Monday, October 30, 2006

 

Paddling, Surfing... Tow-in?

APT (Association of Professional Towsurfers) is pleased to announce its upcoming competitive circuit for the '06 and 2007 surfing season. The new tow surfing website was recently announced with plans for the APT World Tour Tow-In Surfing Circuit. Rodney Kilborn and Eric Akiskalian have dedicated the past few years in gaining support for their personal vision and the APT goals for the future of the sport. "... the APT World Tour Tow-In Surfing Circuit is recognized as a legitimate and globally sanctioned tow-in circuit for competing towsurfers." Says, APT's founder/president, Eric Akiskalian.

Supporting member, Garrett McNamara compares the traditional paddling and surfing sport to the tow-in surfing sport and is quoted,"Traditional surfing is a cutting edge sport. Tow-in surfing is the cutting edge of Surfing. It is great to have APT pushing forward and joining forces with all, to create a world tour tow-in surfing circuit. I can't wait!!! Let's get it on."

Sean Collins, President of Surfline has given his blessings on the organization by asking the group to pay close attention to educating tow-in surfers to the standards and policies of the surfing community. He is also quoted,"... I feel confident in encouraging towsurfers to join the APT as soon as possible, so we can use this organization as the united voice for the towsurfing community to deal with the immediate issues we have at hand."

And for traditional surfing news, go to the updates on the WCT (World Championship Tour); Kelly Slater (7,824) is ahead of Andy Irons (6,348) after 9 out of 11 events! Go Kelly!
Thanks to APT for their info on Tow-in Surfing!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

 

Bush and his Great Wall

President Bush has signed a law authorizing the US government to build 700 miles of fencing in Texas and three other states to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico. Whether you agree with the intent or not, environmentalists and outdoor travel groups are warning that a fence near the Rio Grande in Texas will affect several tourism resources. Approximately 125 million dollars of tourism monies could impact the economic resources for wildlife and ecotourism in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Nancy Millar, vice president of McAllen's Convention and Visitor's Bureau uses the word, "devastation" in describing the economic impact.

Farmer, Fred Schuster, also doubts the wisdom of building a fence along the Rio Grande. "Fences along the river don't do well. When we have a lot of rain and the river rises ... it pretty well washes anything downriver," said Schuster, age 54, who was raised on his family's 3,000-acre farm on the river near San Juan.

Birding enthusiasts will be saddened by the impact as a chain of wildlife reserves and nature parks will be profoundly impacted by the fencing. Oliver Bernstein, a Sierra Club spokesman in Austin, said a border fence could cause "unnecessary, serious harm to precious natural areas and disrupt critical wildlife corridors." Bernstein also raises concerns over the lower Rio Grande's wildlife.

Manager, Jimmy Paz of the 557-acre Sabal Palm Audobon Sanctuary on the river below Brownsville relates,"If they do build it, the biggest concern is getting water and keeping the area pristine for wildlife," explaining the reserve has several lakes filled with water pumped from the Rio Grande. Natural drainage could be blocked and keep the refuge staff from pumps on the river.

Keep these concerns in mind when you question how our country will address the immigration issue.

Monday, October 23, 2006

 

Surfrider Beach Protest in Malibu

Surfrider supporters along with Hollywood gliterrati were out in force on Sunday, October 22nd protesting the proposals for building a liquified natural gas facility just 14 miles off of the California coastline. Other proposed areas include Long Beach and Port Hueneme. Paddling enthusiast and former James Bond actor Pierce Brosan, the protest host, was quoted as saying,"I would certainly put our best efforts into that as well,... I think this is for the whole California coastline."

Protestors include Cindy Crawford, Tea Leoni, Daryl Hannah, Jane Seymour, Dick Van Dyke and Ted Danson. Halle Berry, an Oscar winner said,"We have to use our voices and band together and stop this."

The terminal proposal will be decided next year in 2007. Company officials from Australian-based BHP Billiton say the proposal will provide a reliable source of low-polluting energy. Opponents claim that the facilities fail to address clean-air requirements and also may be a target for terrorists.

After a pancake breakfast, the protestors along with dozens of surfers paddled out to a protest sign which read, "Terminate It!"; a two-word message intended for Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger who can veto the proposal.
W.E.T. River Trips

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

 

Whitewater Parks

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials have announced that the Colorado River's whitewater park could be delayed due to the city's refusal to extend a construction easement along the north shore of the river. Carol DeAngelis, the BLM's area manager is quoted,"We cannot go forward with the bidding process unless there is a construction easement."

All the effort so far "will be for naught without access to the right side of the river," she said.

Tim Sarmo, Town Manager for Palisade, has said that officials will work out the differences, but the town is worried about the liability issues and possible threats to safety.

A combined whitewater park and fish passage for the Colorado pikeminnow and razorback sucker is in the works. For more information on whitewater parks, visit American Whitewater.org.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

 

Navigational Rights

Sara Lin of the Los Angeles Times has written an interesting story about navigational rights on waterways. Titled "Is Lake for Homeowners Only, or Everyone?" Angler Mark Balanos, was trying to fish in Canyon Lake this past August and was threatened with arrest by sheriff deputies after private security guards had told him that he was trespassing onto private lands. He left and now he is suing the homeowners association and the local water district since the reservoir is a publiciy owned waterway that should be opened to the general public. His attorney has cited the recent Carbon Beach situation in Malibu where beachgoers were sent away by private security guards that patrol the private homeowner's beach front properties.

No one owns the water, but in order to arrive and play on that water, one must touchdown onto private lands. And that's where the whole ball of wax begins. In California, navigational rights have already been decided several times and usually court decisions have decided on the side of the public; ie, easement rights to the ocean and river navigational rights. If you can get to the water without trespassing, then you have a right to be there. Or so the public thinks.

In the early 80's there was a rafting outfitter who started commercial rafting on the Merced River. The US Forest Service was and is the governing agency for permits on this whitewater rafting stretch. Without the US Forest Service permission, this outfitter decided to use only private lands to launch and take-out. In other words, no trespassing ever occured onto any US Forest Service lands. So why did the US government haul this rafting company into court and sue them successfully? Some say, that the rafting company had everything stacked against them. I mean, your'e trying to fight a lawsuit against the United States government. That's a pretty deep pocket of money, attorneys and researchers. The fight also left open the entire permitting system. If the court decided against the government; think of the Pandora's Box that would have opened. Every Tom, Dick and Harry could start a rafting company without insurance, without permits, without any restrictions or government interference. Sounds good? Not really. The permit system has helped legitimize our industry. It has also helped convince the general public that government agencies overseeing the health and benefit of the public could assure them of some degree of whitewater rafting safety.

Mr. Bolanos was also quoted as referring to white water rafting,""From what I'd read, from groups that do water rafting, all waters in California are supposed to be free to float on," he said.

"I didn't understand what made this place the exception."

That early 80's decision will be reviewed in this case. Or, will the courts decide in Mr. Bolanos' favor that he indeed had the right to navigate that lake.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

 

American River Salmon Festival

The 10th Annual American River Salmon Festival starts tomorrow at Lake Natomas and the Nimbus Hatchery. Just east of downtown Sacramento, the event dates are October 14 and 15th. Each day, several events from 10am to 4pm will highlight several family-orientated programs to delight all salmon lovers. Barbecue, history, biology, live music, videos, guided rafting trips, Native American lore and more will offer a packed day of fun for anyone who enjoys the river and Salmon.

Over 400 volunteers and 100 sponsors have put this event together to help educate and foster partnerships with different agencies in California. The purpose of the event is to promote awareness, education, and appreciation of the American River Salmon.

The Salmon is a revered fish in the history of the American River. This fish has had more impact on the cultural and historical events in California than any other fish in the state.

There will be a special incentive for riding light rail. Take Regional Transit to the Light Rail Station at Hazel Ave and Folsom Blvd and receive a free shuttle to and back from the Festival. Come out for the Salmon Festival this weekend for a fun-filled river day!

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Thursday, October 12, 2006

 

Franklin River in Australia

Beautiful Franklin River was recently highlighted in the National Geographic Traveler October issue. The article Tours of a Lifetime: 50 of the World’s Bestlisted World Expeditions and the Franklin River as a river trip that is a must do. Tourism Minister Paula Wriedt congratulated World Expeditions for being listed as one of the world’s 50 tours of a lifetime.

World Expeditions, the parent company of Tasmanian Expeditions, has been conducting rafting tours of the Franklin since 1980. That was a full year before it was declared a national park and two years before it gained World Heritage listing,” said Ms Wriedt.

Chris Buykx, operations manager for World Expeditions says that the Franklin is one of the greatest rafting adventures anywhere in the world.

Special interest rafting tours of Tasmania is just one example of sustainable tourism in the area. Visitors and journalists who have rafted the Franklin have experienced the beauty and magnificent river corridor on 9-day wilderness trips.

Put this river on your list!
W.E.T. River Trips in California

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Monday, October 09, 2006

 

Whitewater Symposium: Oct 13 - 16th

Dan Crandall of Current Adventures is the host for the upcoming Whitewater Symposium being held in Lotus/Coloma, California on October 13 - 16th, 2006. Several workshops are being held highlighting the paddling sport industry. Keynote speaker, Ron Hilbert will also be sharing his wealth of knowledge on internet marketing and development. Risa Shimoda will be a workshop speaker on "Whitewater Parks in your Community." Several videos and programs will be offered in subjects ranging from Swift Water Rescue, Leadership decision-making, Boat design and manufacturing, and a panel discussion on future developments for the Whitewater Industry.

A full listing of the presenters with their biographies can be found on the Whitewater Symposium site. The credentials of these participants is enough to highlight this important event.


For more information contact: Dan Crandall or register online.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

 

Mystery of the Nile

Sacramento's IMAX theatre is presenting the Mystery of the Nile on Friday, October 6, 2006. The cinematic adventure down the Nile was directed and written by Jordi Llompart, an award-winning documentary film maker. The large format photography brings this voyage to life with a realism that places the viewer right in the raging rapids.

An international group of adventurers and rafters was led on an 114-day expedition led by Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown. 3,260 miles down the Blue Nile and Nile River was rafted, and the adventurers traversed three countries and some of the most remote regions in the world. Deadly cocodiles and hippos were just as dangerous as the rapids encountered as they battled whitewater rapids, bandits with guns, malaria and 120 degree temperatures.

Pasquale Scaturro is a river guide and geophysicist in the United States. One of the most experienced river guides in the world, he has led expeditions down the African rivers such as Tekeze, Zambezi, the Omo and others. He also led the National Federation of the Blind Everest Expedition that saw blind climber, Erik Weihenmayer reach the summit. Gordon Brown is a kayaker and cinematographer, also from the United States and lives in the whitewater world of California. He has won five Emmys and his films include projects for network television, National Geographic, Discovery, ESPN, ABC and the Outdoor Life Network. He was also the cinematographer for MacGillivray Freeman's Journey into Amazing Caves. Also, well-known outdoor adventurer, Richard Bangs acted as second unit director in Ethiopia for this project. Bangs is the founding partner and long-time president of Mountain Travel-Sobek, America's oldest and largest adventure travel company. He led first descents of 35 rivers around the world including the Yangtze in China and the Zambezi in Southern Africa.

The film maker and his crew want to encourage the world to focus on the environmental and economic concerns for this magnificent river. This waterway supports the livelihood for the many famers and people who live on its banks and also is a major transportation source.

The adventure locations are as follows: Ethiopia - Lake Tana, Lalibela, and Tissisat Falls which is the Grand Canyon of the Nile; Sudan - Khartoum where the Blue Nile and While Nile merge and Meroe; and Egypt - Lake Nasser, Abu Simbel, Aswan, Luxor, Cairo and Alexadria. The film was produced by Orbita Max and MacGillivray Freeman Films and is 47 minutes long.

Producer/Director/Writer: Jordi Llompart
Producer/Creative Consultant: Greg MacGillivray
Director of Photography: Reed Smoot
Editor/Script Consultant: Stephen Judson
Music Composed/Arranged: David Giro/Steve Wood

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