8026RE: [BSA] Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3
- May 28 6:12 PM
Fascinating process. I will certainly participate in meetings.
A couple miscellaneous observations:
1) Gott’s Point was closed more or less arbitrarily due to “illegal activities” and that closure became the status quo. Shows you how easy access can be taken away.
2) Hunting and fishing are “compatible uses,” by providing for killing wildlife (or, for catch and release fishing, only pretending to capture and kill them). Not that that’s up for negotiation, it’s just bizarre.
Two particular definitions are going to be important, and they both come down to matters of opinion, to some extent. “Compatible uses” are defined on page 3 as those that “will not materially interfere with, or detract from, the Refuge purpose or the Refuge System’s mission.”
If sailing were innocent until proven guilty, you’d have a hell of a time making the case that it caused interference, I suspect. But somebody one time tromped through some shore vegetation that had a bird’s nest in it, game over? If all one has to do is imagine some interference, that’s pretty easy to do.
Still, anything beyond the status quo is going to make for a regatta of pissed off boaters, whether or not they officially allow regattas. Alternatives 2, 3 and 4 all pretty much suck from a boating and sailing POV.
The number two definition, “no wake” will light up boaters, too. It seems to get discussed a lot, but a hard and fast definition doesn’t pop out of teh Google. If, as pursuant to 50 CFR 17.102, we’re talking about “all changes in the vertical height of the water's surface caused by the passage of a water vehicle, including a vessel's bow wave, stern wave, and propeller wash, or a combination thereof,” that would be precisely the same as saying NO SAILING. Even the oft-used practical definition of a 5mph speed zone (or “anything that makes waves that annoy people on the shore”) would amount to the same thing. So anywhere in the document you see “no wake,” read it as NO SAILING.
That means alternative 2 = NO SAILING and alt. 3 and alt. 4 mean greatly restricted sailing and wouldn’t it be fun to be all jammed together in the west pool with motorboaters on a windy day.
As noted by others, allowing launch only from the lower dam recreation area makes the lake unusable for beginning to intermediate sailors who will struggle to get upwind from where they started, and cause issues for control and traffic with the wind shadows of trees, etc. It’s hardly ever used as a launch for a reason. You’d think the people managing the place might have noticed over the decades, but apparently not.
Tom von Alten
P.S. CCP in Cyrillic stood for Soviet Socialist Republic. I’m just sayin.
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