Progress report on Whatcom AIS program
A note to those who are following the Whatcom County AIS workings. First: who's who in the zoo -
WAKE: Ed Alm
BBOP: Jill Komoto (also has technical background in invasive species programs)
Surfskis & boat sales rep: DJ
Canoes: David Shearer (also has contacts at COB - City Of Bellingham)
Event Organizer: Peter Marcus (also, Soundrower contacts & has chops as marine spill responder)
Event Organizer: Duncan Howatt (also has contacts w/ Whatcom Co. and Ski-to-Sea organization)
quasi - Legal: Simon Brownlie. somewhat pro-forma, pro-bono, anti-formality. (not a client/attorney situation)
town crier (scribe): rd
wanted: native people's representation. Note: technically they are the only genuine native species so all this fuss may not interest them.
Situation: 1) COB offered a draft proposal that would address handling 'events'. 2) Permiting/Inspection is expected sometime in April (dates have been moving around) 3) Online review certificate would waive fee for paddlers. 4) Whatcom Rowing Assoc (WRA) is working the issue seperately. 5) WWU - Lakewood is working the issue seperately. 6) priority effort on the ability to self-inspect so we can handle large events (this resolution may ease other agenda items such as owners of many boats, launching from your own or a friend's waterfront, etc.)
Progress: Meeting 3/26/14 - we reviewed COB proposal and especially Jill's draft counter-proposal. (Line by line). Some of our hot items: 1) keep wording simple. 2) we can't accept indemity clause (if anything COB should endemnify us). 3) specific agreement for non-motorized, human powered (need to sharpen this definition of terms and keep us out of the motor boat issues). 4) we intend to assist implementation in any non-fungible way possible. 5) we do not accept the idea of useage fees. 6) a good model is Tahoekeepers.
Next: get our counter-proposal to COB asap. Set up a discussion with them - probably in about two weeks.
My two bits: 1) I sense that City/County did not anticipate our coordination to this level. They still aren't sure just how bad-ass we are. DJ's plan is good: play nice until we need to show them some stick. 2) watch the money (sooner or later they will come after funds because the AIS program will cost. Note that power boat use halved last year because of AIS inspection/fee program - who's paying for this?)