As the Legislature Turns
The Oregon State Marine board continues to plead their case for a head tax on non-motorized boaters. They now have what is essentially a sales brochure for their proposed Waterway Access Accounts. The document illustrates some of the ideas the agency has for improving access, at selected locations around the state. You can find it here: https://geo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=828872ccafcf4001bb700ba258ecc680
The Statesman Journal has reviewed the legislative proposals, and you can find the article here: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2019/01/24/oregon-marine-board-raft-kayak-fees-increase-new-plan/2650720002/
Long story, short: The fees on canoes and kayaks would roughly triple, under the board’s proposal. The fee continues to be characterized as an access fee, but is still, in fact, a de facto fee on navigation, violating Oregon’s Admission Acts. It also remains a fee on everyone who uses Oregon’s navigable waterways, whether they make use of OSMB facilities, or not.
As the first link shows, the agency is not without worthwhile ideas. Unfortunately, they continue to want it all on their terms, where they control the money, the waterways, and the conversation. Oregonians deserve better from their government.
The Joy of Wet Season Paddling
Zach Urness, at the Statesman Journal, composed an article on a topic near and dear: why you should involve yourself in rainy season kayaking. Of course, I’ve been touting the advantages of year-round paddling for decades, so I’m happy now, to see Zach advance the cause: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2019/01/30/oregon-hike-outdoors-kayaking-salem/2668504002/