I am very sympathetic to the problem of invasive species. My daughter has a PHD in this topic. That does not make me an expert but I do have questions about a new permit.
I found this information I put in red on the Oregon State Marine Board, O.S.M.B. web site.
Here is the link http://www.boatoregon.com/OSMB/programs/09LawsConversation.shtml.
“ Operators of manually powered boats 10 feet or longer, such as canoes, kayaks, drift boats, rafts and small sailboats, must purchase and carry the $7 permit….Out-of-state powerboat operators will pay $22.” During a recession this could be the kiss of death for the traveler when they decide where to vacation. Those two kayaks on the motor home can spend $14 for the right to paddle in Oregon. This legislation does not go after the original re leaser of zebra or quagga mussels.
The marine board says, “we do this because invasive species is costing millions of dollars in maintenance of water and power facilities. How does that justify taxing people paddled boats? Why is there a 10 foot limit on boats needing a permit? Will a 9 foot boat not be as big a hazard as 10 foot boat to the big power companies and water treatment plants?
Why do motorized boats pay $5 every two years and non-motorized $7 ($5 permit + $2 agent fee) each year? For years the Oregon State Marine Board has considered how to get money out of paddlers. Hiding behind a green topic like invasive species was easy to think paddlers would be sympathetic.
What if I don't purchase a permit?
* Law Enforcement Officers will issue warnings for the first few months of the program. After that, they will begin actively enforcing the new law which is a Class D Violation which carries a $97 fine.”
This was a badly planned legislation according to OSMB Randy Henry, Marine Board's Operations Policy Analyst. “ODFW and OSMB literally had 48 hours to assemble the language that became the primary substance of HB 2220.
So, with little time to act, the legislature called upon agency staff to use their expertise to re-craft HB 2220 into a broader prevention effort. Yes, we’d have loved a good, long public input process and more forethought, and while we at the Marine Board aren’t thrilled with raising fees, the program is valid and we’ll do our level best to put that money on the ground to prevent invasive species infestations. Considering the limitations, I think the product is very good and will be far more effective than doing nothing.
Why did we choose a 10’ minimum length? We didn’t want to go after dime-store boats and pool toys, and we wanted to be consistent, as we were directed to be, with Idaho. The 10’ length draws criticism, but there’d be a lot more if we required every thing from pool toys on up. Why not a hip wader tag – after all, they are known to spread New Zealand Mud Snails and other things. Namely, that wasn’t what we were asked to do. I would agree that others should be assisting in the funding – hydropower, irrigation, fishing, commercial shipping, etc. They’re all going to pay big-time if infestations occur, as will ratepayers and everyone else. It’s valid to say that recreational boaters didn’t bring these critters to the US, but we are the most likely vector now that they’re here, and that’s why the legislature looked to us for funding.
Every year we prevent zebra mussels from entering the Columbia Basin is $50 million saved by Columbia River hydropower dams alone.
True, we at OSMB are not biologists, but we do know boats, and we work closely with the people who do know the biology of these species.
So do we like the current funding structure? Not really, but it’s the only thing we have.”
Where is the science that proves a 10 foot canoe is is a significant contributor to invasive species. Why is it O.S.M.B. does not require foreign ships that dump millions of gallons of un-inspected bilge water daily into our bays to pay their share. O.S.M.B. admitted they are not scientists so how are they helping draft laws about a biological problem.
The biggest financial beneficiaries are big power companies and water treatment plants. Why are they not paying for invasive species prevention? Why should they benefit from a free ride while paddlers are forced to pay more than motor boats?
Has our benevolent governor and friends created a way to kill tourism further in 2010. With a new tax disguised as a fee to protect against an alien invasion? Have they used buzz words and scientific names of exotic animals to pass a green sounding piece of legislation?. Was this done in haste to avoid public input?
I recall our fore-fathers having a, “Tea Party,” when a money hungry King George forced a small stamp tax. Have you lost your will to stand up to our governor? This is a poor plan that punishes those not involved and does not involve those causing the most damage.