I will attend a meeting . why no gott point and
Date: Sat, 28 May 2011 11:19:58 -0600
Subject: [BSA] Fwd: Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3
To: BoiseSailors@...; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
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. Here's the guts of what FWS is converging on:
Not surprising, under the most restrictive alternative, our use and many others would be prohibited. Under the most permissive (best case), it appears windsurfing and kiting would only be allowed at the Lower Dam recreation area (that's where a few of you had the epic 9m session on Wednesday, in SE winds). I say "appears" because it depends on whether FWS classifies our use as generating "wakes". The evidence in these writeups suggests they presently do, prohibiting us from "no wake" zones. That confines our use to the Lower Dam Rec Area. If I'm wrong or we could convince FWS our craft are not wake-making, then it looks like we'd be open to also use accesses 2 & 3 on the southside (where we presently use 4 or 5). Whether wake-making or not, it appears Gott Point would be off-limits. So, it's likely that our use could be confined to the Lower Dam. That's problematic because the prevailing NW winds that happen 90+% of time are offshore at the Lower Dam, making it unusable (am I right about that?...I've never kited there). The epic SE last Wednesday is a very rare event. Confining our use to the Lower Dam Rec Area probably eliminates 90% of boardsailing at LL. In the very best case scenario, we might be able to use the Lower Dam + accesses 2 & 3. No Gott Point, no southside 4/5 access. Anyone know if southside accesses 2 or 3 are doable? (see maps in first attachment to find those).
Because there's much ambiguity in what's written, we need to delve into specifics w/ FWS & get clear answers...ideally in a large group meeting. Adding to the ambiguity, also note every one of the four alternatives posseses the disclaimer: "All uses included in this alternative would be allowed only if found compatible." Evidently there are criteria and a process for determining "compatibility with wildlife & wildlife-dependent uses", and these determinations for ANY of the various recreational uses have not been done. I assume those will be done in the course of creating the CCP, but so far there's been no disclosure of the criteria, of the process, or when it would happen. So, even though the alternatives describe various uses, it could be that any any of those could fail the eventual compatibility test and become prohibited. At this point, all uses described are only presumed to be capable of passing compatibility test. But FWS is making no promise that they will.
Also recognize, these are "proposed alternatives"....a starting point. They could evolve & details change.
So, have a look.
Who's willing to make it a high priority to attend a meeting w/ FWS? Anyone have other thoughts or feedback on how we should respond?
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, May 27, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Subject: Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge Planning Update 3
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is developing a Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lake Lowell and Snake River Islands Units of Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The CCP will guide Refuge management for the next 15 years. You are currently on our CCP e-mail list, so you will receive updates throughout the process. Please find attached Planning Update 3 and a Preliminary Draft Alternatives Comparison Table. The Planning Update and Comparison Table summarize the preliminary draft goals and the alternatives and associated maps. The current preliminary draft alternatives were developed using public feedback received during the scoping process in summer 2010 and the best available science. The range of action alternatives is designed to meet Refuge purposes and the Refuge System mission, and to provide sufficient sanctuary for wildlife, while allowing most recreational uses to continue on the Refuge. We welcome and encourage you to be part of this process. From now until July 29, 2011, we will be accepting public comments on the preliminary draft alternatives. Those comments will be considered as we develop the draft CCP/EIS. We thank everyone who has provided comments so far and we invite you to continue sharing your ideas with us. Your participation remains critical to the success of this planning effort. This Planning Update and other information about the planning process is also available at the Refuge website at http://www.fws.gov/deerflat/refugeplanning.html. The Deer Flat NWR CCP Team ____________________________
Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge
13751 Upper Embankment Road
Nampa, ID 83686
fax: (208) 467-1019
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