State Proves Navigability of Portion of River.

The defendant made a declaration of ownership over 89 miles of the Rogue River in accordance with the process established by state law.  In making such declaration, the defendant must get a court to find that the watercourse at issue is navigable or the defendant must make such a declaration.  Here, the defendant made such a declaration after following the state-prescribed procedures, including public notice of the watercourse at issue.  The trial court held that the defendant failed to provide sufficient evidence to establish navigability, and noted that the defendant's procedure would have exchanged dry river channel for flowing river channel with the result that some plaintiff's homes on dry land would be located where the river once flowed and would be within the defendant's ownership determination.  On appeal, the court reversed, in part, and remanded the case.  The court noted that the defendant's determination of navigability was based on a public notice that didn't provide enough specificity to allow interested persons to discover what land the defendant was actually claiming.  However, the court held that evidence of log drives at the time Oregon was admitted to the Union along with post-statehood recreational use that did not differ materially from the type of use at the time of statehood permitted a conclusion that the portion of the river at issue was susceptible to being used as a highway for commerce - the test for navigability.  Hardy, et al. v. State Land Board, 274 Ore. App. 262 (2015).