The Jackson River Lawsuit

On July 10th 2012 in Richmond, Virginia I presented an open letter to the Game Commissioners for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on behalf of the sportsmen of Virginia.

I was fortunate enough to be the writer that broke this story when the angler in North/South Development vs Crawford contacted me about being sued for fishing on public property. As an investigative conservation writer I have endeavored to faithfully investigate this issue and present the facts as fully and as impartially as possible for all parties concerned.

The issue of Crown Grant ownership in Virginia, and what that entails as it applies to private property ownership is murky at best. This issue is hotly contested by both sides and while I can sympathize with the angler, I understand the landowner’s point of view as well. To date I’m the only writer that has secured an interview with the landowners because they believed I was treating their position accurately and fairly. I hope to do so in the future as presenting only one side of an issue is not good journalism.

Copyright ©2016 Beau Beasley

(NOTE: Articles are PDF FIles that will open in a separate window)

To read my letter to VDGIF click here.

To read the VDGIF's response to my letter click here

To read VDGIF letter to the landowner prior to the lawsuit click here.

To read “Who Owns the River? (courtesy American Angler) click here.

To read judge’s partial summary judgment on North/South Development vs Crawford click here.

Posted - 01/10/2013 - Jackson River White Paper. To read, click here.

To Read letter to Delegate Wilson from Chester Phelps Executive Director of
Virginia Game Commission 2-12-1977
click here.

To Read letter to Delegate Wilson from Assistant Director of Virginia Game Commission
James McInteer Jr. 3-8-1978
click here.

To Read letter to Lieutenant General J.W. Morris, Chief of Engineers,
U.S Army Corps of Engineers from Virginia Governor John n. Dalton
click here.

To Read my op-ed piece Fishing for Clarity, Not Litigation which ran
on the cover of the Roanoke Times editorial page
click here.

God Bless and Tight Lines!

Beau Beasley

Author, Fly Fishing Virginia, Fly Fishing the Mid-Atlantic


As a sportsman myself in the great state of Virginia, I would call on my fellow sportsmen to respect the rights of private property ownership. I also ask that landowners treat the public with respect and understanding as none of us spend enough time in the field or on the stream.

I especially ask those charged with managing the natural resources of Virginia, to determine just what the public can expect with regards to their position on hunting and fishing while on public property. No landowner or sportsmen should ever have to go through this again.