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8028Re: [BSA] Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3

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  • Jon Bolt
    May 29, 2011
      Since there is fair amount of ambiguity in the FWS documents relative to our interests, I emailed the Deputy Refuge Manager the questions below.  Will let you know the reply.
      1)  Alternative #3 has a passage (in paragraph 3) specifically calling out our uses: "Kiteboarders and windsurfers would be able to launch from the Lower Dam Recreation Area."  No other areas are listed.  Under that alternative (and #4), would the Lower Dam Recreation Area be the only area available for us to launch/land?  If not, is Gott Point available for us to use?  How about any southside accesses? Other areas?
      2)  Are windsurfing & kiteboarding classified as "no-wake activities" or "wake-causing uses"?

      On Sat, May 28, 2011 at 7:12 PM, Tom von Alten <tva@...> wrote:

      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.



      From: Jon Bolt
      Sent: Saturday, May 28, 2011 11:20 AM

      Subject: [BSA] Fwd: Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3


      AHOY SAILORS...ALL HANDS ON DECK (imagine the sound of the boatswains whistle)


      Anyone see the local 7 TV news last night, featuring clips of Steve Linane cruising in front of the Lake Lowell lower dam recreation area?  After 2013 we may never see a boardsailing sight like that again...either kiting or windsurfing.  Feature news piece dealt with FWS releasing to the public eagerly awaited documents which are its next step in the process of developing it's CCP for Lake Lowell (Comprehensive Conservation Plan).  Reminder: the end result of the CCP is a new 15 year plan dictating how wildlife & recreational uses at LL will be balanced.  The documents start to "narrow the game" by proposing four possible "alternatives" for management of public use.  (The documents came to me in email late yesterday, then immediately the matter appeared in local news, so I haven't been sitting on them for awhile and keeping you in the dark!)  Attached are the documents.


      Public comment window closes July 29.  We will need to respond.  Also, the Refuge Office will have open houses on June 3/4 and July 8/9 to discuss these alternatives, and FWS personnel are willing to come to a group meeting if we want, to explain and hear our comments.  If we'd like to keep kiting & windsurfing at Lake Lowell, it would be to our benefit to have a group meeting w/ big participation.  A large group meeting and voice (either at one of the open houses, or at a separate venue) would be far more impactful than random & individual feedback sprinkled out over time….

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