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Re: [BSA] Summary: yesterday's post-TV working sessions re: kiteboarding ban @ Deerflat

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  • Jack Harrison
    Another lightening strike by the Bolt! And the storm is still brewing... Sent from my iPhone
    Message 1 of 4 , May 31, 2009
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      Another "lightening strike" by the Bolt! And the storm is still
      brewing...

      Sent from my iPhone

      On May 31, 2009, at 9:36 AM, Jon Bolt <idakiteman@...> wrote:

      > QUESTIONS / REQUEST FOR CONTINUED HELP:
      >
      > Until this Spring, all forms of sailing had been permitted on Lake
      > Lowell. Kite-sailing/kiteboarding is simply one of many forms of
      > sailing and has been practiced at Deerflat since around the year
      > 2000 (in view of FWS personnel and without effort on their part to
      > restrict). However, as of this Spring, kiteboarding is now the
      > first sailing, and in fact first "on-water" activity of any kind, to
      > be listed in the FWS visitor's pamphlet as "prohibited" at Lake
      > Lowell.
      >
      > How did Senator Crapo's office get FWS to agree to the treatment of
      > motorboating announced yesterday?: "until the CCP process concludes
      > and determines otherwise, there will be no changes to the types of
      > motorboating allowed on Lake Lowell." How can we get that agreement
      > expanded to include: "and no changes to the types of sailing
      > allowed, including kite-sailing" ??????
      >
      > We ask your continued help to expand the popular and successful
      > motorboating agreement w/ FWS announced yesterday to include all
      > forms of sailing, including kite-sailing/kiteboarding. Please let
      > us know if you will take on this challenge and please keep me
      > informed and scheduled into any meetings between the Senator's staff
      > and FWS concerning this matter.
      >
      > Hoping your staff will take on our request, in an effort to be
      > helpful and start coordinating our efforts, below is a rundown of
      > progress from our group's engagement yesterday w/ Deerflat FWS
      > personnel.
      >
      > SUMMARY: Post-TV forum working sessions.
      >
      > Our Boise Sailors' Ass'n members at yesterday's lakeside session had
      > the objective to lift the ban on kiteboarding recently published by
      > Deerflat FWS.
      >
      > For the first time we met all the local FWS people we've talked to
      > on the phone. This was helpful because the temporary Deerflat FWS
      > manager (Chris Lapp) previously would not agree to arrange any
      > meeting between our Ass'n representatives and himself or any members
      > of his staff ("they had no time"). In this lakeside forum we
      > finally got to meet them. This simple action showed signs of
      > building relationship, credibility, and trust between FWS and our
      > Association members that did not previously exist.
      >
      > We learned the FWS "division refuge management" official flown in
      > for the TV news dialog (Ben, didn't catch his last name) was NOT a
      > supervisor nor did he have any position authority over the local FWS
      > personnel @ Lake Lowell. He had no prior knowledge of exactly why
      > the kiteboarding ban had been enacted and no authority over the
      > local personnel to change it. He was simply a non-manager expert on
      > the CCP process who came to describe that process.
      >
      > Therefore, we engaged with the local FWS personnel whose role would
      > be to enforce the ban. Chris Lapp (temporary manager) previously
      > told me he had no authority to change the ban and would not even
      > attempt it. So, several of us had separate independent & then joint
      > discussions w/ Todd Fenzl, Refuge Law Enforcement. Here's what we
      > learned.
      >
      > When first asked how he would enforce the ban, Todd initially
      > replied: "well, you haven't seen me write any citations yet have
      > you?", which suggested tolerance. Then when asked what he might do
      > in the future he stated, "well, IF I DID ENFORCE IT, I'd probably
      > use a '3-strikes' approach where an individual is warned twice and
      > third time receives a citation." In practice, that means citations
      > are improbable because odds of encountering the same individual
      > three times (or remembering an offender from year-to-year) would be
      > nil. This further suggested tolerance. Later I entered that
      > conversation w/ Todd, pleasantly surprised to hear him talking as if
      > he'd be pretty tolerant. Wanting to clarify, I again asked him "if
      > you see kiteboarding going on, how will you respond?". His answer
      > "enforcement would be pretty loose." Wanting to assure no
      > misundertanding, I restated what I heard him say and asked if I
      > understood correctly: so you're saying "if you see it, you'd be
      > pretty loose about electing to undertake any enforcement". He
      > confirmed my understanding. Obviously all these messages from Todd
      > seemed very positive and encouraging to our members surrounding
      > him. So with Todd's participation, we transitioned into discussing
      > where kiteboarding would take place on the lake (which guidance from
      > Todd about pros/cons/issues of certain locations). We concluded by
      > reinforcing with Todd that our members are largely middle-aged,
      > responsible citizens and we appreciated his flexibility on our use,
      > and that if he ever encountered problems or received complaints
      > about one of our member's behavior on the lake, please contact me/us
      > because we would definitely police our own members to preserve this
      > delicate balance we'd seemed to have struck with him. Todd stated
      > if he encountered such problems, he'd contact me. So given Todd's
      > responses, we all (including Todd) left the discussion realizing
      > kiteboarding would happen on the lake, and Todd would be loose/
      > tolerant/unlikely to issue citations, and we'd responsibly manage
      > our members' use of the lake.
      >
      > Although there is no plan to re-print the visitor's brochure to
      > remove kiteboarding from the "prohibited" list, it appears yesterday
      > we achieved a delicate tolerance of kiteboarding and we'll no doubt
      > be kiteboarding at Deerflat once the water level drops. Officially
      > the pamphlet will say (and FWS personnel can affirm) kiteboarding is
      > banned but that ban is not likely to be diligently
      > enforced...although FWS reserves the right to strictly enforce at
      > any time.
      >
      > While this "look the other way" outcome is a positive step, in
      > reality it remains a delicate, unstable balance likely prone to
      > problems. Obviously our members would prefer not to be in the
      > position of feeling like they are ignoring the law whenever they go
      > to enjoy their sport at Deerflat. We are otherwise mature,
      > responsible, law abiding, tax paying citizens. A bigger problem is
      > that this tenuous balance could easily present other difficulties
      > for Todd. Other users will eventually see in the pamphlet that
      > kiting is prohibited, but then also see many kiters ignoring that
      > ban and FWS taking no enforcement action. That could easily
      > undermine Todd's credibilty and effectiveness at enforcing more
      > serious and truly problematic mis-uses on the lake. When/if his
      > effectiveness in other enforcement is undermined by our use, he'd
      > likely have no choice but to either change his temperment toward us
      > or change the pamphlet. So the delicate balance stricken yesterday
      > with Todd that relies on his personal choices and temperment to side-
      > step official prohibition...that balance is undesirable for both us
      > and likely FWS as well. It would seem to put Todd in a bad
      > position. But if that's the best we can achieve, we'll live with
      > that while we continue to try to get a better result for everyone
      > (including Todd).
      >
      > Deerflat FWS people committed to engage us in the CCP process that
      > they drive, and of course we'll be participating in that activity.
      > However, that will not start until the new Refuge Manager is in
      > place this Fall. Also, that work is not scoped to deal with
      > managing interim refuge difficulties that arise during CCP process
      > execution. FWS will need to keep the CCP process focused on CCP,
      > and not distracted by expanding it to deal with other refuge
      > tactical difficulties. Therefore, CCP will not likely be a vehicle
      > for achieving a healthy solution to this interim ban of kiteboarding.
      >
      > REQUEST TO PARTICIPATE IN CONTINUED ENGAGEMENT W/ SENATOR CRAPO's
      > STAFF & FWS on this matter:
      >
      > While there was a preliminary positive "tolerance" outcome from
      > yesterday's working discussions, the reliability of that solution
      > lasting for the next 3 years (until CCP is completed) is doubtful
      > because of obvious foreseeable problems. Therefore, I'd like to
      > continue to work with Senator Crapo's staff (Bryan, AJ, Layne) in
      > the near term to seek expansion of the recent and widely appreciated
      > "motorboating agreement" to encompass "sailing including kite-
      > sailing". It seems if it was possible to do that for motorboating
      > it should be easier to do it for sailing because of the obviously
      > diminished wildlife/habitat impacts of sailing relative to
      > motorboating. Aside from favoring our interests, we honestly think
      > expanding that agreement would be better for Todd and FWS than the
      > present ambiguity reached yesterday. I'm not sure how your team got
      > its great result w/ motorboating, so we rely on your experience from
      > that success to plot the steps to gain expansion of the agreement.
      > Please let me know if Senator Crapo's team will take on the
      > challenge to expand that agreement, and how I/we may be of
      > assistance in your plan of attack.
      >
      > Big thanks for creating the lakeside opportunity yesterday to make
      > meaningful progress on this matter.
      >
      > Jon Bolt
      > Vice President, Boise Sailors' Association
      > 208-853-6212
      >
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