Last week, the Oregon Senate and House passed SB47 – legislation that would require operators of nonmotorized boats to purchase a waterway access permit – sending the measure to Governor Kate Brown who is expected to sign it into law.
The NMMA said it strongly supported this bill and submitted testimony to Oregon’s Joint Ways and Means Committee in favor of the initiative – click here to read the full testimony.
The new access permit established by SB47 would envelop 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.
According to 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.”