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Thread: Change in Power boat use on 20 Mile River

  1. #1

    Default Change in Power boat use on 20 Mile River

    Any One That Uses 20 mile river may want to know about this meeting.
    20 mile river is about 50 miles south of Anchorage, between Girdwood and Portage.
    It sounds like there is a public imput meeting going on in Girdwood in reguard to adopting new rules for boating on 20 mile river.
    It sounds like the Packrafters plan to attend and it would be good to have some power boats at the meeting also just to keep everything in balance.


    This is a message I received on the KCK Eddyline blog of the Anchorage Paddling club.

    [Eddyline] 20mile river preseason safety meeting 4/17, 7-9pm, Girdwood‏
    From: eddyline-bounces@lists.inreach.com on behalf of Richard Sepersky (akrichard@gci.net)
    You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
    Sent: Sat 4/12/08 1:08 AM
    To: eddyline@kck.org

    Security scan upon download
    ATT00001 (0.2 KB)
    The following note is from Alison Rein of the US Forest Service:

    I tired to post this info so that it would go out to all eddyline members,
    but it hasn't yet.....that I can tell (I never received it...) I know
    we'll get power boaters to attend, but there's a growing contingent of
    packrafters using this river and they present a navigational challenge to
    power boaters, esp if they are not visible (wearing grey or other
    hard-to-see colors).......power boaters want rafters to stay out of their
    way.....It would be great if some packrafters could come to this meeting to
    see how their boating practices/norms, etc. relate to how the power boats
    are operating so no one gets hurt.

    Please forward this to packrafters/kayakers/canoers who care about this
    river and their rights to use it safely!

    Twentymile River pre-season safety meeting
    Thursday April 17............................7pm-9pm
    Glacier Ranger District Office in Girdwood
    (first left off Alyeska Hwy)
    call me - Alison Rein at 754-2329 for more info


    Alison M Rein <arein@fs.fed.us>
    [Eddyline] 20mile river preseason safety meeting 4/17, 7-9pm, Girdwood‏
    From: eddyline-bounces@lists.inreach.com on behalf of Richard Sepersky (akrichard@gci.net)
    You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
    Sent: Sat 4/12/08 1:08 AM
    To: eddyline@kck.org

    Security scan upon download
    ATT00001 (0.2 KB)
    The following note is from Alison Rein of the US Forest Service:

    I tired to post this info so that it would go out to all eddyline members,
    but it hasn't yet.....that I can tell (I never received it...) I know
    we'll get power boaters to attend, but there's a growing contingent of
    packrafters using this river and they present a navigational challenge to
    power boaters, esp if they are not visible (wearing grey or other
    hard-to-see colors).......power boaters want rafters to stay out of their
    way.....It would be great if some packrafters could come to this meeting to
    see how their boating practices/norms, etc. relate to how the power boats
    are operating so no one gets hurt.

    Please forward this to packrafters/kayakers/canoers who care about this
    river and their rights to use it safely!

    Twentymile River pre-season safety meeting
    Thursday April 17............................7pm-9pm
    Glacier Ranger District Office in Girdwood
    (first left off Alyeska Hwy)
    call me - Alison Rein at 754-2329 for more info


    Alison M Rein <arein@fs.fed.us>
    [Eddyline] 20mile river preseason safety meeting 4/17, 7-9pm, Girdwood‏
    From: eddyline-bounces@lists.inreach.com on behalf of Richard Sepersky (akrichard@gci.net)
    You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
    Sent: Sat 4/12/08 1:08 AM
    To: eddyline@kck.org

    Security scan upon download
    ATT00001 (0.2 KB)
    The following note is from Alison Rein of the US Forest Service:

    I tired to post this info so that it would go out to all eddyline members,
    but it hasn't yet.....that I can tell (I never received it...) I know
    we'll get power boaters to attend, but there's a growing contingent of
    packrafters using this river and they present a navigational challenge to
    power boaters, esp if they are not visible (wearing grey or other
    hard-to-see colors).......power boaters want rafters to stay out of their
    way.....It would be great if some packrafters could come to this meeting to
    see how their boating practices/norms, etc. relate to how the power boats
    are operating so no one gets hurt.

    Please forward this to packrafters/kayakers/canoers who care about this
    river and their rights to use it safely!

    Twentymile River pre-season safety meeting
    Thursday April 17............................7pm-9pm
    Glacier Ranger District Office in Girdwood
    (first left off Alyeska Hwy)
    call me - Alison Rein at 754-2329 for more info


    Alison M Rein <arein@fs.fed.us>
    [Eddyline] 20mile river preseason safety meeting 4/17, 7-9pm, Girdwood‏
    From: eddyline-bounces@lists.inreach.com on behalf of Richard Sepersky (akrichard@gci.net)
    You may not know this sender.Mark as safe|Mark as unsafe
    Sent: Sat 4/12/08 1:08 AM
    To: eddyline@kck.org

    Security scan upon download
    ATT00001 (0.2 KB)
    The following note is from Alison Rein of the US Forest Service:

    I tired to post this info so that it would go out to all eddyline members,
    but it hasn't yet.....that I can tell (I never received it...) I know
    we'll get power boaters to attend, but there's a growing contingent of
    packrafters using this river and they present a navigational challenge to
    power boaters, esp if they are not visible (wearing grey or other
    hard-to-see colors).......power boaters want rafters to stay out of their
    way.....It would be great if some packrafters could come to this meeting to
    see how their boating practices/norms, etc. relate to how the power boats
    are operating so no one gets hurt.

    Please forward this to packrafters/kayakers/canoers who care about this
    river and their rights to use it safely!

    Twentymile River pre-season safety meeting
    Thursday April 17............................7pm-9pm
    Glacier Ranger District Office in Girdwood
    (first left off Alyeska Hwy)
    call me - Alison Rein at 754-2329 for more info


    Alison M Rein <arein@fs.fed.us>

  2. #2
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default mmmmmmmmmmmm

    it sounds like the FS wants to start pushing out the jet boats. Caeful here before it turns out like Oregon/Washington and sections of the Snake.

    in other words jet boats not allowed!

    I was in the Sheenjack a few years back and a bunch of Enviromental Activists Waco Terrorists from California cussed me out for having a power boat on "their " river.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default

    What I think is important is that folks dont allow themselves to get lured into becoming polarized on these kind of isses. Reading the initial post, it'd be easy for someone to get their dander up at a bunch of powerboaters who "want them to stay out of the way". All the rafters I know are outstanding people (on a lot of days I'm one of them) the same holds true for the jetboaters and airboaters. All of us outdoors folk need to stick together and show everyone that the state of Alaska and her people are truly a different breed and none of us should allow ourselves to fall into an extremist way of viewing things. There are still plenty of places for trully remote experiences regardless of the transportation modes used to get there. And if and when we encounter others, we need to do like Alaskans have been doing for generations now, make some room and share the experience. Most likely the people we meet doing the thinks that we love, are a lot like us in the first place so we all ought to be able to get along. It bothers me when I read stuff that seems to be intent on stirring up hate and discontent, it invariably leads to sour experiences like the one you describe on the Sheenjack.

  4. #4
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Default Nope

    Quote Originally Posted by chriso View Post
    It bothers me when I read stuff that seems to be intent on stirring up hate and discontent, it invariably leads to sour experiences like the one you describe on the Sheenjack.
    I agree that there should be room for everyone. No I am not trying to stir up anything. I just know the reality of it all. When the non-power folks, at least some of them, start, the only reality they listen to is "no power boats!"

    I hope all parties involved can work it out, but I don't want to go down to 20-mile just to find a sign that reads "No power Boats allowed!"

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    Iím concerned that a forest service employee would solicit one user group over another. Also if the forest service employee is using government recourses to accomplish this task, there my be a serious breach of edict.

  6. #6
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBassking View Post
    No I am not trying to stir up anything. I just know the reality of it all. When the non-power folks, at least some of them, start, the only reality they listen to is "no power boats!" I hope all parties involved can work it out, but I don't want to go down to 20-mile just to find a sign that reads "No power Boats allowed!"
    No, no, no, no! I didn't mean YOU!!!!

  7. #7
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriso View Post
    No, no, no, no! I didn't mean YOU!!!!
    OK! LOL

    Just want to make sure we are not surprised. thanks for the information.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

  8. #8
    Member chriso's Avatar
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    Default Safety Meeting Followup

    I sent this out to the Knik Canoers and Kayakers mailing list to sort of clarify for them what I saw and heard from the powerboat community at the meeting this past week, and to clarify my own position as well.

    All in all it wasn't a bad meeting, though there still seems to be concern from some of those I spoke with as to why the FS has cameras mounted on the banks and is so intent on studying capacity on the river in the first place.

    Hello Everyone! We met with a few folks last night at the Glacier Ranger Districts offices to visit about river saftety on the Twentymile and I thought I'd make mention of a couple items that sort of stand out in my mind from the meeting. It seemed the most talked about hazard was a long standing log jam on the Glacier River side of the drainage where several boats have been swamped over the years including at least 2 powerboats last summer. There is a sort of "false channel" on the rivers right when boating downriver that is often completely obstructed which is where these two powerboaters got in trouble last season. After the second boat sunk and swept under the jam, we cut it out before the peak summer use began due to the safety concerns, it drifted back closed later in the fall and is presently still closed. The good news is the location of this jam is well above the Twentymile and Glacier River conflulence where most of the rafting traffic from the Winner Creek trail hits the river. When using pac-rafts from the Winner Creektrail it is not a factor, only on floats from Carmen Lake or Glacier Lake could someone make the mistake of choosing this false channel. If you were to access the headwaters via jetboat for you float it would be readily observable on your way up. If you fly in it may require a bit more vigilance on your part. Also discussed was the hairpin or dogleg turn on the lowest stretch of theCarmen River just before it's confluence with the Glacier River, along withthe narrow straightwaway just below it. The practice for us commercial powerboaters has been and remains to hold, look, and listen before entering this ~300 yard stretch from downriver, along with announcing our intentions on VHF Channel 11. Obviously we wouldn't hear a rafter or kayaker coming downriver, and the visibility is restricted, but if looking carefully and vigilantly, one can see up and through the turn, and there are readily available options for either boat should there be an encounter. Either boat, whomever is first into the corner can hold in the big eddy on the backside of the turn, or the downriver boat can take the northeast channel if an upriver boat holds in the narrow channel long enough for them to clear. This northeast channel (rivers right when boating downriver) is passable on all but the lowest of flow conditions for most powerboats,though it is shallower and requires a bit more maneuvering than the narrow and straight slot on the most frequently used southwest channel (rivers left when bound downstream) Some powerboaters may get stuck if they are forced to go this direction due to unfamiliarity with the twists and turns, our Glacier Jet drivers have practiced running it and can be counted on to either go there or hold in the eddy should they be faced with anypossibility of overtaking a raft or kayak in the narrow slot There was some talk of asking all river users to stay to the "rivers right"when feasible, and to "give way" to the rivers right when possible ifmeeting other traffic, with the overall understanding that riverconditions, flow channels and seams may require one to be positioned elsewhere in order to safely navigate the challenges, twist and turns.There seemed to be no differentiation made between powerboat users and rafters, kayakers present who all indicated they normally would want to berunning in the "good water" regardless of which side of the river it happened to be flowing (except for the airboaters who said they'd takewhatever was left over!) Everybody seemed to be coming from a place of mutual respect and concern for safety in an obvious commmonly held agreement that (at least among those attending) we would all try give way to the right when meeting. There was some talk of the advantage of making oneself as highly visible as possible, our Glacier Jet boats are painted bright orange or "Aire Yellow" to help you more readily spot us! There was also talk of the 2 pac-raft misshaps and rescues occuring last summer, which kind of tied in with the current and continued recommendation that all river users in this cooridor wear PFD at all times when on the water. Even though the river isn't really challenging technically, there are some unforgiving hazards on it and we all need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. It was commented on by many in attendance that this focus on river safety and user cooperation is a well worthwhile undertaking, that none of the safety incidents discussed were related to overcrowding or overuse, and that all attending seemed well inclined and mutually respectfull towards one another. The only place indicating overcrowding related to safety was the public launch and parking area on the Seward Highway. In order to help mitigate the crowding and inherent visibility restrictions for users re-entering the highway traffic we at Glacier Jet would like to publicly notify as many of the rafting kayaking and canoe communities as possible of our personal invitation to stage your vehicles at our launch location on the upstream side of the highway should you be contemplating floating the river. We have less silt and mud on our location for when you are rigging your boats down, its safer access off and onto the highway, and it will save some of the parking at the boat launch for those requiring trailers to launch and retrieve their vessels. Please be aware that we cannot assume responsibility for your vehicles or any items left in them should you choose to park at our location, and we normally chain and lock the entrance to our facility so it'd be a good idea to phone and let us know if you want to drop off your vehicle later than 8pm or if you may not be off the water before 8pm so we can make arrangements to leave the gate open for you. My phone number is: 250-1235 and our office number is 868-7669 Thank you for letting me post this here, we wish you many happy days on the water this year!
    Chris_______________________________________

    I've got to say following the meeting I walked away proud to call myself a rafter and a powerboater. There are truly some great Alaskans on the water no matter which way they happen to be floating on it!

  9. #9
    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Thanks for keeping us informed Chris.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  10. #10
    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Yeah, thanks Chris. When ever possible I always come off of step to pass rafters and canoes!

    Sometimes it isn't possible in skinny water.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
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  11. #11
    Member Jimw's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Chris it was a well run and respectfull meeting of all whom attended. The gentalman from the CG, was very interested and helpful with what was going on. It was good to see the Glacier Jet guys again and a firmilular face from other areas that I frequent. Lets keep it going!!!!

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