Coos Bay Hosts Paddling Film Festival April 27
The World Tour Paddling Film Festival is coming to Coos Bay on April 27. The event is hosted by 7 Devils Brewery, and details can be found here: https://www.paddlingfilmfestival.com/world-tour/334-hosted-by-7-devils-brewery-and-south-coast-tours.html
The Paddling Season Outlook
The prospects for this year’s paddling season look pretty volatile, at this time. Although we have a stronger snowpack than expected, rainfall totals in Western Oregon have been lagging. This could lead to unfilled reservoirs, low flows and a shortened season, not to mention a potential drought by late summer. On the other hand, the year so far has proven cooler and wetter than predicted. If cool, wet weather persists, we could have one of the most bountiful paddling seasons in quite some time. If the predicted drier, warmer weather materializes, it would be better to get your paddling in now; if you wait, you’ll need to resign yourself to more scratches in your hull.
The Fight Around Public Rights on Waterways
The right of the public to a waterway and its adjacent riparian lands largely hinges on the waterway being deemed navigable. If it is, the public owns the waterway along with its bed and banks, up to the normal high-water mark. That’s because of a binding provision in the laws that made Oregon a state. When there’s an argument over the public’s rights, it has usually centered on the definition of “navigable”. More recently, a right of passage on flows sufficient to float a boat has been applied to waters that might not technically be considered navigable. Meanwhile, private interests, special interests and the broader public interest have become tangled in a fight to control Oregon’s waterways and lands. Zach at the Statesman looks to make some sense of the situation: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2019/03/14/oregon-private-land-public-use-fishing-swimming-hiking-rivers-streams-creeks-oregon-legal/3135970002/
Zach Urness Kayaks the Siletz
The Statesman Journal’s own, Zach Urness, kayaked the whitewater section of the Siletz River, and has a video to prove it. You can find it here: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/videos/travel/outdoors/2019/03/14/siletz-river-kayak/11363491/