Lake Whatcom and Sammish lake are planning to subject kayaks, canoes, rowing shells to inspection/permit fee summer of 2014. We are sensitive to this potential hassle for our cherished visiting competitors. We just found out and after letting our blood cool a bit, we're working out a response. Any Soundrower members will be welcome at the meeting refered to below. Also, I'll attempt to monitor your replies to this message for any input to our plans. You can also post on whatcompaddlers group.
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NEWS: We need a meeting with everyone possible right after the Wed Niter next week. A dedicated few paddlers found about about this permitting thing and have been working it. Duncan offers his offices:
Mt Baker Rec Offices / 1420 Iowa Street. Next to the Gym. 7:30pm Food will be on hand (donations?)
We need everyone in human powered craft: WAKE, WRA, Autumn Rose, Nooksack paddlers, Kai Pana OC club, Kayak Polo, Sound Rowers, visitors, residents ... BBoP: Jill is on this and she's our SME (Subject Matter Expert: AIS is Aquatic Invasive Species).
Background: we're being messed with because we are unknown to politicals. The powerboats yelped last year and the politicals are responding. AIS sources are Capital Lake (in WA), Columbia river, Eastern lakes in U.S. The program will start along with fishing season (no inspections for a while yet). The program is not solid yet, but something like: every watercraft gets a sticker (with serial number). A sticker costs $10 for non-motorboats. I think $30 for powerboats. Certificate from an on-line tutorial gets $10 credit.
Plan: right away build OUR plan, get buy in from you folks, slam it down in front of City/County. Our plan will focus on: 1) protect events (Wed Niter, Whatcom Classic, Lake Sammish race). 2) provide for mulitiple boats (I have three that I might paddle). 3) facilitate visitors, guests, instruction events (i.e. Greg B classes). Some ideas around this are to nominate auditors or examiners within our paddling/rowing groups and keep ability to provide stickers to handle visitors who show up for Wed Niter or other event. Later in our plans we can find what other communities with this problem are doing and refine. For any success our plan has to be nailed in the next week or two.
Backstory: We've been crapped on, but let's judo this thing - play nice. at first. First of all, we love these waters and most of us are active super-responsible citizens. Many of us have scientific or technical backgrounds and truly understand the basis. Also, we want recreation in Whatcom County to thrive. Second: we can make this work to some advantage. If they are going to poke us, then we have some ideas for improvement around here dammit. Third: we have an advantage since our boats are not registered and don't require boatlaunch. If it comes down to it, we can throw down some righteous civil disobedience.
Last thoughts: No letters to the editor, if you know people in paddle/rowing groups get the word to them. WAKE club just found out (and they have lots of skin in this - i.e. Swap Meet). Another thing: because this is so time sensitive try to get your two bits out at this meeting or to the message board. There's just a couple of people carrying the ball right now and we can't really do Roberts Rules debate crap with 75 people. Oh, and can someone put a sedative in Rick Lingbloom's beer for the evening. He's such a flamethrower (if you know Rick you know that he's about the most even-tempered guy there is.)