Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-11-2011   #1
 
Worcestershire, Midlands, UK
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 52
Environmental effect of canoes, kayaks, and rafting

Looks like you US guys have similar problems of access as us in the UK. 96% of inland waterways in the UK are out of bounds as far as the landowners and angling associations are concerned. The latter being a very powerful force, especially with regard to political lobbying.

One of their arguments is that allowing open access on the rivers will be bad for the environment and disturb the fish. The UK's own Government department, the Environment Agency, produced a peer reviewed report a few years ago which concluded that canoes and kayaks are environmentally benign, that fish spawning areas are not at risk from them, and that most objections to opening up access are down to reasons of affecting lucrative angling license fees.

I was wondering though whether any US organisations have researched and published any papers on the matter that could be used as further ammunition?
__________________

SimonMW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #2
God Amongst Men
 
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
 
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
this is pretty random i know but the two things i think of when i think kayak + environment are:

1. Popular campsites and human-impacted areas near waterways are seeing more and more signs of degradation due to our use. This would include trash, destruction of local flora for use in fires, impacts on wildlife and so on. Riverside hot springs on some runs are also starting to become an issue. Most river runners on the whole are a conscientious people, and do their part to pick up after themselves, and taking care of their personal areas. Some, however, are not. And it is a small group that is making a problem for the whole, and that is why Ruby-Horsethief will soon be a permitted run and not there for anybody's taking. It is not hard to see the correlation between the rise in popularity of riversports and the rise in such problems.

2. I know this matter has been discussed over and over and both sides have claimed their opinions are the "right" one, but, Fossil Creek, AZ. The ongoing, year round impact of kayaks on geologically, the travertine, and more broadly, the micro-ecosystem that exists surrounding the desert creek, has yet to be fully understood because it's still such a new thing. One thing is for certain, kayaks are not the only user group affecting that area, but it certainly is one, and whether people like it or not, we are going to get grouped in negatively if the situation goes for the worse. The micro-climate there has a profound effect on the local ecology, and if the environment itself becomes damaged or ruined, then it would most certainly negatively impact the local wildlife. Detractors will not differentiate between user groups, so they will lump kayakers in with hikers, day trippers from Phoenix, and the local high school party kids. So maybe consider it our job to start cleaning up and/or to help spread the word, or to take some action, because in the end, if the environment gets ruined, everyone, including us, will have to face the consequences.

As far as papers or research done, I suggest spinning over to American Whitewater and seeing what you can come up with there. Good luck.
__________________

__________________
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
yetigonecrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #3
 
Worcestershire, Midlands, UK
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 52
Looks like there may be different issues between the US and England and Wales. In the UK multi-day tripping is relatively rare, and wild camping is not allowed in England, and only in some places in Wales. So the only places available to camp besides the rivers over here are on official managed campsites, with maintainable ingress and egress points.

Wild campfires are mostly banned all round here AFAIK. I'll try contacting American Whitewater to see if they have anything. Thanks for the tip.
SimonMW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 177
Recreation engineering and planning builds whitewater parks and has published a couple of studies regarding stream management including one that looks at the impact of wwparks and fishing - might help you. Recreation Egineering and Planning

Zach.
__________________
Whiskey's for drinkin' and waters for fightin'
- Mark Twain
wycoloboater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #5
 
Meng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMW View Post
Looks like you US guys have similar problems of access as us in the UK. 96% of inland waterways in the UK are out of bounds as far as the landowners and angling associations are concerned. The latter being a very powerful force, especially with regard to political lobbying.

One of their arguments is that allowing open access on the rivers will be bad for the environment and disturb the fish. The UK's own Government department, the Environment Agency, produced a peer reviewed report a few years ago which concluded that canoes and kayaks are environmentally benign, that fish spawning areas are not at risk from them, and that most objections to opening up access are down to reasons of affecting lucrative angling license fees.

I was wondering though whether any US organisations have researched and published any papers on the matter that could be used as further ammunition?
If 96% of your inland waterways are closed to paddling I would not say we have similar problems. Your problem is MUCH worse.

If UK's EA concluded the above in your quote - and I'm assuming this is site specific to certain areas in the UK - is your issue really amassing more information saying that paddling is environmentally benign? Just playing devils advocate here.

From what you say yourself, the issue is a powerful lobby 'protecting' their lucrative angling fees. It sounds like this is a political issue and not solely an environmental one (though that could certainly be a piece as could economic, equity and recreational values). How could you approach lawmakers to ensure that the needs of paddlers are balanced with the powerful angling lobby?

I don't know UK politics so I don't really have a specific suggestion BUT I would look at some US-based NGO's that advocate for public access to natural resources, like AW (as others have mentioned) and the Outdoor Alliance (of which they are a part). In particular, do a case study on some of their past efforts to open access to paddlers and see what kind of information they brought together to convince decision makers. I would imagine that withing their targeted efforts, studies were conducted on environmental impacts and these were quantified (but again, this would be site specific and only generally applicable to the UK). In particular I'm guessing AW's efforts to open up waterways in the National Park System (Chattooga) are particularly content dense.

Also, look at resource management agencies that manage rivers (say Colorado State Parks: Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area and a slew of BLM and USFS offices) to find out which paddler impacts they want to mitigate and how they achieve that - that could help set a blueprint to do the same while adaption it to your situation needs. Many of these impacts will be external to the actual paddling and relate to acess at putins/takeouts. You will be more credible if you cite these with an accompanying mitigation strategy.

Best of luck - sounds like a highly inequitable situation and a big challenge to overcome.

PS - It probably all comes down to how waterways are owned and appropriated in the UK. If they can be totally private you are probably SOL. But if they are in essence a resource held in the public trust (even when surrounded by private land) then you probably have a case. CAVEAT: Just an opinion which I'm not all qualified to provide, really.
__________________
American Whitewater's website and river stewardship projects are funded by paddlers. Please join, renew, or make a donation to help us protect whitewater rivers in Colorado and nationwide.
Meng is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #6
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMW View Post
Looks like you US guys have similar problems of access as us in the UK. 96% of inland waterways in the UK are out of bounds as far as the landowners and angling associations are concerned. The latter being a very powerful force, especially with regard to political lobbying.

One of their arguments is that allowing open access on the rivers will be bad for the environment and disturb the fish. The UK's own Government department, the Environment Agency, produced a peer reviewed report a few years ago which concluded that canoes and kayaks are environmentally benign, that fish spawning areas are not at risk from them, and that most objections to opening up access are down to reasons of affecting lucrative angling license fees.

I was wondering though whether any US organisations have researched and published any papers on the matter that could be used as further ammunition?
SimonMW,
The usual argument against the use of streams and the incidental touching of the bed lands by private interests is litter, loss and liability. These arguments are red herrings, whether in the UK or here in the US. They are different issues from use or access issues and have specific, separate and existing laws that can be asserted. Google the applicable statutes existing in the UK.

Whether legislatively, judicially or via UK's version of a ballot initiative, as for use of streams' waters and the touching of the bed lands incidental to that use, apply the Public Trust Doctrine as the basis to confirm (not prove, it's already been proven with settled law, confirm) your rights to use and enjoy navigable waters for commerce, navigation, fisheries, environmental, aesthetic beauty, scientific study, etc purposes.

Google "England Public Trust Doctrine", "Wales Public Trust Doctrine", etc. to learn, focus and understand how it applies within those procedures and in those countries. Find, adapt and amend previous bills and statutes in the UK that can be used as frameworks. Judicially, either find and support an applicable case, say, a criminal trespass case, or file a complaint to eventually get it up to the UK's highest court for a final ruling through appeals by either party in order to resolve the USE.

Under the modern PTD, the environment is one of the uses protected. Google "Public Trust Doctrine Joseph Sax". Google "mono lake public trust doctrine environment" for an adaptable example. James Brown may be the Godfather of Soul, however, Joseph Sax is the Godfather of the modern Public Trust Doctrine.

View "Champions of the Public Trust" at: "http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/29499318 for an adaptable overview.

Because the PTD is based on ancient and Common law, it is applicable in the UK. Your group just needs a buncha money and competent counsel to progress it.

As for access to and from your natural streams, one procedure is a permitted and compensated government run walk in access program over private up lands (above the ordinary high water mark). Sounds like most of the UK access (96%) means traveling over private up land, so good luck getting such a WIA program from your government's wildlife department. Many states here in the US, however, have WIA programs that work voluntarily between the private and public interests. View

As for gaining access to and from streams from public property or right of way, public county (shire in UK?) bridges already have a public right of way for any type of travel within the ROW, including walking through or climbing over a fence abutting a public bridge. Confirm the ROW via legislation providing for putting gates or passthroughs on or through bridge abutting fences to allow access for the public interest while controlling livestock and managing property for the private interest. Quid pro quo. For an adaptable example, read: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2009/billpdf/HB0190.pdf This bill passed 96-3 in the Montana House and 48-2 in their Senate so this has been demonstrated to be a reasonably non-dispute alternative.

A third access route is to strategically locate cost effective footbridges across a stream from public land to public land. Now you get both shores to use for put ins, take outs, wade fishing the far shore, etc. No private interests involved so no disputes. Go to flickr.com and Search "footbridge" or "New Zealand swing bridge", etc. or take a look at bridgepix.com for examples.

Hope this helps your situation in the UK.

Richard
Ole Rivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #7
 
Droboat's Avatar
 
Wild Wild West, Colorado
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 214
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMW View Post
that most objections to opening up access are down to reasons of affecting lucrative angling license fees.
"The River Why" is not a ecological paper, but a classic work of autobiographical fiction that teases out modern attempts by the well-healed U.S. fly fishing lobby to enclose the commons from bait fishing based on empty claims that only well-healed fly fishers can protect ecological functions.

This "tradition" of protecting wildlife from depredation by the activities of the unwashed masses stretches back to the Black Law prohibitions and the beginnings of the Enclosure.
Droboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-2011   #8
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 250
Some English History

Excerpt from HARTMAN v TRESISE, 84 P. 685 (Colo. 1906)
BAILEY, J. (dissenting) :

“The Angles and Saxons, who, in the company with the Jutes, invaded and conquered England in the latter part of the fifth and earlier portion of the sixth centuries, were an energetic, freedom-loving people, expressly fond of outdoor sports, hunting, and fishing. These characteristics were accentuated and emphasized by the Norsemen occasionally making war upon the Anglo-Saxons, and in their raids leaving a portion of their people, who remained and mingled with the Britons. Until the advent of the Normans, such a thing as regulations concerning the right of fishery was unknown. The waters and streams, and the fish within the waters, were common property. They were as free as the air was free and as the birds which flew in the air were free. The Normans were a different class of people. they strove for individual power and domination. The great barons demanded, and William and his sucessors conceded to them, great landed estates. Then it was, for the first time, that the right of fishery was vested in individuals, instead of the common people. The King, however, reserved the sea, and arms thereof, and the rivers entering therein so far as the tide ebbed and flowed, because it was necessary to have access to the bays and rivers for navigation purposes. These were called public waters, and the rights of the public to fish therein was conceded because they were public waters. There then grew up a series of distinctions of the right of fishery. These were divided into the “several right of fishery”, the “free right of fishery”, and the “public” or “common right of fishery”. The “public right of fishery” was the common right to take fish from the waters over which the King held dominion. There arose in england much litigation over these rights and the allegded violations.

It is unnecessary in this opinion to follow the erudition of the judges and the lawyers concerning those matters, except to say, that among other principles that were established, it was held that in a free fishery a man had a property in a fish before it was caught; in a common piscary, or a public fishery, and in a several fishery, not until afterwards; that a public river is a public highway; and that this is its distincuishing characteristic; that the right of common fishery was vested in the people in all public rivers. These are the principles which are deduced from the learning of the English courts and jurists as they existed in common law. 2 Blackstone, 39; Coke on Littleton, 122 (Hargrave’s Note 181); Lord Hale, De Juris Maris, 11. At the time what were called public rivers were the only rivers effected, and, to the extent that they were effected by the tides, because that was the extent to which they were used for navigation."
Ole Rivers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2011   #9
 
Meng's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 787
Quote:
Originally Posted by Droboat View Post
work of..fiction...based on empty claims that only well-healed fly fishers can protect ecological functions.
Fiction indeed. My own observations on the Taylor river - and these are totally anecdotal, subjective observations mind you - show that flyfisherman have a much more profound impact on the riverside ecosystem than paddlers. While paddlers here use the traditional and established access points and that's it, fly fisherman constantly create new trails and access points, which get heavily used once established. Thus, what was once a relatively intact river-corridor as far as unfragmented vegetation (well, at least at the bank buffer, there is a road that mostly parallels the whole section of river) is now a river section of fragmented stream-side vegetation clusters. Most of the river-left section of river has seen heavy fisherman incursion and user crated trails/trampled open spots.

At any rate, this is just one observation in one area. Might it be more ubiquitous? The observation might not even be accurate. Still, it has lead me to believe that paddlers - when using specific access points (and not dragging boats and leaving a plastic trail) - have a lower impacts on the river corridor than many other types of river recreation.
__________________

__________________
American Whitewater's website and river stewardship projects are funded by paddlers. Please join, renew, or make a donation to help us protect whitewater rivers in Colorado and nationwide.
Meng is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Tags
canoe, rafting

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Then+now-2 beaut videos of rafting/kayaks in NZ sportsmad Whitewater Rafting 2 08-31-2010 05:25 PM
25% Off All Remaining 2007 Kayaks & Canoes 4 Corners Riversports Commercial Posts 0 11-10-2007 01:05 PM
Environmental Hypocrite blutzski The Eddy 4 09-18-2007 12:10 PM
Kayaks & Canoes Live Chat Room samtomhop Whitewater Kayaking 3 08-17-2006 04:51 PM
Advice - environmental jobs? Natedogg Commercial Posts 6 09-15-2005 10:31 PM

» Classified Ads
2011 Jackson Villain-...

posted by clearcreekontherise

Jackson Villain Kayak. Large size. 2011, Elite series. Made...

2015 Rossignol Experience...

posted by Tripp

2015 Rossignol Experience 88 skis with Rossignol Axial...

2012 Down River Tandem...

posted by denali1322

Tandem kayak. Has three small patches. Used quite a bit...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.