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Old    Alex (alex)      Join Date: May 2010       06-08-2016, 12:26 AM Reply   
People of Havasu, and surrounding lakes/rivers, or waterspouts/boating enthusiasts in general, please help even if it is simply by watching the video as views will help our legitimacy. Even better would be writing an email to: Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov



For those of you who don't know, last year USFWS closed coves where families had been skiing for generations because a single kayaker wrote them a bunch of emails telling them the coves had gotten dangerous as only a retired woman with a cause can do. So they were closed, without evidence or any supporting data, not by police or the safety enforcement (who disagreed) but by USFWS- not for an endangered animal (thank god because I'm sure we'd have zero chance). This year they are proposing further closures, please help. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know, there is also a FB called "Share the Lake" if anyone is looking for more information.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHIp48WE22o&sns=em
Old    Alex (alex)      Join Date: May 2010       06-08-2016, 12:28 AM Reply   
PS if the moderator would like to share this or do an article that would be amazing
Old    David Williams (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       06-08-2016, 1:18 AM Reply   
Write an article and send it to me. Sounds like a good cause!
Old    Ross Dantonio (clutchind)      Join Date: Oct 2009       06-08-2016, 6:45 AM Reply   
Reach out to the WSIA for their recommendations on how to proceed, they've a great resource for waterway closures and may even lend a hand!

http://www.wsia.net/contact/
Old    Alex (alex)      Join Date: May 2010       06-08-2016, 8:52 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutchind View Post
Reach out to the WSIA for their recommendations on how to proceed, they've a great resource for waterway closures and may even lend a hand!

http://www.wsia.net/contact/
Just was referred there by someone on the malibu crew site, have a call scheduled with them later today, thanks for the idea though, I think you're right, could be a great contact.
Old    Andy Graham (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       06-08-2016, 10:53 AM Reply   
Alex, Excellent video. As a several-times-a-year Havasu boarder, thanks for your work and effort. I'll do my part and spread the word.
Old    Randy Murray (wakeripper)      Join Date: Oct 2002       06-08-2016, 12:54 PM Reply   
I havent been to Havasu in years but i'll be going this weekend to check it out
Old    Alex (alex)      Join Date: May 2010       06-08-2016, 11:09 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone,
David I'm a better rider than writer, and not that great of a rider... any suggestions or guidance on what you'd like would really help... Ive got nothing right now.
Old    Vinny Armentano (VinnyA)      Join Date: Aug 2011       06-09-2016, 8:55 AM Reply   
I tried whipping up a template!
Obviously a draft, please post with revised language.

<<<
Dear Sir or Madam,

I hope this email finds you well. My name is Vincent Armentano and I'm reaching out to urge USFWS to reopen the closed portions of the Lake Havasu waterway to watersports enthusiasts.

As a lifelong wakeboarder, I know watersports are an incredible way for families to spend time together. Since watersports require multiple people (Driver/spotter/rider) to take place they're inherently social, and provide a platform for families and friends to bond. However, this shared experience can be lost if people are stressed and worried about the safety hazards posed by other boats.

Forcing watersports participants to ride in the same space as speedboats, jetskis and other watercraft that prefer long straightways puts fallen riders at risk of being struck. Young children interested in trying out watersports will be intimidated because of the high pressure environment. Picking up fallen riders in high speed straightaways will also be a stressful experience for parents responsible for driving the boat.

Reopening the closed area of Lake Havasu would provide a much safer environment for watersports enthusiasts to practice and learn. It would also benefit the watercraft who prefer the main lake by removing the risks posed by fallen riders.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Best,
>>>
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Old    Alex (alex)      Join Date: May 2010       06-10-2016, 9:42 AM Reply   
I think that's perfect!
Here's mine, little long I know, but my family bought a vacation home to ride this spot so I'm rather passionate about it...
I am writing as a concerned citizen in opposition of Refuge Manager Linda Miller’s new CD proposal.

First I would like to stress the fact that last year’s closure of the .5 mile area at the rivermouth was a huge mistake and completely unjustified. I feel this new proposal is an attempt to further cover that up and USFWs should be ashamed of their actions. Linda made these previous changes with little or no research or understanding of the area in question. She did NOT (and still today does not) have support of the community, mayor, city council, police, local boating association, or even all of her own USFWS’ officers. This uneducated manager made this decision based on 80+ emails from one loud individual and her partner rather than any empirical evidence or even basic logic. And while I have called, visited, and written multiple times Linda is always unavailable or can only respond with a non-specific generalized email; I assume because she knows there is absolutely no justification for her actions, and rather than putting her ego aside to do what is right, she’d rather hide behind the agency than answer simple questions or work with the public. Why she chose to quit operating under a “wildlife first directive” to instead blindly rule with an iron fist is beyond me; hopefully upper management can correct this as your agency is quickly losing whatever trust it once had in the region.

Both your own statistics and logic would agree; this area does not have a safety issue. After almost a year of your agency’s research it was found that there were no contraindications to wildlife and that there were maybe 20* incidents in area this since 2012. I write “maybe” because after all this time researching these incidents your own officers are not even sure they happened in the area of the closure or near the location… but they think so (what a joke). The fact that this is the justification for a closure is even more embarrassing, in this same time period the department wrote 712 other citations, which means that USFWS is hoping that MAYBE* less than 3% (as a generous estimate) happened in this area, hardly an alarming rate, and certainly not a justification to overstep the community, mayor, police, safety enforcement, and local boating association.

Speaking of safety, statistically speaking, a fallen skier/wakeboarder/innertuber etc is at much higher risk of being injured than the 2 kayakers Linda has given exclusive use of the area. If a distracted boat driver were approaching; a kayaker, who has their entire body and boat above water, is radically more visible than a fallen skiier or child in the water. And in the situation where neither the kayaker or fallen skiier are seen by a boater, a kayaker is much more mobile and far more likely to get themselves out of harm’s way than a fallen child wearing a life jacket trying to swim with skis attached to them. Forcing all skiing families onto the main lake is a far more dangerous option and a much larger safety concern than keeping them in a protected area. Using safety as a justification for last year’s closure doesn’t make any sense as the changes your agency made actually INCREASE the likelihood of accidents, collisions, and fatalities.

If there truly is a safety issue it should be addressed. I know plenty of individuals and groups willing to work with the USFWS if Linda was willing to at least return an email or meet with them. As a former promotional wakeboarding athlete, former waterski school instructor, and a child that grew up and learning to ski in this now closed area, I know how special this part of the refuge is and also recognize that there are better ways for it to serve all, rather than its current unjustified closure. I ask that you reverse Linda’s decision to close the safe ski spot last year, and reconsider any further closures of areas where families and children have been skiing for generations.
Old    Jeffrey Blanchard (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       06-12-2016, 9:58 AM Reply   
Alex,

If you haven't already sent this email in you may want to consider writing in a way that's less personal. You could do this by replacing Linda with "special interest group" or something other than a personal identifier. My comment would be that if USFWS views this as a dispute of a person rather than the facts they may be less likely to act.

My other comment would be "do you have statistics to indicate that a fallen skier is more at risk than a kayaker?" if you do, use them, if not consider removing this. You can still talk in general terms or observed boat traffic.

You could also take a position and suggest that USFWS and the impacted stake holders {i.e. all those affected by the closure) work together on an education campaign to educate all boaters about the regulations and safe water practices to increase safe responsible boating by all water users.

Best of luck in your fight for shared water!

Jeff

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