Local kayakers, canoeists and other water trail enthusiasts can help shape the future of non-motorized paddling in Oregon
NEWS ARTICLE SHARED FROM TILLAMOOK COUNTY PIONEER
Local paddlers invited to help shape future of non-motorized boating in Oregon
TILLAMOOK, Ore. – Local kayakers, canoeists and other water trail enthusiasts can help shape the future of non-motorized paddling in Oregon.
“Now is the time that we need to bring paddlers to the table and talk about the services they need and want,” said Oregon State Marine Board Director Scott Brewen. “We hope that together we will set a new course forward that will help us manage, support and encourage diverse non-motorized activities on Oregon’s waterways that promote safer and more frequent boating recreation for all boaters.”
The Board and agency staff will host an evening of dialogue on local non-motorized boating interests and needs to support water trail activities. The meeting is scheduled for 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 10 at the Tillamook Library, 1716 3rd St., in Tillamook.
“This process was initiated by boaters through their input to our Strategic Plan in 2011,” said Brewen. “The common issue from motorized and non-motorized boaters alike was how to integrate non-motorized boaters’ needs and participation into agency operations.”
As a first step in 2012, the Marine Board convened a Non-Motorized Advisory Committee comprised of individuals representing non-motorized user groups. The committee produced a set of key topics about what is important to non-motorized boaters and potential ways the Marine Board could engage and support them into the future.
Based on their recommendations, the Marine Board will hold a series of interactive “public listening sessions” to further engage the casual user and more organized non-motorized boaters with agency staff. The listening sessions will serve two purposes: 1) Inform the boating public about the Marine Board’s new mission and strategic goals, and; 2) Listen closely from non-motorized boaters to learn about local needs related to access, safety, and education.
The Tillamook meeting is one of several that will be held throughout the state.
The input received at the listening sessions combined with comments from an online survey will serve as a baseline for a preliminary report that will be presented to the Non-Motorized Advisory Committee and Marine Board, said Brewen. The public dialogue will continue in the fall, beginning in September, when more meetings will be scheduled in 10 additional communities statewide. From these meetings, a comprehensive report will be compiled with recommendations to present to the Marine Board in July of 2015. All documentation will be posted on the Marine Board’s website. Additionally, the online survey and other outreach will be ongoing.
“This is a ground-truthing mission and it’s important to connect with people who recreate on Oregon’s waterways,” said Brewen. “Understanding what we do and how we deliver services is only one part of the conversation. But how do boaters want us to serve them? We want to find balance, equitability, and a way to meet all boaters’ needs. We want boaters to tell us how to achieve it.”
The Marine Board is funded by registration fees and marine fuel taxes paid by boaters. No state general fund tax dollars are used to support the agency or its programs. Boater-paid fees go back to boaters in the form of boating access facilities, law enforcement services that protect boater safety, and education and outreach materials.
To learn more about the Marine Board’s strategic plan and the activities being implemented by various external advisory committees, visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/pages/admin/strategicplan.aspx.