Our pal Tom Chandler over at the Trout Underground blog, urgently needs your help in his battle to protect access rights on his home water. He is fighting a county government body that wants to declare his home water non-navigable. This means that anglers would lose their right to wade the river between the high water marks.
The vote on this matter is set for next Tuesday and at present it appears that the measure will pass. Tom is asking that you take 90 seconds to copy and paste an email to the parties involved to let them know how you feel about the subject of taking away stream access.
Here is a link to Tom's post with the contact info. Don't think this sort of thing couldn't happen on rivers all across the country including your favorite fishing hole.
In the interest of getting the word out we are also posting a copy of Tom's request:
Here’s What’s Gotta Happen
I need as little as 90 seconds of your time. My only admonition? Be polite! You’ll see why below.
You’re simply going to email three of the supervisors and also “cc” the county clerk (and copy me).
Why the clerk? To make sure these emails become part of the official record, which may not have happened to your earlier emails. (How’s that make you feel?)
Michael Kobseff (email@example.com)
Bill Overman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
LaVada Erickson (email@example.com)
Colleen Setzer, County Clerk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Trout Underground (email@example.com)
Here’s What We Need to Say
We’re going to stick to the basics. No need to clutter your e-mail with anything beyond your name and the issues that matter. If you’ve only got 45 seconds, then simply cut and paste my bullet points, add your name and a closing line, and mail away.
If you’ve got a couple minutes, rewrite my stuff so the supervisors can’t devalue your effort by calling it a “form letter campaign.”
Still, what counts here is volume. If we can send the fisher-friendly supervisor into that meeting room with 100 emails — if we can jam the Supervisor’s packets with a triple-digit outpouring of “the public is watching you” — we might be able to turn this thing.
Here are the bullet points:
The Proposed Natural Resources Plan and Committee damages Siskiyou County’s sustainable, renewable tourist economy. Fishermen won’t come here, even if just the Scott and Shasta Rivers are declared non-navigable (though the plan clearly includes “all” rivers in the county). When half the County’s tourist-related businesses start suffering, what will the Board of Supervisors do?
The Proposed Natural Resources Plan and Committee Ordinance avoids public comment. Modoc County invested eight months writing their plan, and held a half-dozen public meetings. Siskiyou County’s draft policy document shuns public input, and was apparently written by one person — who somehow retains the “right” to accept or decline public comment. How is that good public process?
The Proposed Natural Resources Plan practically guarantees expensive, wasteful legal challenges. Despite one supervisor’s protestations to the contrary, a half hour of research makes it clear the Scott, Shasta, Upper Sacramento and McCloud Rivers qualify as “navigable” under Federal and State definitions. It’s also clear that all rivers not designated non-navigable are to be considered navigable (not vice versa). Why are we essentially asking for lawsuits — which the county will lose?
Any suggestions the navigability of rivers “was frozen at statehood” ignores the Fall River decision (and others), where attempts to impede public access to navigable rivers were thrown back by lawsuits.
Don’t use abusive or accusatory language (two of the names on the list above are our friends). One supervisor’s been whining about the small number of nasty emails (the same guy who cryptically accuses Trout Underground e-mail writers of being “misinformed” — and repeatedly characterized your public input as “bizarre and irrational”).
The only whining they get to do comes after they’ve lost their attempt to run you off “their” rivers.
Otherwise, Supervisor Marcia Armstrong — who’s already trying to pack the Natural Resources Committee with her hand-picked cronies; who is already deciding which public comments are acceptable; and who wrote this ridiculous, illegal natural resource policy — will win.
And we lose.
Also, if you know any business owners up here who depend on fishermen to make a living, then drop them an email. Let them know that their own Board of Supervisors are willing to sacrifice south county businesses so extractive industries can prosper.
That’s the action plan. From here on down is just more fuel for the fire.
FlyfishMagazine.com sent their emails today!. If you need more information about this subject please see Tom's previous postings.