BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A judge has determined the public has a 5-foot easement to access the Ruby River on either side of the Seyler Lane bridge south of Twin Bridges.

The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/29bQ6si ) the ruling by District Judge Loren Tucker comes in a 12-year fight over efforts by an out-of-state landowner to block access to the river where it flows through his property.

The state's 1985 stream access law says streams capable of recreational use may be used by the public up to the high water mark, regardless of streambed ownership.

In 2012, Judge Tucker had ruled that there was no easement created by public use to access the bridge. The Supreme Court returned the case to Tucker in 2014 to determine the limits of public use.