WA AIS Legislation Hits Paddlers Hard in WA State

From Dan Henderson's Cascade PaddleSports Newsletter today:

At $10 per seat in a boat per year, WDFW wants to stop you on the water!

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) is a real threat in Washington State.  It has the potential to foul waterways, clog hydro pipes, fill agriculture irrigation ditches, and sterilize water and kill fish and wildlife. In legislative bill Z-0454.4/13 Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) asks for the authority over AIS activities is Washington State. This is the correct department to lead this effort and WDFW should have this important authority.  However, their proposed funding mechanism places the entire burden on recreational boaters - for paddlers, the simple version is that everyone who goes on the water would be required to pay a $10 fee per year. And WDFW would have the authority to stop you while you're out paddling and require you to produce evidence that you paid the fee. I consider this a gross invasion of our privacy and potentially diminish our paddling experience.

Please contact your state legislature and urge them to grant Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife the authority to fight AIS, and urge them to fund this effort from a broad spectrum of the population, particularly the power generation, agriculture and commercial fishing interests that most benefit from this effort, and not on the backs of recreational boaters. Please urge them to resist efforts by WDFW, or any other law enforcement agency, to have the authority to stop paddlers for any reason other than probable cause - observed illegal activity. When we're on the water, we want government to leave us alone.

Here's the link to the bill:

Dan Henderson

Thanks for the heads up Dan!