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Goetz to discuss stream access cases at MSU Library's Trout Lecture

From the MSU News Service

Bozeman attorney Jim Goetz will present "The Waters Belong to Everyone: The Montana Stream Access Cases" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, in Cruzado Auditorium, 306 Romney Hall, on the Montana State University campus. The event is part of the MSU Library Trout Lecture Series and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

Goetz is a Bozeman attorney who was instrumental in passing Montana's Stream Access Law, which protects public recreational use of Montana's rivers and streams. His talk will provide an historical overview of navigability issues in Montana and outline the development of the seminal stream access cases on the Dearborn and Beaverhead Rivers. He will also share boyhood tales of fishing on the Madison and in the Tobacco Root mountains.

"We're rightly proud that Montana's trout waters are world famous," said MSU Library Scholar-in-Residence Paul Schullery. "But we mustn't forget that their fame has come in good part because we've always been able to fish them. Jim's remarkable career-long efforts protect that freedom not just for anglers but for all people."  

Goetz grew up in Ennis. He graduated from MSU in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in history and from Yale Law School in 1968. He founded a law firm in Bozeman in 1972. Goetz has represented organizations working to preserve and maintain access on the Jocko, Kootenai and Yellowstone rivers.

Goetz is the recipient of the Resources Defense Award by the National Wildlife Federation, the Conservationist of the Year award by the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Legends of the Headwaters award by the Madison-Gallatin chapter of Trout Unlimited. He also is one of the founding members of the Bozeman and Montana chapters of the American Civil Liberties Union and recently was a recipient of Montana's Jeanette Rankin Civil Liberties Award.

Through the annual Trout Lecture, the library strives to address all aspects of trout and salmonids and to represent the diversity of angling culture. Thanks to contributions from donors, the Sept. 22 event is free and open to the public.

Seating is limited and preregistration is encouraged. Guests can register at or by calling 406-994-6857.

For information on the MSU Library's Trout and Salmonid Collection, visit

Contact: Ann Vinciguerra, events and communications manager, MSU Library, 406-994-6857 or [email protected]

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