WillBoat just got back from Springfield, where both your President and the Executive Director attended the Waldo Lake hearing. The OSMB held the public hearing, despite having already decided to re-instate the motor ban.
Executive Director Matt Evans testified that the new rule establishes an elite class, the paddlers, and thereby relegates motor-boaters to a second-class status. This is wrong on so many levels that it's hard to list them all, but I'll try:
- Its morally wrong. We don't do "elite" in the US of A. It's morally offensive to our culture. Period.
- It's logically wrong, because logic can't be used to define the ephemeral quality, "serenity", for which this rule is supposedly being established.
- Its technically wrong, because if "serenity" could be defined in some way, it would have to have measurable perameters to it, and by all measurements, motorboats bother no one on any precise level, they offend some on a personal level.
- Its legally wrong, because our legal system is based upon equal treatment, and this rule sets up UN-equal treatment under the law.
- It's practically wrong, because it leaves the question open so that motor-boaters, specifically water-skiers and wake-boarders, may now ask for a set-aside water-body for THEIR exclusive use, and if they are denied, they may sue to either invalidate the no-motors designations, or force the Marine Board to comply with their desires. The broadsword of set-aside water-bodies cuts both ways, and the OSMB ignores that at its own peril.
President George Schneider picked on just ONE of these issues, and testified that the Founders gave us all the right of free navigation, and did not place any limits on propulsion methods, of which several were available back then (paddle, sail, drift, animal tow). I ended my presentation with a plea for science to be used as the final determinant of whether motor-boats needed to be excluded.
Perhaps the most defining testimony was given by Lane County Commissioner Fay Stewart II, who pointed out that Waldo Lake is listed as a motors-allowed water-body in the Oregon Revised Statutes, and no Administrative Regulation can set aside a Public law (the ORS). If the Marine Board had shown any sense, they would have ended the meeting right there, researched this question, and finding it to be true, abandoned the no-motors rule, referring it to the next Legislature to modify the ORS. They didn't, and since this question is before the Oregon Court of Appeals now, it is likely that before the snow melts and Waldo Lake becomes accessible, the motor-ban will have been overturned.
As pointed out in the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper, the floatplane folks DID win their case, though, as the Marine Board voted 4-1 to toss out the floatplane ban. In that decision, the Board wisely yielded to the hegemony of the Aviation Board, which is constituted to make such rules.