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Thread: Seaplanes in Colorado--Call to Action

  1. #1
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Seaplanes in Colorado--Call to Action

    I just received this from the Seaplane Pilots Association. Please consider submitting a comment supporting seaplane operations in Colorado.

    Seaplane Pilots Association Call to Action Colorado
    Call to Action
    We need your help in assisting us open Colorado waters to seaplanes.
    Please write an email letter in support of the cause.


    This week will be pivotal in reintroducing seaplanes in Colorado. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Commission is meeting in Gunnison on Thursday (6/11/2015) at 4:05 p.m. to review recommendations from its staff regarding seaplane access to Colorado public waterways. An advance copy of those recommendations indicate a stance by the CPW staff to continue to deny access to seaplanes to all state-controlled waterways. The staff recommendations were prepared by an internal committee consisting of four CPW members, none having aviation experience.

    We do not intend to let those recommendations go unchallenged. Seaplane Pilots Association Executive Director Steve McCaughey, along with Colorado Pilots Association President Ann Beardall and representatives from several other organizations including AOPA and RAF, will be attending the meeting.

    We have prepared responses to CPW and are ready to defend your rights. We intend to petition the Commission to establish a joint citizens committee consisting of aviation, boating, and other water users as well as representatives from CPW.

    Please write to the CPW and show your support for seaplanes in Colorado. Send an email today to:

    adrian.varney@state.co.us
    Subject: I Support Seaplanes

    We need to show that there is strong community support for seaplanes. Please be professional and polite, but direct.

    Talking points to consider:


    • We are only asking for fair and equal access to Colorado lakes as a recreational resource, similar to those enjoyed by other motorized recreational vehicles such as boats and personal watercraft.


    • Unlike boaters, who do enjoy access to these lakes, all seaplane pilots are highly trained and FAA certificated in the safe operation of their vessels on the water.


    • We will ensure that, like boats, seaplanes are inspected and certified to be free of invasive species before entering Colorado lakes.


    • Most boats expel exhaust into the water, introducing oil, gasoline, and other pollutants. Seaplane exhaust is cleaner due to required periodic maintenance of aircraft engines, and like auto exhaust it instantly and harmlessly dissipates in the air.


    • Statistics complied by U.S. government agencies show unequivocally that boating poses a far greater risk of accidents, incidents, and unsafe operation than seaplanes on the water. Any argument that seaplanes pose an undue hazard to the general public is simply not based on the facts.


    • Seaplanes could offer Colorado valuable public services including wildfire spotting, search and rescue, and natural resource research and protection as well as bringing economic development and new tourism growth opportunities.


    • Seaplanes are used by many state and federal agencies including the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, specifically because they allow safe and environmentally friendly access to remote locations for a variety of official and scientific purposes.


    • Please sit down with the Seaplane Pilots Association who will partner with you to help you make informed, fact based decisions on your seaplane access policies.

    If you have any questions, comments, or need assistance in writing to CWC or getting directions to the meeting, please contact SPA Colorado Field Director Ray Hawkins at ray@soaringhawk.com, or call him at 303-710-2497.

    Thank you for your crucial support in this important initiative to expand seaplane access in beautiful Colorado

  2. #2
    Lisa Martin LMartin's Avatar
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    That would be awesome! It would suck to live in Colorado right now, with all their water off limits.

  3. #3
    sniffler's Avatar
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    How exactly do you inspect a straight float airplane for exotics as you are traveling lake to lake? I mean it's a great goal and all but......

    "We will ensure that, like boats, seaplanes are inspected and certified to be free of invasive species before entering Colorado lakes."

    randi

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    Unless the water body is an impoundment created by and/or controlled by the army corps of engineers, the federal "public trust doctrine" prohibits a state from limiting access to or the use of public waterways.

    It is a constitutional rights claim that anyone can enforce. Under the public trust doctrine, the state has absolutely no authority to restrict the use of a navigable lake, river, or stream. It cannot restrict anyone from using it as an airstrip any more than it could restrict swimmers, boats, jet skis, or any other watercraft.

    Any law that attempts to prohibit seaplanes or ski planes from public waters is unconstitutional on its face.

    The SPA would be an appropriate organization to raise the issue if they chose to spend some of the money they take in from dues. Unfortunately, such litigation requires having to deal with the lowest of life forms; i.e., (and I hope you will forgive for using the offensive term) Lawyers. God forbid.

  5. #5
    mvivion's Avatar
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    That may well be true, but for example, both the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation I believe have long held that it is illegal to land a seaplane on one of their projects unless seaplane operations are specifically permitted on that project. And, the very notion that they'd permit seaplane landings is a relatively new concept, like in the last ten years or less.

    MTV

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    Like I said, unless the corps controls the water body...

  7. #7
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Hope the effort is successful.

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