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Future of windsurfing at Lake Isabella
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superkraut



Joined: 18 Mar 2001
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Future of windsurfing at Lake Isabella Reply with quote

With both our dams slated for repairs/modifications, our windsurfing launches will be in grave jeopardy, starting possibly as early as 2015, and continuing into 2022. The major challenges will come from the use of the Southern half the Auxiliary Dam Rec Area as a staging area for the construction; as well as the drawing down of the lake in late 2021 for the re-alignment of the Borel Canal.
The Corps of Engineers planner tasked with the formulation of the Recreational Remediation Plan just contacted me and asked for my input.
Before I run off with all my own brilliant ideas, I would very much appreciate input from any and all of you who sail here - no matter how frequently.
If you want, email me your suggestions directly: eva at boardlady dot com
thanks!
Eva
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1348

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eva, thank you for representing the community in the dealings with the Corps.

Hopefully there is an alternative that can protect windsurfing access all the way until the late 2021 draining of the lake. Then there is likely only the loss of a matter of months of windsurfing access total, rather than nearly a decade.

One important point to make would be that windsurfing at Lake Isabella is a long-term established recreational use that should be protected. Even if that simply means full access to sail on most of the lake itself + a smaller stretch of the beach on which to launch/land & park/camp, at least we would be able to windsurf.

The additional, standard points such as that Windsurfing is both healthy & non-polluting, as well as good for the local economy -- are important to include.
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superkraut



Joined: 18 Mar 2001
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for your thoughts, Geo! the proposed AuxDam staging area happens to terminate exactly at the edge of what has traditionally been our AuxDam launch just South of the "Jibe Bay". It seems like a totally logical approach to designate what remains open of the AuxDamRecArea as "hand launch only", possibly with 5mph buoys sectioning off the adjacent water (just as they do at Lake Lopez) while making more beaches in the South Fork available for dispersed camping, so the motorized users will migrate there, out of the wind, which they hate anyway. I am grappling with ways of formulating all this, which would emphasize the positive aspects, rather than the exclusionary ones.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5143

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with George. Under the laws that require the Corps to do environmental analysis (State and Federal), recreation is given consideration. We should argue that recreational use must be protected, and if not fully protected, mitigation should be developed. You can get help from US Windsurfing in this effort, you can PM me and we can figure out a little more of the factual underpinnings.
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superkraut



Joined: 18 Mar 2001
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks, Mac!
this project is already further along than you seem to realize, with the EIS safely published and a ROD in place as of December 2012. The Recreational Remediation Plan was separated from the EIS and is now under consideration - hence my being asked for input (which in itself is a huge victory for us, I thought). The Corps is perfectly aware of their obligation to try to accommodate all recreational activities. Its just that conditions during construction will by necessity be restrictive, and that we as windsurfers are not the largest of usergroups and therefore not necessarily the one to "have its way"
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5143

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

superkraut--I seem to remember now. Do you have a link to the remediation plan that tells us what they agreed to do?
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andrewc



Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 239

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully this does not follow what happened in San Diego with Lake Hodges ( the only reliable summer sailing location in all of San Diego County). They took over the windsurfing launch site with big promises to restore the site after construction of the pipeline.

It was all bunch of BS - the moral of the story is that once you lose access it is really hard/impossible to get it back as they will think up all sorts of excuses to not give it back.
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1348

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^ Right. And the wind still blows at Lake Hodges. But windsurfing is verboten.

Moral to the story is strive to make the "temporary access" the very best possible, keeping in mind that it *may* become the permanent access.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5143

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This appears to be their commitment in the final EIS:

Quote:
There are no additions to the environmental commitments and mitigation measures described in Section 3.12.4 of the DEIS associated with refinements to the Preferred Alternative with the following exception:
The Corps plans to prepare a Recreation Plan during 2012-2013 to further
explore and identify options for mitigation to offset adverse effects to recreation resulting from construction of the Isabella Dam Safety Modification Project. The Corps cannot use project funds to replace or relocate USFS recreation facilities, so the Corps will seek to collaborate with the USFS and other stakeholders toidentify other options for implementation.
(p 3-32)

Have they done that?

There are two difficulties that I see. First, this is an artificial waterbody, so it doesn't automatically have the presumption of access that the State Constitution gives the ocean and the bay. Second, with various recreational users, and a dam that is unsafe, the Corps has a lot of discretion in favoring one user over another.
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superkraut



Joined: 18 Mar 2001
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mac: yes, this has been hanging over our heads for many years, and has since I last asked for a letter-writing campaign on this forum, gone from a possibility to be considered, to a plan approved in its overall approach to the (perceived) problem, i.e. alleged lack of safety of our dams.
The EIS and Record of Decision were adopted late last year, but the Recreational Remediation Plan was specifically excluded as yet, primarily because our local Forest Service (the governing agency) is dysfunctional at the moment due to a major change-over of key personnel.
To direct the upcoming formulation of the Recreational Remediation Plan, a local "Task Force" consisting of fishermen and local business owners established itself in a blatantly non-democratic fashion. These folks have an agenda diametrically opposed to our interest, and - being totally aware of said fact - have recently excluded representatives of other user groups (myself) from their meetings with the Corps of Engineers planners.
However, last week, due to severely inclement weather during a meet & greet event with representatives of the Corps, I unexpectedly had the opportunity to state our cause and concerns directly to the lead planners, and was subsequently invited to prepare a presentation to them with our hopes and expectations.
It is for this presentation that I called for input on this forum.
thanks for listening!
Eva
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