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From 7/29 Letters to the Editor:
Extreme kayaking
On a recent hike, near tree line in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, I encountered two kayakers who were "cleaning out" a high-elevation stream of deadfall in preparation for a first descent. When I explained the negative impact of their actions on this stream, they responded that if they couldn't clear it, that wouldn't be any "fun" because then they couldn't run it. These "obstacles" are not a "problem" for nature.

An image persists that people involved in outdoor sports naturally have a respect for the outdoors. What undermines this image is extreme kayakers and rafters who feel it necessary to "clean the routes" of rivers and streams to enable first descents by removing log jams and overhanging windfall. By cleaning the route, they greatly alter and simplify a basic part of headwater (high-elevation creeks) stream ecology. Overhanging windfall provides pathways for small mammals to disperse and mix with other populations. Fallen logs in the water (woody debris) alter stream velocity, allowing for the sorting of streambed material, both of which provide habitat for aquatic invertebrates, and creates for fish hiding and resting cover, important over-wintering habitat, and places to spawn.
Extreme kayaking or rafting is not a benign use of the land, not when important ecological components need to be removed.


Dave A. Schmaltz, Boulder

Not sure if anyone else saw this, but though it might be of interest to those who do 1st Ds
 

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Extreme kayaking or rafting is not a benign use of the land, not when important ecological components need to be removed.

Dave A. Schmaltz, Boulder
I'd say he was right....if important ecological components were being removed. But my guess is that it is unlikely that they were.

Dave A. Schmaltz sounds like typical Boulder Taliban to me. I am an environmentalist but I'm nut a nut like way too many of them are up here in Boulder. I graduated from CU Boulder with an MS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering so I feel qualified to say, "go suck a big fat dick, Dave A. Smaltz".

In the meantime, we should take this as a reminder to only clean what is necessary for a safe run. Don't overdo it, and do it quickly and quietly so that nutcases like Dave don't get bent out of shape and we end up with access problems.
 

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two articles should be written by qualified people, one on minimum inpact hazard removal and another on getting by fisherman without floating right through the hole they are fishing
 

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There was an AWA article on this:
http://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/stewardship:woody_debris

It kind of agrees with Ture's conclusion (not the suck a dick part). Think before you pull wood. The nature of the wood and the stream geography will influence the environmental impact. Fortunately mankind has already destroyed most of the natural stream environments so us boaters don't have to feel too guilty about the minor effects we have.

If Dave has some scientific evidence to back up his conclusions, then we should probably listen.

Anyone know what creek they're cleaning? Is this Jasper? above the source? Other?
 

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I for one cannot see how anyone would clean a river.

Unless it is a beaver! :wink:

Ture you rock.
 

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It is well known that creekboats alter stream velocity allowing small mammals to cross and interact with other mammals on the other side. DUH.
 

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ummm......oh boy

Boulder Boulder Boulder, your mind is made of clay
Boulder Boulder Boulder, you'd rather bitch than go play...


If there is wood and it's a danger, clean it. Screw the environazis and the tofu penis they rode last night.

Several years ago, some non-bathing wacko blocked the Kingston Peak 4wd, one designated by the US Forest Service. He told me in fevered fashion that I could go no further, I was killing the forest. I contemplated this and thought about just drive around this stinking exscuse for a human being, but then I realized I'd be driving on the forest and not the road. I didn't really want to hurt the environment, so I pulled out my trusty .44 Mag and very politely informed the miscreant hippie that he was going to dismantle his roadblock. Just to make sure he understood me, I put two rounds into the ground in front of him. Who says hippies can't listen to reason.
 

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If there were legitimate scientific evidence that it significantly harmed the environment,then it would be wrong,Smaltz offered none.It probably does harm to some small degree but pales in comparison to most human activities. Cmon an impediment to small mammal traffic?We all know how those creeks are ALWAYS crankin',what about the other 10 months out of the year? Not to mention crossing in meadows and up river where it's a trickle,gimme a break.Isn't some kind of "why did the marmot cross the creek" joke in order here?
 

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Global Warming (man made or not).
Invasive Species.
Ozone warning records on the front range.
Acid rain.
You can't stand anywhere in Colorado without being 9 miles from a road.
And this guy wants to throw a fit over mice?
I couldn't care less about extreme kayaking but I do worry that this clown's vote is equal to mine.
 

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Thank you farp. It does seem like there are a suprising number of people who can't see the big picture. Whether it's whitewater parks or logs, we are doing a terrible injustice to the environment as kayakers. Whatever. :roll:
 
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