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Some info on this was posted a few weeks ago, but I thought I would bring it back up as the deadline is near. Just got an email from Rob Maxwell who has been very active in the fight against the boating ban on the upper chattooga river. Rob brings up some very good points. A federal agency is banning boating on the upper chattooga with no solid reasoning behind it other than to apparently keep boaters out so that anglers can have the stretch to themselves.

The big issue is that if the boating ban is upheld it could set a serious precedent to expand boating restrictions on federal lands, forests and national parks.

This isn't just an east coast issue, its a national issue.

If the boating ban is struck down, certainly that gives some leverage for the continued fight to open up boating in yellowstone NP as well.

I've sent in a couple of letters on this one. Here is the latest from Rob...

Hi Everyone,
As most of you know, we are in the final days of fighting to open the
Upper Chattooga to boating. Things don't look that good for us. So I'd
like to take the fight to a national boating public. Here's where you
come in.
Below is a post I wrote for distribution to boater message boards and
boating e-mail lists. If you would please take a few minutes and post
this to every local, regional or national boating related message
board you use, I'd appreciate it. Also, please e-mail it to all your
boating buddies and ask them to do the same.
We are running out of time to put pressure on the Forest Service to do
the right thing. I can only do so much by myself. Your help would be
greatly appreciated.
If you have a minute, check out BoaterTalk.com and read my post about
how the Forest Service is allowing the East Fork of the Chattooga
River to be polluted.
Thanx -- Rob Maxwell
Here's the post*************************
TITLE:
USFS Considers Banning Boating in all Federally Managed Lands!
BODY COPY:
Whether you know it or not, on August 18th the Forest Service will
establish a precedent that can lead to the banning and/or severly
restricting boating in all Federally Managed lands. Yes, your favorite
rivers and creeks that are Wild and Scenic Rivers; Federal Wilderness;
or in National Parks and recreation areas may soon be off limits to
all boating.
What?s going on? Whitewater boating was banned on the upper sections
of the Chattooga River 30-years ago by a single rouge park ranger,
without public comment or impact studies. He simply waived his hand,
and it was so. Now 30-years later, politically powerful special
interest groups, with significant pull in Congress and the Forest
Service are fighting to maintain this boating ban, which should never
have been established in the first place.
How does this effect you? The Upper Chattooga ?Capacity and Conflict?
study, commitioned by the Forest Service, outlines rationale and
management practices for severely restricting or banning boating on
federal lands. The report is well footnoted with dozens of studies and
management techniques from across the nation. If things that happen in
the north, south, east and west can be used to continue the boating
ban on the upper sections of the Chattooga River, they can be used
against you and your rivers. You can check out the ?Capacity and
Conflict? study and its array of footnotes here:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r8/fms/forest/projects/20070608-Chattooga Integrated Report final.pdf
Imagine a day when the Forest Service closes your favorite run and
says, ?They did it on the Upper Chattooga, we can do it here.? There
will be no impact studies. Public comments won?t matter. Political
pull or a single rouge park ranger is all it will take. The precedent
will have already been set on the Upper Chattooga.
How can you help stop this? The deadline to send in comments to the
Forest Service is August 18th. If you are too busy to learn all the
details and craft the perfect comment letter, there is a link to a
well thought out form letter below. Simply add a few personal touches
and e-mail it to the Forest Service, the Chief of the Forest Service,
and your Senator and Congressman. Its simple, all of their e-mails are
also listed below. Let them all know you are against bans on any user
group, in federally managed lands, without proper justifications and
impact studies. Remember, the river you save could be your own.
A form letter:
American Whitewater - Nationwide Chattooga Comments Needed_
For detailed facts on the Upper Chattooga boat banning check out these sites:
American Whitewater - Project - Chattooga Headwaters_
American Whitewater - aw:chattooga_faq
American Whitewater - Nationwide Chattooga Comments Needed_
Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests - Welcome!
E-mail your letter, by August 18th, to the Sumter National Forest at:
[email protected]
E-mail the Chief of the Forest Service in DC at:
[email protected]
Ask your Senator and Congressman to write a letter condemning this
unjustified boating ban.
Find your Congressman at: United States House of Representatives, 110th Congress, 2nd Session
Find Your Senator at: U.S. Senate
Help your boating brothers in the Southeast stop this unjustified ban
before you have to fight it in your own backyard.
Thank you
--Rob Maxwell
Atlanta, GA
 

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This could potentially set a very bad precedent, and the feds love precedent.
Please consider sending in a comment.
 
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