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Judge upholds Rogue ruling


An Oregon circuit court judge has upheld an earlier ruling that the state was wrong to declare a 57-mile stretch of the upper Rogue River navigable.


The ruling, by Judge Ron Grensky in Jackson County, comes more than two years after property owners began waging a fight against the state's 2008 navigability declaration for an 89-mile stretch of the Rogue.


Eight property owners filed suit in April of last year.


A navigability determination gives the state ownership of the beds and banks of the rivers up to the high water mark.


Property owners claim they hold title to the middle of the river.


Grensky in July ruled the state failed to show the upper Rogue River was navigable at the time of statehood, which the state must show to declare a river navigable. As part of the July ruling, Grensky gave the state more time to prove its case.


Last month he upheld his earlier ruling.


Grensky did not rule on a separate 32-mile stretch of the Rogue River that the Department of State Lands also declared navigable in 2008.


Tony Green, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Justice, said the state has not decided whether to appeal the ruling.


--Mitch Lies



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