I just found out that this meeting was going on tonight. Here is an article from the Longmont Times Call about a meeting tonight
Reservoir may open to kayakers
By Trevor Hughes
The Daily Times-Call
LONGMONT A longtime ban preventing boaters on Ralph Price Reservoir may be lifted after kayakers complained they were being unfairly targeted for illegally paddling across the citys largest reservoir.
The reservoir, also known as Button Rock, has been closed to all kinds of boating since the dam was built and the valley northwest of Lyons was flooded in 1969.
And thats caused increasing trouble in the last few years because kayakers legally descending the North St. Vrain River find their journey interrupted by the restricted-access, 250-acre lake.
Their solution: sneak across.
Kayakers then carry their boats around Button Rock and Longmont dams, put back in, then legally boat the lower section of the North St. Vrain back to the parking area.
Because this is one of the best runs in the state, there are people who still paddle the run, Catherine Downey of Longmont wrote to the city council recently.
In the past, the rangers have been pretty lax about enforcing this law. This year they seem to have cracked down on enforcing this.
Downey goes by the moniker KayakingKate in the online discussion group MountainBuzz.com, where complaints about Button Rock rangers have been flying. Kayakers have discussed giving fake names and using other tricks to avoid punishment for breaking the citys rules.
Tonight, members of the Longmont City Council will discuss investigating whether changing the current rules is a good idea.
Among the options: keep the ban; allow only kayakers to pass through; allow both kayaks and belly-boats for fishing; or allow any kind of human-propelled watercraft. Rangers will begin surveying users if the council approves.
Public boating on the reservoir was originally banned on the grounds that it could contaminate the water. But advances in the purification of drinking water may mean that ban is no longer necessary.
On the online forum, kayakers said they dont understand why theyre banned but dogs are allowed to defecate and urinate near the reservoirs edge.
Wrote the user Livingston: We are allowed to boat in the creek that feeds the res, it is the same water, we were already in it, what is different about the lake?
And Downey said in her e-mail to the council she found it strange that officials would be pushing a kayaking park within city limits but prohibit the same activity on the same water higher up the river.
Longmont is pursuing plans to create a whitewater kayaking park east from Main Street down the St. Vrain River to its confluence with Left Hand Creek.
Wrote Downey: I think it is ironic that the town is considering spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a whitewater park to attract boaters while at the same time harassing and apprehending the same people for paddling a much better stretch of water that is free to the town.
The reservoir is a major source of drinking water for Longmont, storing spring runoff from the St. Vrain River. Water is diverted to the citys treatment plant through a pipe about a mile downstream from the dam.
City water engineer Ken Huson said the Colorado Whitewater Association approached him about opening up the reservoir to kayakers, and he agreed it was time to review the rules.
Really what we want to do is get some public input over the next couple of months, said Huson.
Trevor Hughes can be reached at 303-776-2244, Ext. 220, or by e-mail at [email protected]
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