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Ethics 101: Is it OK to take gravel/rocks from a creek bed?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by emu!, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. emu!

    emu! Poster Extraordinaire

    The creek is on some adjacent land next to mine. I don't know who owns that land or if the creek is even considered their property. It may be county property. I was going to load up a few wheel barrow loads and use it around the house. I know you guys are all morally instinctive.:rolleyes:

    What'd ya think...Rock and roll - or - no, no, no?

  2. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    First - find out from the county specifically who owns it. Second - ask the owner.

    A few years ago, after moving north of Nashville where the terain is a little more rocky, I began to notice people on the side of the road near my house... backed up with a pickup truck, loading fallen gravel from the side of a rock hill. I called the county to inquire as to the legalities of it, and they said, "Perfectly legal. If the locals don't remove enough of it then the county has to spend tax dollars to send a road crew out to remove it, or it will begin to spill out onto the road."

    So the gravel that you're wanting might be free - but you need to check.

  3. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Oh, and this made me laugh. :D

    (Reference banana peel thread.)

  4. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

    Is it Ethical? I don't see why not. Your not likely to remove enough by yourself to harm the watershed. Now if you've got a fleet ready to haul away that's a different story.

    The way it works here is all streams and waterways are public. You have to have permission from the landowner to access it though. Also, if it's on protected land then NOTHING can be removed from the sight.

    Call the county and call the DNR. I don't see any problems as long as you ask first.

  5. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

    "morally instinctive" ! that's funny!!!

  6. tap4154

    tap4154 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Southern California

    Yes, but if he's allowed to, then anyone can.

    I wouldn't do it.

    The other day while riding my bike I saw a guy on the bike path shoveling sand into buckets from our city beach, and taking them to his truck. Yes, there's tons of sand on our beach, but it's not his property. Just seems wrong to me, and is probably illegal.

  7. purpletele

    purpletele Friend of Leo's

    It is. Beaches are protected and usually the Army Core of Engineers gets to say what happens to our coastlines.

    Good point too.

  8. mohair_chair

    mohair_chair Tele-Meister

    Jul 21, 2011
    Santa Clarita
    Ethics is about morality. What you are talking about is legality, and they aren't necessarily the same thing.

    From a legal standpoint, are you entitled to take the rocks? If your land is adjacent to the creek, you probably are entitled. It largely depends on where the property line is. Even if the property line originally excluded the creek, creeks change course over the years, so there is probably some part of the creek that now lies on your land. If there are rocks there, party on. However, if you live in state like Colorado where someone downstream may own the water, then they may own the rocks, too. Either call a lawyer, or do it at night when no one can see.

    From an ethical standpoint, I think the only question that really matters is: will anyone get hurt if you take the rocks? Probably not.

  9. TJNY

    TJNY Friend of Leo's

    Feb 25, 2005
    Orange County, NY
    Check with every homeowner who's house the creek goes by. Because at one point, they were their rocks until the stream washed them down stream.....


    Take them. A few barrel fulls won't make much of a dent. Plus, the stream benefits from some dredging!


  10. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Typically, in Eastern states, the state owns waterways like creeks and rivers. In Western states, the land owner owns the actual land underneath the water.

  11. Guitarzan

    Guitarzan Poster Extraordinaire

    Feb 28, 2006
    Hotlanta, GA
    Have you done the evironmentally correct thing and had an Environmental Impact Statement prepared to evaluate the effect on the streambed, aquatic species, and water quality?

    Have you applied for a Clean Water Act permit to cover you for the discharges of sediment that occur when you stir everything up taking the gravel?


  12. fuzzbender

    fuzzbender Former Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    Stone is in the creek?

  13. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    But in this case, I think they are the same thing.

    If the gravel in question is indeed owned by someone else, public or private, it is certainly unethical to take it without asking... no?

    Maybe no one gets physically hurt, but taking something that does not belong to you, without permission... well, that's stealing. Value is irrelevant.

    Just nitpicking for the sake of intelligent discussion. I'm not trying to take some higher moral ground here. He who is without sin cast the first banana peel to the ground. :D

  14. ce24

    ce24 Friend of Leo's

    Jan 26, 2008
    Gravel from a hillside is one thing...messing with a stream bed is another. sure one person and a couple of bucket loads isn't much but it's like the cactus in Arizona...people use to go get just one little cactus but by the time many thousands of people do it all of a sudden they're now protected cause thousands of "just one" dug up a cactus. Whats a truck load of good gravel from your local cement plant 15$? I go to one and they have a spill over pile for free!




  15. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

    Apr 14, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    I don't know about rocks. But my old house had a walnut tree in the front yard and there was a lady who walked the neighborhood and would just take her fair share every year.

  16. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

    Apr 17, 2008
    Port Moody, BC
    If you take the rocks, just remember to return them anonymously, with interest, in about forty years.

  17. superchicken_VI

    superchicken_VI Friend of Leo's

    Aug 16, 2007
    Monroe, NC
    I wouldn't get rocks from a creekbed, it's wild habitat.

  18. Shorecaster

    Shorecaster Tele-Holic

    Feb 23, 2011
    Lantana, FL

  19. kingfish

    kingfish Tele-Holic

    Oct 4, 2009
    Southern Oregon
    Probably not an Ordinance against it there in Hazard County...

  20. Lostinthe50s

    Lostinthe50s Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Kenora, ON
    As long as you leave an equal volume of cast off (old stoves, lawn chairs, bicycles ,etc) that the little fishies can hide amongst, I'm OK with it.

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