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RE: [BSA] Re: Lake Lowell Access

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  • Jason Brickner
    I, also enjoyed Lake Lowell. It was my first time, but I promised myself to go back when the planets aligned. I enjoyed riding on a SE course into the
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 27, 2006
      I, also enjoyed Lake Lowell. It was my first time, but I promised myself to
      go back when the planets aligned. I enjoyed riding on a SE course into the
      setting sun. It was warm. There wasn't a boat or bird or person in sight
      (except for Eddy and B-Rad). I felt I really connected with nature. Isn't
      that what that place is all about.

      I wonder what the REAL reason is for not allowing us to use this wonderful
      resource. What is the REAL concern? As far as I can tell, we have
      absolutely NO negative impact on the area. The best thing about our sport
      is that everyone and everything else is taking shelter and hunkering down
      while we are out enjoying.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: BoiseSailors@... [mailto:BoiseSailors@...]
      On Behalf Of Lee, Chris (DPT-BOISE)
      Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:36 PM
      To: Boise Sailors Association; snowkiteidaho@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [BSA] Re: Lake Lowell Access

      I do understand it may not be worth the effort given how rare it goes
      off. On the other hand, I worry about setting a precedence and that may
      eventually lead to banning in other local sites.

      One nice thing about Lake Lowell (when I still had my old 12' board) to
      be able to "cruise" into the sunset. It's a totally different feeling
      than ripping fast on a slalom board. It felt nice & free!

      Best regards,

      Chris Lee
      -----Original Message-----
      From: BoiseSailors@...
      [mailto:BoiseSailors@...] On Behalf Of Williams, Rod
      (Inkjet Supplies)
      Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 3:27 PM
      To: Tom von Alten; Boise Sailors Association;
      Subject: [BSA] RE: Lake Lowell Access

      It is interesting to do a Google search on "windsurfing in wildlife
      refuges" or "kite boarding in wildlife refuges" (the later gives you
      mostly hits on a "kite" a type of bird, but occasionally hits on the old
      fashioned type of kiting - where you stand firmly on the ground and the
      kite does not drag you around!).

      The hits I found were all over the map. Some refuges actually promote
      windsurfing in the refuge, others explicitly ban windsurfing and/or kite

      Based on this it seems doubtful that the issue here is a matter of
      national policy. It sounds more like an issue up to the discretion of
      the local manager. Perhaps a meeting with Ms Johnson, with as many of
      us showing up as possible, to engage in polite and informative dialogue
      might win the day.

      On the other hand, with Indian creek, Luck peak and CJ strike at our
      disposal, perhaps it is not worth the effort.

      -----Original Message-----
      From: BoiseSailors@...
      [mailto:BoiseSailors@...] On Behalf Of Tom von Alten
      Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 2:56 PM
      To: 'Boise Sailors Association'; snowkiteidaho@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [BSA] RE: Lake Lowell Access

      Steve Baker sent me his account of the incident at the Lake last week,
      and gave me permission to forward it to these groups. It seems that from
      the refuge manager's point of view, kitesailing, at least, IS INDEED
      BANNED. (Perhaps if people hadn't tried to tow parasailors behind
      motorboats, they wouldn't have had a knee-jerk reaction to the concept?
      Who knows.)

      Windsurfing MAY BE banned ("no permission is granted"), but is at least
      in limbo, along with motor toys. I have no idea how ripe or valid any
      of the cited "lawsuits from both sides" might be.

      I'm open to suggestion for the best way to coordinate a response that
      produces the result we want -- lake access for our environmentally
      friendly, low-impact sports.
      Tom von Alten http://fortboise.org

      > -----Original Message-----
      > Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 7:26 AM
      > Subject: Sailing report
      > Steve Baker, sbakerdvm@..., and I read your letter on the
      > snowkite group site. I'm unable to get on that group so far, so I'm
      > sending this on (another account); you can write back to my email
      > address.
      > I was the one prohibited from launching (it still hurts; the wind was
      > so nice) by Todd Fenzl, the deputy manager from the refuge. I called
      > and had a nice talk with Elaine Johnson, the refuge manager. She was
      > very patient, articulate, and well informed concerning the matters of
      > this and other refuges' rules and regs. She's also not in favor of
      > motorboats vs. human powered crafts, but Lake Lowell is partially
      > funded by selling duck stamps, and so hunting for certain species at
      > certain times is allowed. The fight against motorboats ands jet skis
      > is beginning, but she feels it will be a monumental task, and she
      > faces lawsuits on both sides of the issue (from the rednecks and the
      > conservationists).
      > Basically, the refuge exists to protect migratory routes and nesting
      > areas; any activity on the refuge must also support that; in some
      > twisted way, hunting supports that (see above). The other issues are
      > education, fishing, species conservation, and I forget the other two
      > (she referred to them as 'the big six').
      > Motorboats and hunting go hand in hand; sailing and canoes help fund
      > and help educate, but I could not convince her that riding a surfboard

      > either under sail or kite powered was another way to educate oneself
      > on the complexities of the grebe mating display. She also pointed out

      > that the air above a refuge is controlled airspace, and kites with
      > people dangling under them is a violation of this rule.
      > I asked her if it was futile to pursue this further; she said the
      > final decision would have to come from far above her or the regional
      > office; we both called USFWS law enforcement for their take, and they
      > agreed. According to them, there's no benefit to having kiters and
      > windsurfers there, so no permission is granted. So that leaves a
      > campaign with the National Office, a branch of which is at NIFC, but
      > only the fire branch. They would give us more information, or if
      > anyone knows some senators...?

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