Hey guys and gals, I was just at the Surf Riders Foundation home page and I saw this about Dougâ€™s Beach in Washington. If you ever plan to go out to the Gorge, this is a beach access you want to visit. Please read below and send your e-mails forward to keep this access open. The Surf Rider Foundation is a great group that does more to fight for access and environmental protection than just about any other group. I urge you to visit their home page and become a member. Adam Locke
Doug's Beach - windsurfing access threatened
Dear Columbia River Gorge Commission
On behalf of our nearly 500 members in Oregon, the Surfrider Foundation would like to express its concern regarding the Commissionâ€™s decision to approve the land use application of BNSF Railway Co. to construct a railroad siding and associated utility structures.
Dougâ€™s Beach is an internationally recognized windsurfing location, and a resource that provides significant (and sustainable) recreational, economic, ecological, aesthetic value to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest. Construction of the railroad siding would result in a number of negative impacts to the public including:
Loss of lands designated for recreation
Permanent limitations on public access
Ecological impacts (pilings in the river, leaks from parked locomotives)
Reduced public safety (parked trains may block view of oncoming trains)
Degraded aesthetics in a Scenic Area
Furthermore, the Oregon Chapter of Surfrider Foundation respectfully submits that the Commissionâ€™s decision to approve the BNSF Railway Co.â€™s land use application is inconsistent with Commission Rule 350-81-500 referenced in the decision document. One of the three approval criteria for Non-Recreation Uses in GMA Public Recreation Designations states:
The proposed use will not interfere with existing or approved public recreation uses on the subject property or adjacent lands. Mitigationmeasures used to comply with this criterion may include provision of onsite buffer, seasonal or temporary closures during peak recreation periods, etc.
The CRGC decision document acknowledges that Dougâ€™s Beach is perhaps the premier expert windsurfing spot in entire western United States, to the unique physical characteristics (i.e., wind, waves, geographic orientation, etc.) of the site. Yet, the decision authorizes that mitigation may be completed off-site by identifying and enhancing a replacement area. As thousands of Gorge sailors can attest, the loss of public access at Dougâ€™s Beach cannot be appropriately mitigated by simply â€œdevelopingâ€ a new site.
Accordingly, the Surfrider Foundation, on behalf of our nearly 500 members in Oregon, urges you to consider reversing your decision on Dougâ€™s Beach Recreational Area.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches for all people, through conservation, activism, research and education. Surfrider membership is comprised of surfers, windsurfers, divers, beachgoers, fishermen, and wildlife enthusiasts â€“ people who spend a significant amount of time on the coast and in the water. Represented by over 50,000 members and 60 local chapters in the United States, Surfrider Foundation believes that healthy coastal communities are sustained by healthy rivers and oceans.
Vice Chair: Portland Chapter
Oregon Policy Coordinator
posted on Friday, March 10, 2006 5:32 AM by SurfriderFoundation
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