louisiana” should be public things susceptible to public access?

Yes.

2)     The laws of the State of Louisiana forbid the Alienation of Public Things Without Remuneration.  Over the years, the State of Louisiana has allowed corporations and individuals to alter the banks of public water bodies to them claim private ownership of said public waters for personal gain. Do you support the private ownership of ebbing and flowing water without remuneration?

No. 

3)     Louisiana State Law current requires the State of Louisiana to claim eroded water bodies for the benefits to its citizens. Over the years, the State has failed to act on these water bodies claiming that the State Lands Office is underfunded with limited qualified personnel. Will you pledge to work with DOA to properly fund the State Lands Office allowing it to perform its statutory duties?

Yes.

4)     In the name of “Coastal Restoration” the State of Louisiana has / is spending hundreds of millions of public dollars to rebuild coastal marshes. Many of these areas are then turned over to private hands who then restrict access. As it relates to the waterways and the ebbing and flowing waters of the State of Louisiana, would you agree that where public monies are spent to improve / enhance these waterways that public access should generally be allowed?

Yes.

No personal or business property should be enriched by tax dollars if it isn't open to the public that is paying the taxes.

5) The State of Louisiana has never legislated a definition of ‘Navigability’, leaving way for many inconsistent court decisions on access issues. Will you commit during your term to legislate a modern-day definition of Navigability on the waters of the State of Louisiana?

Yes.

If a body of water connects two natural bodies of water, it should be "navigable" and open to the public

6)     In many coastal areas of Louisiana, citizens and visitors alike are being ticketed for trespassing while floating a boat on ebbing and flowing waters despite. In many of these areas, ownership of the waters or water bottoms is in dispute with instances of no proper survey having ever been conducted. These instances leave many unable to defend themselves. Would you support legislation requiring the accusers of a trespassing charge to ‘guarantee title’ to the areas alleged in a waterway trespassing complaint?

Yes.

7)     In 2017, Tourism was the #2 income producer in the State of Louisiana, second only to fees and taxes. Over the last few years, Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (B.A.S.S.) and other Tournament Trails have pulled out of Louisiana citing its contradictory laws and harassment over waterway access issues. B.A.S.S. actions alone resulted in >$25 million dollar loss.  Do you agree that this is an issue that can no longer be ignored and needs to be addressed immediately?

Yes.

We must diversify our economy. The heritage and life style in South LA lends itself to tourism as part of that diversification.

Please provide any additional comments in the space below:

No additional comments were made by James Cantrelle.


What do you think? Chime in below!

Devin Denman
 

Devin is the founder of Louisiana Fishing Blog and enjoys exploring new fishing spots on Louisiana's coast. He prefers using artificial lures and casting tackle, but won't hesitate to break out a popping cork when the time is right.

  • Brian says:

    I am a resident of Lafourche and my vote will be determined by water accessibility. It’s to important to future generations to vote any other way. It’s our way of life and shouldn’t be taken away on gate at a time.

  • Mj says:

    The only thing politicians respond to is money and mo money. Once you vote them in they don’t know you no more unless you got Mo money.

  • Joseph Orgeron says:

    As one of the SIX(6!) candidates for this race I am disappointed that only Mr.Cantrelle and myself took the time to provide answers on this important issue within our district.
    On the other hand, I’m pleased that LSC invested the time and effort to provide the survey in order to better inform the fishing-voters for this important election.
    …Lines Tight & Fish Safe! –JoeO

  • Gary Hauptmann says:

    Seems like Cantrell would be a better pic or am I not reading enough.

  • Chuck says:

    I agree on your statement about James Cantrell with information he answered

  • Michael Sevin says:

    Thank you. I got who fully supports public access, but could these be placed side by side for easier comparison?

  • Micha says:

    It’s Utterly Ridiculous To Even Have To Have A Discussion Involving The Rights Of: “WE THE PEOPLE”! No Man Or Woman Born Into This World Has A Right To Claim What The Grand Architect Created, As Their Own Personal Property! Let Me Shorten This Comment By Saying: “LOBBYING” IS A SWEET WORD FOR: “BRIBING”! The People Of Louisiana Should Rally Together To Make It A State Law To; NO LONGER ELECT ANYONE TO OFFICE WHO OWNS AND OPERATE ANY TYPE OF BUSINESS! They All Seem To Lay In The Same Bed With Corporate Giants! And WE THE PEOPLE Always Get Our COMMON LAW RIGHTS STRIPPED AWAY; With A Nice Statement Like: “Its In The Interest Of The Good Business (For The State) YEAH, RIGHT

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