8045Re: [BSA] Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3
- May 31, 2011I got a reply from Kendra Niemec (Deputy Refuge Mgr.) to questions about wake-making classification or our sports and if the proposed options had our use confined to just the Lower Dam Recreation Area. My reading of the options and what they proposed for us were, regrettably, correct. Here was her reply:"We classiffied windsurfing and kiteboarding as wake-causing activities. So you all would be required to stay in the wake areas. So this is the Lower Dam Recreation Area. Gotts Point [and any southside areas] would not be accessible because it is in a no wake area. Keep in mind that these are draft preliminary alternatives and comments may help us make changes if we can do so and still protect the wildlife."So I asked Kendra what the criteria was for classification as "wake-causing". Here's her reply:"The classification was based predominantly on speed....no-wake is typically 5mph or less. Boatsailing if they are producing a wake would be required to be in the wakezone.As far as changing the classification...we are taking comments and hearing from folks in your group with expertise in the area of concern is more than welcome, especially if you all see other options we may have not considered."Then I replied with points many of you have made about; wind-driven waves posing far bigger hazard to wildlife than our tiny wakes; physics teaching that wake severity is function of speed and mass, not just speed...a large slow boat can produce larger wake than a small object; and, 5 mph is pretty slow and routinely exceeded by most sailboats. I also educated her on why confinement to the Lower Dam area presents a safety issue due to offshore wind conditions in the predominant northerly winds.Deerflat FWS people have offered to come to Boise for a meeting with us to present and get feedback on their proposed alternatives. At this point, I think the next step is to take them up on that offer, which will permit our group's feedback to be heard in force of numbers. I think we should have that meeting. Jim Tighe generously offered his gym and it's bleachers, and I think we should take him up on that. Obviously if we're going to have "force of numbers", we need good attendance. It'd be counter to our interests to make a big deal about this issue and only have a handful of folks show up for a meeting. We need to decide when to have it. I'll get some candidate dates from Deerflat folks and we'll see which gives us best attendance.Jon
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.
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