I had a nice conversation with Ashley Massey, public relations officer at OSMB, about HB 2320. She informed me that OSMB will not be pursuing any other legislation down the road regarding non-motorized boating in light of the defeat of HB 2320. Instead, she said OSMB will focus on motorized boating.
She also told me that boat ramps don't charge over $3 because anything above that amount reduces the amount the counties and cities that maintain these ramps receive from OSMB.... Ashley then went on to say that if the counties or cities want to upgrade facilities to accommodate paddlers, parking fees would increase, perhaps by as much as $10.
I told her I had less of an issue with a registration fee than I have with paying for an aquatic invasive species permit.
Was I eager to pay a registration fee? No. But if counties and cities decide to step in and take over the role that OSMB would have played, we could find ourselves paying $5 - $10 for parking.
Last year in Santa Cruz, I had to pay $15 to park at the city boat ramp. We have it better here.
I lead on average five tours of Beaver Creek each year. Imagine if I had to pay $5 each time. That's $25 a year just to park at Beaver Creek, and that's not the only boat ramp I launch from. $24 for a two-year registration fee doesn't look so bad under that scenario. And I know many of us paddlers use other boat ramps as well, some several times each year. Fees could rise at Rogers Landing, Willamette Park, Pacific City boat ramp, Knights Park, and other public boat ramps. Higher paddling and launch fees could do our sport more harm in encouraging others to take up paddling than a registration fee would do.
She asked me to keep in contact with her and to let her know of any ideas I might come up with for ways to help OSMB work closer with the non-motorized community.
I mentioned that one of the things OSMB should have done in getting their word out about the need for the fee was have a presence at Alder Creek's Paddle Fest and Next Adventures' Summer Splash these last few years to explain to paddlers about OSMB's non-motorized program and the reason for the fee. She told me that Mariann at OSMB had tried but that those retail establishments were not welcoming to OSMB. Really, c'mon guys.
Why are we as paddlers treating OSMB as though they're adversaries? Their goal is to make boating safe and enjoyable for everyone. We should be able to find common ground to work together with OSMB. We can't have a meaningful dialog with them if we shut them out and treat them as though they're the bad guy.
Your comments greatly welcomed.
This is not a paid endorsement of OSMB.