It's 'Gs' Gone Wild

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You assume I mean Girls Gone Wild! Nope. The Gs I’m referencing don’t have to remove their tops to earn their “gone wild” title. They can just be themselves. They’re the “G”overnment bureaucrats in the Bureau of Reclamation. Yes, it’s Government Gone Wild!

The Bureau recently proposed rules designed to end boating and “return the shoreline of all Bureau-managed lakes and reservoirs to nature.” This will be accomplished by pulling up existing docks and mooring facilities and constructing a chain-link fence around the lake 150 feet from the shoreline. No, I’m not joking! In fact, it’s been reported that the Bureau is already preventing access to homes and water on some Bureau-managed lakes. One 80-year old couple on Cascade Lake returned home after a vacation to find a chain-link fence blocking them from accessing their house.

The Bureau manages properties, lakes and reservoirs in many states, but mostly in the West. Specifically, the Bureau has proposed a new rule on the use of Reclamation lands and water bodies which would prohibit everything from cabins to boat docks, including moorings, launch ramps, floating structures, moored vessels and business sites. Obviously, this will hurt recreational boaters, anglers, marinas, boat retailers, and service providers, as well as many adjacent support businesses like grocery stores, bait shops, gas stations, etc. The rule would prohibit new boat access ramps and docks and would not renew current leases when they expire. In other words, stop water access!

Now, this should make you gag! To justify the rule, the Bureau claims demand for use of Bureau land and water bodies for different kinds of activities has increased dramatically since the properties were developed for water supply, flood control, and hydropower over 100 years ago. This increase causes conflicts and confusion among user groups. And, as is so typical of “G” thinking (usually one fry short of a Happy Meal), rather than study other commonly accepted ways to resolve any user conflicts it’s just easier to end use of the lakes!

MRAA, NMMA and others frequently tell us the fight for water access is among the highest priorities for our industry and is a constant battle. I couldn’t agree more and this example brings it home once again.

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