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  • Safe Harbors

    Lot of discussion recently on safety and boating. Good topic.
    But a degree of risk is always present on waterway. A safe harbor is a very good place to stay, if you want to insure your safety. But as we all know, that is not what our boats are intended for. They are built to withstand the rigors and dangers of Alaskan waterways.
    That said, the onus is on the individual to assure their own safety. Waterways and boats should not have restrictions placed on them, to satisfy the needs and wants of the most novice boaters and boat designs. Individuals need to take responsibility for knowing their own limitations. If you don't feel "comfortable" going up or down a narrow channelled river, don't go. Simple stuff here.
    I am not interested and it bores me greatly to hear individuals getting into word games, such as rights vs privelges, as this type of discussion does not get to the root of the issue.
    Bottom line is that we each have an agenda, desires and for sure different levels of thrill seeking. If yours don't match the location, don't get involved in it. If you want to catch a trophy Norhern Pike, would you go to Mirror Lake? If you want solitude and a leisurely ride on a raft, would you go to a lake or river that is loaded with power boats? If you want to stay absolutely secure and safe, would you go out on any of Alaska's waterways? It is called "Risk Assessment". It is done by each of us to a degree each day, in all facets of our lives and routines. Make your own decisions based on your own level of judgement and take responsibility for your own actions that result from your decision. If you know the area does not meet your desires, for gods sakes man, stay clear of it or take your lumps. Don't think you can model other users of an area to meet your view of the world. Boating is no different than any other activity you might enjoy. Would you attempt to restrict families at the park, simply because you don't want the noise, annoyance or extreme level of activity? Of course not.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  • #2
    I'll bite

    Originally posted by Akres
    Waterways and boats should not have restrictions placed on them, to satisfy the needs and wants of the most novice boaters and boat designs.
    I noted you stayed away from answering the question of whether it was a privilege or a right to drive a powerboat <grin>. Those pesky words and definitions...they always get in the way of things.

    Is it okay to drive jetskis on the Chena, or Deshka? No restrictions should ever be placed on watercraft or waterways, ever? We never even delved into the habitat damage that can be caused by powerboats on some streams, damage to riparian banks and fish populations.

    ANYONE who thinks there should never be any restrictions placed on certain activities in certain places just isn't dealing with the reality of present-day Alaska.

    "Defending your Freedom to Ride!" at any and all costs is not what this should come down to, yet that seems to be your motto as well. Sorry to hear it,
    Mark
    Mark Richards
    www.residenthuntersofalaska.org

    Comment


    • #3
      Reality is: I have watched habitat altered, in many ways, since I was a kid. Never have I seen it destroyed. Without exception, evertime the habitat was altered in every way, it resulted in improvement. Floods, New River Channels, Bank Erosion, Crushing, Shredding, Fires, on and on. None of this is bad for the long run. To think that a river bank is destroyed by boat wakes is just plain ludicrous. Altered agreed, just as high water does every year. Only thing very few are out there witnessing the effects of spring run off.
      "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
      ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

      Comment


      • #4
        There's your reality...and reality

        Akres,

        I'm not opposed to powerboats, so don't get me wrong. But like anything, too much of any one user group in any one place can have negative repercussions. Powerboats can, and do, cause bank erosion, just like high water and breakup does. I think it would benefit you greatly to acknowledge this as fact since you have worked with a powerboat org to protect the "right" to use various powered watercraft on Alaska waters. The wake of some powered craft can disturb salmon eggs, throw fish ashore...etc.

        One of the great benefits of acknowledging that powerboats do cause damage is the ability to try to mitigate this damage. On the Kenai, banks were protected by various means, from cabling off trees to dumping rock riprap.

        What I am trying to point out to you is that we need regulations to "control use" in certain areas. You want to skirt this main premise, and hold to the position that no regulations should ever be imposed on any stream to curtail the use of any powered watercraft. Not ever.

        What's happening in Alaska is that the popularity of certain streams, due in large fact to their close proximity to urban areas, is damaging the resource and creating dangers to human life. It isn't that big of a step in logic when jetskis are banned on heavily used streams because of the dangers they impose to then take a look at other fast-moving powerboats in the same context. As far as habitat damage like bank erosion caused by wake disturbance, powerboat orgs can either try to work with and protect the banks of property owners (for example) if this erosion is causing problems...or they can deny any damage occurs. Seems like anyone who would like to keep their privilege to drive their powerboat on AK streams should work with folks on this for a solution or compromise. Denying a problem exists is equivalent to just burying your head in the sand.

        I'll say this one more time: Anyone who thinks there should never be any restrictions placed on certain activities in certain places just isn't dealing with the reality of present-day Alaska.

        Sincerely,
        Mark
        Mark Richards
        www.residenthuntersofalaska.org

        Comment


        • #5
          Acknowledging

          The only thing I and other reasonalble individuals can absolutely acknowledge is the quatifiable data we have. It is foolish to act on personal notions and or perceptions.
          Fact: Rivers experiencing the highest levels of boating and walking along the banks, are repeatedly producing record levels of fish. So much for the hatchling damage, it just does not bear out, pure nonsense with individuals imaginations running wild.
          Fact: Disturbing vegetation, banks, sandbars, rocks, forests and water, greatly contributes to natures way of altering the ecosystems. Without exception, these alterations benefit man. Yes, I know the jungle have been laid to waste, to produce fields of wheat and rice, such a shame.
          The notion to restrict man, due to one's perception that the landscape will be destroyed, simply does not have quatifyable data to support it. This line of thinking has resulted in Old Growth Forests left to rot, lakes to become boggy masses of weeds and loon dung, and wildfires threatening peoples homes every day of the year.
          Change and alteration is a good thing. Granted some alterations require a lengthy time to produce desired results, but it always happens, without exception. Study an area long enough and you will note the improvement.
          "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
          ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

          Comment


          • #6
            Akres,

            My previous statement regarding horsepower restrictions had nothing to do with the Deshka accident or the fact that I lost one of my best friends in it. My desire for horsepower restrictions has to do with the wave energy that the big, heavy, fast riverboats put out, and the absolute damage they're doing to my property. Every time a big heavy boat goes by, the river turns muddy. That's a fact. Small boats don't do it. Every time my bank is hit by the big wakes, a little more of my deeded property washes into the creek. That's also a fact. Little boats don't do it.

            Perhaps I should be compensated for my property losses by those that cause it. I'll have my lawyer contact your boat association. Fair?

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, That's not entirely true. A couple of years ago I was fishing with my daughter in a spot that's about 75' wide in the creek. We were no more than 20' from one bank. Two big inboards come around a corner about 300 yards below us. It happened at that moment that my kid was on the bow of our jon boat pulling the anchor. She was struggling a little but she was determined to pull it herself. Clearly the two inboards saw this little girl leaning over the bow deck pulling the anchor. Do you think they slowed down? Nope. Not only did they not slow down, they split us and went on both sides of us full-bore. That's right, one ran through the 20' slot on the inside of us at full step while my kid went to her knees and held on to not be tossed into the water by the wakes. If my 50hp outboard had a chance to catch those dillholes, I was completely ready to shoot holes in their boats. I had the shotgun perched against a tree in the front yard for the rest of the weekend but those boats never came back down before I had to leave. It's been years and I'm still angry.

              Jerk-offs in little boats are less dangerous than jerk-offs in big boats. That's a fact, too.

              Comment


              • #8
                Keep digging...

                Akres,

                There are two extremes on the issue of powerboats on popular streams. One is the extreme of your position, that there should never be any restrictions placed on powerboat use, anywhere, and that they cause no damage to habitat (like bank erosion) and don't infringe on the safety of other recreational users and the quality of their experience. The other extreme is that all powerboat use of a certain sized (and speed of) vessel should be banned on popular streams.

                I don't like either extreme. There has to be some middle ground. As past president of the Alaska Boating Assn., I'd have hoped you would recognize this by now. But wait, it turns out you have, in another thread (poll) right here about horsepower limitations on the Little Su:
                http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...read.php?t=336

                You had this to say:
                "Limit People
                Not the boats they use. Crowding is the problem, address the real issue. Do not apply a band-aid to a gash."

                You began this thread by saying that "Waterways and boats should not have restrictions placed on them, to satisfy the needs and wants of the most novice boaters and boat designs."

                Isn't "limiting people" on waterways a restriction? In limiting people, wouldn't you also be limiting the number of people using powerboats? I am not sure what your beef is here, or why you have descended into a non-sensical viewpoint.

                Originally posted by Akres
                Fact: Disturbing vegetation, banks, sandbars, rocks, forests and water, greatly contributes to natures way of altering the ecosystems. Without exception, these alterations benefit man.
                The above quote says it all. If that's the voice of "reason" then we as hunters and anglers are lost. Altering ecosystems purely to benefit man is how Alaska will turn into the Lower-48 some day.

                It has been proven that certain sized powerboats cause bank erosion beyond what is caused by "nature." This "alteration" caused by large powerboats certainly doesn't benefit Mr. Pid or the property owners on the Chena in Fbks. Other powerboat users/orgs have worked with property owners to mitigate this damage. As I said earlier, you first have to acknowledge there is a problem (you don't, or won't, apparently) in order to try to find some compromise or solution. You are digging yourself a hole...yet I don't understand the why of it.

                Mark
                Mark Richards
                www.residenthuntersofalaska.org

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Akres
                  Waterways and boats should not have restrictions placed on them, to satisfy the needs and wants of the most novice boaters and boat designs. Individuals need to take responsibility for knowing their own limitations.
                  There already are. Ever heard of "Rules of the Road"?

                  http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/mwv/navrules/rotr_online.htm
                  A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mr. Pid
                    Akres,

                    Every time a big heavy boat goes by, the river turns muddy. That's a fact. Small boats don't do it. Every time my bank is hit by the big wakes, a little more of my deeded property washes into the creek. That's also a fact. Little boats don't do it.

                    Perhaps I should be compensated for my property losses by those that cause it. I'll have my lawyer contact your boat association. Fair?
                    Excuse me?!?! Didn't YOU choose to purchase riverfront property? Doesn't sound like too good of an investment to me. Should have bought on the other side of the river. Who are you going to sue when spring highwater erodes your bank. Or what if the river cuts a new channel through your backyard?

                    I am well aware if this issue. I have close friends who have places up the Salcha and they take responsiblity for thier own property and rip rap it or even move thier cabins back.

                    You by chance aren't related to those folks who keep rebuilding thier hurricane destroyed homes with taxpayer dollars on the east coast are you?
                    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      public use

                      Ak res
                      You are correct we all have our own agenda for thrills. However, risk assessment means if you are a novice rafter you shouldn’t float 6mile creek for you 1st float, or try the talkeetna in your 1st trip with a new jet unit …. This should have nothing to do with the fact we all need to reach an agreement for the benefit of all on highly used public lands. There needs to be some common sense & courtesy as the population is continually growing & everyone still wants their place for solitude or thrill seeking.
                      If I have a raft & I want to enjoy a class 1 river I shouldn’t have to worry about being run over because somebody in a $40k inboard jet can get it 10 miles up a river 6” deep & 12’ wide. Why should the little guy have to find somewhere else? I think one option is to follow the Kenai & have no motor days on some of these rivers. All people could still benefit & use the resources this way. I would love to have a day on the deshka where I don’t hear inboards screaming by at 4:00 am & could leisurely float down.
                      On these days the big boats must play elsewhere.
                      I’m not saying over regulate or go to the extremes, we have national parks for this. ( But then again what would happen in these places if some of these restrictions weren’t in place )

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Snyd
                        Excuse me?!?! Didn't YOU choose to purchase riverfront property? Doesn't sound like too good of an investment to me. Should have bought on the other side of the river. Who are you going to sue when spring highwater erodes your bank. Or what if the river cuts a new channel through your backyard?

                        I am well aware if this issue. I have close friends who have places up the Salcha and they take responsiblity for thier own property and rip rap it or even move thier cabins back.

                        You by chance aren't related to those folks who keep rebuilding thier hurricane destroyed homes with taxpayer dollars on the east coast are you?
                        I'm not surprised that you'd come up with such a reply. Heck, I've lived here for better than 40 years. When I was a kid we'd ride motorcycles where there are now houses. We'd hunt where there are now subdivisions. I suppose I should grab my gun and a dirt bike and go have some fun. After all, what idiot would buy a house on a lot where I used to shoot? Your argument doesn't hold up.

                        I understand the nature of high water and breakup on my stretch of river better than you. I understand the damage that big boats are doing to my property better than you. I pay taxes on my property. I have a right to enjoy and defend my property. You, on the other hand, do not have a right to destroy it. And furthermore, if I feel my safety is in jeopardy at the hands of some drunk driving a 21' inboard weapon, I'll take appropriate action to eliminate the threat, no different than if a drunk with a gun threatens my safety. I believe I have a right to defend myself. Again, you don't have a right to endanger me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The edit button disappeared so I'll add a new post.

                          I'm not a fan of big government. I'm not a fan of regulation. I'm not a fan of mandatory restriction. Arguments like the one you make are an fine example of why regulation and restriction are necessary. I would classify myself as a politically conservative individualist. I expect people to behave in responsible and respectful ways, and I offer the same of myself. The reality is that most people are becoming increasingly selfish. "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine." I don't buy it. I don't respect it. I won't tolerate it. The fact of the matter is that you can scream for the freedom of ripping up and down small streams in big boats all you want. I'll respectfully lobby for restriction. I'd characterize it like me having a few beers and going for a high-speed joyride up and down the street in front of your house while your kids are playing out front. I bet you'd object. Heck, what idiot would buy a house on a paved street and not expect me to drive as fast as I wanted on that street?

                          It may not be today, or this year, or even next, but ultimately I'll prevail. That's the way it is. Respect and consideration are disappearing. Alaskan's values are changing. Alaska's changing. You're living proof.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Short Sighted

                            Originally posted by AKMarmot
                            Ak res
                            You are correct we all have our own agenda for thrills. However, risk assessment means if you are a novice rafter you shouldn’t float 6mile creek for you 1st float, or try the talkeetna in your 1st trip with a new jet unit …. This should have nothing to do with the fact we all need to reach an agreement for the benefit of all on highly used public lands. There needs to be some common sense & courtesy as the population is continually growing & everyone still wants their place for solitude or thrill seeking.
                            If I have a raft & I want to enjoy a class 1 river I shouldn’t have to worry about being run over because somebody in a $40k inboard jet can get it 10 miles up a river 6” deep & 12’ wide. Why should the little guy have to find somewhere else? I think one option is to follow the Kenai & have no motor days on some of these rivers. All people could still benefit & use the resources this way. I would love to have a day on the deshka where I don’t hear inboards screaming by at 4:00 am & could leisurely float down.
                            On these days the big boats must play elsewhere.
                            I’m not saying over regulate or go to the extremes, we have national parks for this. ( But then again what would happen in these places if some of these restrictions weren’t in place )
                            I personally would carry my risk assessment a bit furhter than yourself. Roger Miller said it best "You Don't Rollerskate In A Buffalo Herd". Good advice. YAHOO You Always Have Other Options
                            "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                            ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Devil's Advocate

                              Gee, its good to get people thinking and discussing boating safety. Remember I mentioned that has been a passion of mine for years. Contrary to some of my posts, I really do understand the issues before us, related to boating in Alaska. I would never, never, unintentionally mislead you.
                              "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
                              ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

                              Comment

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