Tag Archives: canoe

Columbia County, FL, Parks Ordinance, No. 2020-08, 2020-06-18

Columbia County Attorney Joel Foreman sent a copy of this ordinance (see PDF) within minutes of being asked, along with this explanation:

Attached is the version of the Ordinance that was signed. The amendment was made at adoption to 78-3(B), adding that the Board would approve any supplemental rules by resolution.

Columbia County, FL BOCC Special Called Meeting 2020-06-18

Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson posted the below explanation on facebook (reposted here with permission): Continue reading

Rum Island absorbed within Columbia County Park Ordinance: BOCC vote 2020-06-18

Update 2020-07-03: As amended and passed, Columbia County, FL, Parks Ordinance, No. 2020-08, 2020-06-18.

Tomorrow, Thursday, June 18, new rules for Rum Island Park will be voted on by the Columbia County BOCC. This park with its public boat ramp is a popular access to the Santa Fe River and its springs.

[Cover Sheet]
Cover Sheet

At the previous meeting in which they scheduled this meeting, Columbia County Commissioners were heard complaining about kayak and canoe outfitters being some sort of problem.

June 4, 2020, Columbia, County, FL, BOCC Regular Session video

The greatly expanded definitions in the ordinance add permits, with a limit of a total of four permits for “regular commercial uses of parks or recreational facilities”. It’s not clear what “uses” means. Does that include dropping off customers at a public boat ramp? Parking outfitter vehicles? Other?

Presumably issuing permits for fees will affect later budgets. Note that the agenda sheet only says “This item has no effect on the current budget.”

You can comment if you attend, or you can send email beforehand; see below.

WWALS has no official position, although we will send a letter asking the BOCC to be sure such permits don’t interfere with Sec. 78-6(C):

“(C) Boats, including human-powered craft and boats of common horsepower motors, shall be allowed.”

So far as I know, Our Santa Fe River (OSFR) also has no official position.

When: 5:30 PM, Thursday, June 18, 2020

Where: Columbia County School Board Administrative Complex Auditorium, 372 West Duval Street, Lake City, Florida 32055

What: Special called meeting of the Columbia County Board of County Commissioners

Purpose: To adopt a Rum Island Park Ordinance within a broad Columbia County Park Ordinance that includes all of the recreational holdings of the county.

To comment: Attend in person. Or send email to:
To: Board Secretary Penny Stanley <penny_stanley@columbiacountyfla.com>
Cc: County Attorney Joel Foreman <jforeman@columbiacountyfla.com>
Subject: Columbia County BOCC Park Ordinance

Thanks to Continue reading

Winners, BIG Little River Paddle Race 2019-04-27

For Immediate Release

Tifton, Georgia, May 1, 2019 — “This was the first year a canoe finished first to win the $100 cash prize,” said Bret Wagenhorst, main organizer of the BIG Little River Paddle Race, last Saturday, April 27, at Reed Bingham State Park. “It was a two-person canoe of gentlemen from Gray, GA: Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue.”

[Tandem male canoe, green (BW)]
Tandem male canoe, green (BW)
Photo: Bret Wagenhorst, of Wayne Hale and Terry Donahue winning the BIG Little River Paddle Race. They won in the male tandem canoe category last year, and they won overall this year.

Suwannee Riverkeeper John S. Quarterman said, “Thanks to the paddle race sponsors, Dr. Bret Wagenhorst, Georgia Beer Company, and Cook Medical Center.”

Dr. Wagenhorst added, “Thanks to all the paddlers from across Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, as far away as Mexico, who came out on a glorious south GA spring day to help raise money for the WWALS Watershed Coalition and the Friends of Reed Bingham State Park group by paddling a scenic and winding stretch of the Little River. Lots of fun in the sun for friends and families.”

[Below the bridge (BW)]
Below the bridge (BW)

First woman across the finish in a solo kayak was Continue reading

Valdosta spilled 300,000 gallons Tuesday 2018-06-26

For a year and a half, Valdosta had no major sewage spills. Until yesterday. The 300,000 gallons Valdosta spilled uphill from the Withlacoochee River is far more than the 90,000 gallons Albany spilled into the Flint River a month ago, and far more than the 36,000 + 5,400 gallons Tifton spilled into the New River a few weeks ago. It’s even more than the 250,000 gallons Tifton spilled into the Little River last September during Hurricane Irma.

New WWTP site near Withlacoochee River

Sure, 300,000 is less than the millions of gallons Valdosta spilled in January 2017. And sure, Valdosta has spent tens of millions of dollars building a whole new Withlacoochee Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) uphill out of the flood plain, and a force main, and mamy other improvements. Sure, the situation is better than it used to be, as I’ve been bragging about on the radio and in this blog recently.

But it was that same new WWTP that spilled yesterday. Sure, what spilled was mostly rainwater.

But people in the seven Florida counties downstream (or in Lowndes and Brooks Counties, Georgia downstream) are not Continue reading

WWALS to FWC BAC against paid permits for paddle boats 2017-11-27

Sent today. See also PDF, and previous posts about what you can do. -jsq


To: Nick Wiley, Executive Director
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street
Tallahassee, FL  32399-1600
850-488-2975
nick.wiley@MyFWC.com
Emily Herschman Davis:   850-617-9577
emily.herschman@MyFWC.com

Colonel Curtis Brown, Chairman
Boating Advisory Committee (BAC)
Curtis.Brown@MyFWC.com


Captain William Griswold, Chairman
Non-Motorized Boat Working Group (NMBWG)
WSGriz@aol.com

Re: Paid permits for non-motorized boats

Dear E.D. Wiley, Chairman Brown, and Chairman Griswold,

As the head of an organization that holds many paddle outings in Florida, I thank you for holding a public meeting tomorrow of the Boating Advisory Council that could finally put to rest the ill-advised idea of charging permit fees for paddle boats or boards. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, so I am sending this letter.

population density map of Florida
Stean Rayer, Ying Wang, Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), University of Florida, 30 October 2014, Measuring Population Density for Counties in Florida

Thank you, FWC Executive Director Wiley, for saying back in February Continue reading

NMBWG and BAC going for paydirt of paid paddle permits

Remember, you can object to paid paddle boat permits before the Tuesday morning meeting of the Florida Boating Advisory Council (BAC). More below on what you can do, plus still more apparent term limit overruns, paddle boaters represented by a yacht business owner, the last NMBWG meeting, the paydirt of paddlers pay (for marinas), and what that would cost.

After a decade of BAC attempts to charge people for paddling (see yesterday’s installment), in 2015 the BAC decided it needed a sub-group:

“The Non-Motorized Boat Working Group (NMBWG) was created by the Boating Advisory Council at its May 18, 2015 meeting. The purpose of the working group is to address four core areas of non-motorized boating: access, education, safety, and user pay/user benefit.”

It doesn’t take much reading of the NMBWG minutes to infer that the whole goal of this group was not access, education, safety, nor (non-motorized boater) user benefit, but “user pay”.

Yacht Octopus by Peter Sleeckx, 2 December 2006
Yacht Octopus by Peter Sleeckx, 2 December 2006, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Term limits apparently don’t apply

Continue reading

More than a decade of attempts to charge permits for paddle boats

Remember, you can object to paid paddle boat permits before the Tuesday morning meeting of the Boating Advisory Council.

For more than a decade, at least half its lifetime, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Boating Advisory Council (BAC) has been trying to find a way to charge permit fees for registration of non-motorized boats. Here’s the story so far, which will make clear there’s no reason to believe such efforts will stop. Also including not one, but two BAC members mysteriously serving longer than state-mandated term limits would seem to allow. Is it really about the children? Or is it about marinas, that paddle boaters don’t use? With a special appearance by the Florida state rep. who sponsored the law that expedited WWALS vs. Sabal Trail & FDEP.

BAC logo

The Boating Advisory Council (BAC) was created Continue reading

Paid permitting of paddle boats and boards Tuesday? 2017-11-28

One group wouldn’t do it, so its parent may: require paid permits for paddle boats and boards in Florida.

When: 9AM, Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Where: Mission Inn, 10400 County Road 48, Howey-in-the-Hills, 34737
That’s a golf club resort halfway between The Villages and Orlando, rooms $179 to $246 for Monday night.

Who: Boating Advisory Council (BAC) of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Event: On the agenda under “Unfinished Business / Updates”:
“Non-Motorized Boat Working Group Recommendations Review — William Griswold”

TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000
TripAdvisor, Mission Inn Resort & Club, 10400 County Road 48, Howey in the Hills, FL 34737-3000

How to Comment: Continue reading

Florida may require licensing of paddle boats and boards

Here’s a bad idea that doesn’t seem to die: making people pay to register non-motorized boats in Florida.

Kevin Spear, Orlando Sentinel, 29 January 2017, Florida may require licensing for kayaks, canoes, paddle boards,

USCG Vessel ID Sticker
No registration or permit needed for this U.S. Coast Guard Vessel ID Sticker

A citizens panel assembled by state-boating authorities will meet in Orlando on Wednesday to explore what could become a path to adopting registration and fees for small boats powered by humans, wind and currents.

“That sounds like Continue reading

Suwannee Riverkeeper Vessel 2017-01-14

Heading downstream On the Suwannee River on a fine Saturday afternoon, advocating for our rivers and the Floridan Aquifer and against the Sabal “Sinkhole” Trail fracked methane pipeline. The Waterkeeper Alliance requires each member to have a vessel. Here’s the Suwannee RIVERKEEPER® vessel.

Thanks to Tom H. Johnson, Jr. for paddling and for taking the picture. Thanks to Bret and April Huntley of Paint and Body Concepts for putting the name on the sides. Thanks to Phil Hubbard for the paddles and other assistance. And thanks to Lynne Buchanan for riding along, photographing, and helping paddle.

 -jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®

You can join this fun and work by becoming a WWALS member today!

Heading downstream

Continue reading