ButtonRock Access for kayakers-Meeting tonight - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-28-2004   #1
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 267
ButtonRock Access for kayakers-Meeting tonight

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 city’s 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 that’s 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 city’s 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 don’t understand why they’re banned but dogs are allowed to defecate and urinate near the reservoir’s 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 city’s 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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Old 09-29-2004   #2
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 686
Sorry, but I am not going to be able to make this meeting due to previous obligations. I do hope that there will be some kayaking presence there to share our thoughts. Any volunteers? I checked online but couldn't figure out if it started at 5:30 or 7 pm.

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Old 09-29-2004   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 686
By the way, Polyethelene, the material Kayaks are made from, is the same basic material as you standard plastic milk jugs.

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Old 09-30-2004   #4
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 267
Did anyone attend this meeting? If not please contact the City of Longmont if you want access across ButtonRock
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Old 09-30-2004   #5
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 75
Pretty funny that I got quoted since I told the reporter I didn't want to talk out it until the issue was resolved. He pulled that out of an email I sent the town council!

I didn't even know the article had been published...

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