Report

Account On 9/29/07 in Clayton, GA, the USFS held its "final" community input meeting on 9 options for managing the Headwaters of the Chattooga River. 3 of the options maintained the 20 year old boating ban in the headwaters and 6 allowed paddling to one degree or another. 97 people attended the meeting, of which 2/3 to 3/4 were paddlers. It was a great turnout fo the paddling community. Here are a couple of well known paddlers signing into the meeting. The Chattooga Headwaters Management Plan meeting started with the expected opening comments and "thank yous". Then gave the attendees the "ground rules" for the day: No headbutting, No hitting below the belt, no biting, no kidney punching, in the case of a knock down you are to go to a neutral corner. Around the meeting room, each of the 9 managment plan options were presented individually. Each had a large blow up of the option, a map, a few talking points and later, a park ranger or representative to answer questions about that particular option. This is option 8, American Whitewater's preferred option. After the meeting's opening comments, everyone was encouraged to get to know all 9 management plan options as well as possible. So, for the next hour and a half everyone milled around each option's presentation location for individual question and answer sessions with park rangers and representatives. Unfortunately, you occasionally got conflicting answers to the same question from different park officials. After the meeting's opening comments, everyone was encouraged to get to know all 9 management plan options as well as possible. So, for the next hour and a half everyone milled around each option's presentation location for individual question and answer sessions with park rangers and representatives. Unfortunately, you occasionally got conflicting answers to the same question from different park officials. Once the Q&A portion of the program was over, we were asked to grade the USFS on how well they accomplished the objectives of each management option. Sounds simple enough, however it proved to be one of the most poorly worded, poorly implemented and poorly explained surveys anyone has ever been envolved with. Consequently, the USFS decided to throw out the useless results and ignore the survey all together. Once the Q&A portion of the program was over, we were asked to grade the USFS on how well they accomplished the objectives of each management option. Sounds simple enough, however it proved to be one of the most poorly worded, poorly implemented and poorly explained surveys anyone has ever been envolved with. Consequently, the USFS decided to throw out the useless results and ignore the survey all together. Durring the lunch break, one of our friend from the "Friend of the Upper Chattooga" (FUC) placed these stickers under the windshield wipers of the cars in the parking lot. Not a bad souvenir for the day! However, I suggest FUC change their organization's name to something more appropriate like "Unlimited Friends of the Upper Chattooga Enviromental Resources" (U FUCER) After lunch the real meat of the meeting began. Here's a park ranger explaining how we will make comments, suggestions and amendments to all 9 management plan options. Hundreds of suggestions were made for the 9 management plan options. However, this was by far, my favorite. To make a suggestion or amendment to a Management Plan Option you first could not alter the objective of the plan. For instance, if it's objective was to maintain the boating ban, you could not suggest removing the boating ban. That way, all the comments would be constructive and not be reduced to debating on little blue slips of paper. Most options received a dozen or two comments. Option 8 received hundreds! To make a suggestion or amendment to a Management Plan Option you first could not alter the objective of the plan. For instance, if it's objective was to maintain the boating ban, you could not suggest removing the boating ban. That way, all the comments would be constructive and not be reduced to debating on little blue slips of paper. However, it did not stop anyone from commenting on some of the comments. Most options received a dozen or two comments. Option 8 received hundreds! Once the "making" comments period ended, everyone broke up into groups and helped organize each Management Option's comments. Once the "making" comments period ended, everyone broke up into groups and helped organize each Management Option's comments. Once the "making" comments period ended, everyone broke up into groups and helped organize each Management Option's comments. Once the "making" comments period ended, everyone broke up into groups and helped organize each Management Option's comments. Once each group had summerized their managment plan's suggestions, comments and amendments, they were presented to everyone at the end of the meeting. Some presenters were easier to watch then others. After that, we all went home as skeptical as when we arrived...........
Time 2007-09-29 04:00:00 GMT
Reported Date 1191038400
River Reported Chattooga Headwaters Management Plan Meeting
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #14
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #15
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #16
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #17
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #13
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #9
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #2
Photo of USFS by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #11
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #4
Photo of Option 8 by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #5
Photo of Concerned Paddlers by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #6
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #7
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #10
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM Boating Ban Meeting #8
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #18
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #12
Photo by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
(RM) Boating Ban Meeting #1
Photo of Signing In by Rob Maxwell taken 09/29/07
author of album Robert Maxwell Details

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