California trade group opposes invasive-species bill

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Recreational Boaters of California is urging legislators to veto AB 2443, a bill designed to combat invasive species.

“We share the objective of combating invasive species,” the group wrote in a letter to Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif. “Our organization remains unconvinced, however, that the provisions of this bill will accomplish this objective, and we do not believe that the provisions justify a possible doubling of the state registration fees paid by this state’s boaters.”

Recreational Boaters of California wrote that it had “serious concerns” about provisions of the bill, which would:

• Establish a new comprehensive statewide approach to combating invasive species without an examination of the effectiveness of programs being administered by a number of state agencies.

• Focus on the recreational boating public for new fees while there are many participants in the battle against invasive species.

• Impose fees on boaters throughout the state regardless of whether they boat in areas subject to infestation by invasive species.

• Ignore other solutions, including direction of the significant boat personal property taxes paid at the local level.

• Create situations in which boaters are paying fees although they never move their boats from one freshwater location and never present a risk.

• Create situations in which boaters are paying twice for the same program.

“RBOC has consistently stated that we would remove our opposition to AB 2443 if it were to be amended to replace the proposed increase in registration fees with provisions that would instead require the state to examine the effectiveness of the current programs being administered by a number of state and local agencies and develop recommendations to increase the effectiveness of the current approaches,” the group wrote.

Click here for a copy of the RBOC letter to Brown.

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Comments

One comment on “California trade group opposes invasive-species bill

  1. Clean Angler Member

    I wonder if rather than an upfront fee, if boaters would be willing to pay a small toll at launches to have “cleaning stations” constructed. It could be as simple as a cattle guard with a sprayer, catch, and filter to drive over when coming into or leaving the area and a hose off area to the side for tubes, kayaks, float tubes, waders, etc. Have treated water spraying the bottom of vehicles and the water filtered and recirculated. After initial cost was covered the toll would no longer be necessary. Some of the funds that are currently being misdirected would be more than enough for the upkeep. Makes sense to me to clean all boats, vehicles, and trailers coming into a body of water as much as when they are leaving. Just a thought….maybe another alternative to recommend to your state agency. It would be something at least you could “see in action” and not have to wonder if your money is being used to accomplish the goal.

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