On May, the Oregon Joint Committee on Natural Resources passed Senate Bill 47, which would create an access permit for non-motorized vessels. This access permit envelopes the former aquatic invasive species permit and broadens its use by creating a waterway access fund. The fund will go towards non-motorized access projects and educational programs. NMMA is supportive and submitted testimony for the May 7th hearing.
As was stated in NMMA’s testimony, “Paddlers deserve dedicated launch facilities, safety education tailored to their needs, waterway trails and other opportunities to enjoy time on the water with their canoes and kayaks. However, paddler’s needs will go unmet until they have a way to pay into a fund dedicated to their sport. As importantly, the funding mechanism included in SB 47 allows these boaters to meet their obligation to help pay for the cost of services from the Oregon State Marine Board and other state agencies. Demand for on-water policing and rescue have risen dramatically in Oregon, as it has in every other state. The current situation is unsustainable and diverts resources supported by fuel taxes, fees and other revenue from power boaters and sailors.”
Senate Bill 47 was heard in the Ways and Means Committee on Friday, May 10. NMMA staff will continue monitoring this bill.