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Thread: Call to Action!!! Water Closures Purposed in New Mexico

  1. #1
    SPA MEMBER Steve McCaughey's Avatar
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    Call to Action!!! Water Closures Purposed in New Mexico

    SPA is actively working to prevent the State of New Mexico from adopting a a new law that would effectively shut down all of the usable water to seaplanes within the state. If you are able to attend the meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Wednesday October 17th, your voice will be heard. SPA's Executive Director Steve McCaughey will be attending the public hearing and has been assured by the state park division that he will be given time to urge that the proposed changes to water access are not approved. SPA is working closely with the New Mexico Pilots Association, AOPA, RAF and the International Assoication of Natural Resource Pilots to oppose the closure of New Mexico's water to seaplanes, and we have received support from the New Mexico DOT and the Bureau of Land Management's State Aviaiton Manager.

    Please see the threat to access listed below:

    The New Mexico State Park Division (NM SPD) is proposing to prohibit seaplane (aircraft) operations in their parks. All of the water in the state suitable for seaplane operations is controlled by NM SPD, therefore this would effective eliminate seaplane operations in the state. Worse yet, to travel by float plane from the Mississippi river system to the west coast, one needs to be able to stop somewhere in New Mexico along the way. The only other way to get across the U.S. is using the Missouri River system in the northern U.S., which is not useable in the winter months.

    Proposed Ruling >>> "19.5.2.26 SEAPLANES AND FLOATPLANES: The taxiing, landing or takeoff of seaplanes or floatplanes is prohibited in the state parks system."


    The New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, State Parks Division will hold a public hearing on proposed rule amendments at 6:30 p.m. on October 17, 2012 in Porter Hall (first floor), Wendell Chino Building, 1220 South Saint Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Please join SPA and our pilots to protect this vital area of seaplane accessible water.
    Last edited by Steve; 10-18-2012 at 05:30 PM.

  2. #2
    SPA MEMBER Steve McCaughey's Avatar
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    Members looking to help be sending in a written letter that urges New Mexico should not pass the ban on seaplanes in the state parks (which contain most if not all of the usable water in the state) should follow the instructions below:

    Written comments and oral comments will be accepted at the public hearing on October 17, 2012 and written comments will be accepted until October 31, 2012 at 5:00PM by mail or e-mail. Please mail written comments to April Alvarado, EMNRD, State Parks Division, 1220 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505 or submit them by e-mail to april.alvarado@state.nm.us.

    It would appear that invasive species and public safety are the angles that the state is concerned with. SPA's position is that there is no significant threat of spread of invasive species in New Mexico for several reasons:

    #1 New Mexico has tens of thousands of boating operations per year including a large percentage that come from out of state, conversely there estimated to be far less than 1,000 seaplane operations per year making the amount of seaplane traffic insignificant in regards to invasive species spread.

    #2 Boats are not inspected for or decontaminated of invasive species at most locations that they can be launched from, again exposing the waters to a much greater risk from the large number of boaters that utilize the waters.

    #3 The low humidity, relatively high ambient temperatures and long distances between bodies of water in New Mexico make the carriage of mussel larvae highly unlikely due their susceptibility to dehydration which effectively kills the larvae.

    #4 SPA makes its "Don't Move a Mussel" invasive species training DVD available for FREE to anyone upon request, and the video is also available online. SPA supports invasive species training and urges its highly educated members to be good stewards of America's waterways by taking appropriate measures to prevent the spread of invasive species.

    #5 How did you determine that seaplane posed a significant threat to the spread of invasive species in New Mexico and what were the sources of that data?

    In regards to public safety:

    #1 Instances of seaplanes being involved in collisions with boats are extremely rare, conversely unlicensed boaters are responsible for thousands of boat to boat collisions per year.

    #2 Seaplane pilots are highly trained and licensed... Boaters are not and thus pose a much greater threat to other boaters and the general public.

    #3 Seaplane pilots (ie. pilots in general) can not operate a seaplane within 8 hours of consumption of alcohol; this is not the case for boaters and alcohol is a contributor to a extremely large percentage of boating accidents.

    #4 Boating accidents pose a much larger threat to the general public than seaplanes just due the sheer number of boating oprations, vs the extremely small number of highly trained & licensed pilots engaging in seaplane operations.

    #5 Show us the prove of the hazard, what metrics did you measure and what were the sources of your data.

    #6 Seaplanes can be used to great effect to fight wild fires, and the BLM has expressed a concern for the loss of life and property that could result if they are prevented from utilizing amphibious seaplane fire fighters in the future.

    The seaplane pilots association would like to extend an offer to train all of the stake holders including the staff of the state parks that would come in contact with seaplanes, the Army Corp of Engineers staff and BOR staff that would have any interaction with seaplanes within the state. These workshops would be educational in nature and be conducted with a spirit of being partners with all of these organizations as a technical and educational resource since most employees of these organizations would have had little opportunity to learn or understand the facts surrounding seaplane operations.

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    The following is a copy of my most recent letter on this subject and it may be used or paraphrased by any pro-aircraft parties:

    Re: Allow use of Public Waters by Aircraft

    Dear Ms Alvarado:

    I have been given your name concerning my wishes to allow seaplane or floatplane use in New Mexico State Parks, so if you would forward my comments to the appropriate parties in all departments and inform me of their reply please.

    Also please look at successful long term use of public waters in other states by seaplanes and floatplanes such as Waldo Lake in Oregon and Lake Isabelle in Wa state. Also please reference responsible aviation use of public resources nationwide per the Recreational Aviation Foundation at: http://theraf.org/ and seaplane use on public lands by the Washington Seaplane Pilots Association at: http://wa-spa.org/ and the Seaplane Pilots Association at: http://www.seaplanes.org/spa/ and also http://seaplaneforum.com .

    Pilot use and overall impact on public waters and lands is low for many reasons plus, pilots are much more responsible than other users groups in proper control of litter, erosion and noise. Water landing aircraft DO NOT introduce hydrocarbon pollution into the water they occupy, in contrast to internal combustion engines of boats and jet skis. which are also constantly generating noise while staying on the waters for long periods of time. Water aircraft make a small amount of noise on takeoff for a short period of time and then are gone from the area. Almost no aircraft noise is generated while landing or taxiing.

    Boaters and aircraft users have utilized the same bodies of water for many generations with no major problems and this co-operation should be allowed to continue.

    These water landing sites are needed for safety reasons, as well as for equal oppurtunity recreational use not just by pilots who enjoy aviation but by people with disabilities that require aircraft access to these types of Landing Site Trailheads, both on water and on land.

    Thank you for your attention in these important matters and we look forward to updates on the status of these issues.

    Should you or any of the involved officers be in the Seattle area, please let me know and we will gladly provide for them a complimentary demonstration and flight-seeing tour featuring the safe use of the important national tool of Water capable Aircraft by an FAA licensed pilot and Certified Flight Instructor.

    I am sure some of the local floatplane pilots in New Mexico will happily provide the same demonstration, too.

    Sincerely,

    David J Krall
    Last edited by CFII; 10-18-2012 at 02:15 PM.
    CFII Amphibion

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    SPA MEMBER Steve McCaughey's Avatar
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    Thank you for your great response David! You make several very good point regarding pollution, noise foot prints, and our history of compatibility with boats.

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    Thank you, Steve and also thanks again for providing the resource of this website for all.

    It is so easy these days to send MULTIPLE letters commenting on our responsible seaplane and aviation use everywhere. I usually send a few short letter and one longer letter.

    We're all pilots, land or sea and are basically fighting the same political battles everywhere, so let's stick together on the ground for the benefit of all.
    CFII Amphibion

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    I would also ask seaplane advocates and friends to write to the governor of New Mexico, at
    susana.martinez2@state.nm.us and ask her how she can designate September as "New Mexico General Aviation Appreciation month" while her State Parks Division is proposing to eliminate a segment of general aviation from the state. The State Parks Division rule amendment is 19.5.2.26 for reference. Ask her for a reply and include your advocacy points in your first letter to her, i.e. historical use, no significant accident history involving the general public, responsible mature well trained pilots, long history of compatibility with the boating community, many examples of lakes being used by both boats and seaplanes, pilots have liability insurance, seaplane pilots are very conscious of the invasive species issues and have developed an invasive species training video and encouraged our members to adhere to its recommended procedures and so forth.

    Walter

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    This is my quick one, I'll write longer later and also re-send my earlier letter above, sent to the Parks Division:

    Re:Allow floatplane use on all public waters

    Dear Governor Martinez:

    We are confused because you have declared Oct. to be Aviation Month and yet one of your Departments is trying to close all NM public waters to seaplanes. Why?

    There are no reasons of safety, invasive species or any other reason to exclude seaplanes from waters where combustion engined boating is allowed.

    Seaplane pilots also bring much needed revenue into the State of NM and we need these water landing sites for safety reasons too.

    Please reply and also inform me of your progress in this important matter.

    Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    CFII Amphibion

  8. #8
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    Hello Everyone,
    I sent the following letter last evening to Ms. Alvarado and cc'd the Governor. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what's up in Washington State, please view the following . . .

    Dear Ms. Alvarado,

    I can paraphrase the letters you’ve already received and just be another advocate for continued Seaplane access to the magnificent waterways of New Mexico. However there are other important issues that your legislation may be overlooking. Seaplanes should be viewed as part of a couple of solutions as opposed to part of a problem.

    First, other writers have mentioned how seaplanes pose less of a threat regarding invasive species than boaters. Working directly with the 100th Meridian Initiative, seaplane pilots are a model example of adherence to the best practices available and they can be regarded as mentors to boaters as they demonstrate safe and clean practices. In California, seaplane pilot have actually been “leading the charge” when it comes to compliance with these clean practices. The procedures that have been set for the Clear Lake Splash-In held in Lake County over the last 8 years have proven the pilot’s willingness, and effectiveness.
    Legislators in Washington State’s Whatcom County were considering a ban for their watershed Lake Whatcom that serves as the drinking water for the city of Bellingham and much of the area. The lake has a Washington State Department of Transportation approved Seaplane Base and closure would mean a significant impact on residents of the area. The Washington Seaplane Pilots’ Association worked directly with Whatcom County and the state’s Department of Ecology to implements procedures for seaplane pilots that were derived from the procedures set forth by the 100th Meridian Initiative.
    The second part of seaplanes being “part of the solution” is being developed and demonstrated in WA and has drawn great interest in the neighboring states of Idaho and Oregon. The Emergency Seaplane Response Plan (ESRP) draws on the resources of private aircraft owners and commercial operators to help in various emergency situations. The focus of WA and OR’s concerns are major earthquakes or tsunamis where much of the transportation infrastructure would be devastated. The residents of Priest Lake Idaho have acknowledged the importance of seaplanes in the advent of a major wild fire that could close access to their entire valley. Seaplanes would be an important asset for evacuation of persons needing medical assistance and transporting of emergency supplies and personnel.
    The momentum of Washington’s ESRP has gained the interest and support of the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, National Disaster Medical System, Washington State Guard, Washington Air Search and Rescue, Seattle Fire Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard, South Whatcom Regional Fire Authority, Washington State Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division and the Civil Air Patrol just to name just a few. This has been covered by our local news reports and can be seen at the following link. http://www.king5.com/home/Seaplanes-could-help-save-lives-if-big-quake-hits-Seattle-area-172984031.html
    The Ross Lake National Recreation Area recently drew up a new management plan. They had originally considered the ban of seaplanes but found that working with the Washington Seaplane Pilots’ Association they could mitigate any fears they had and retain an important resource for their remote location.
    Considering the vastness of New Mexico and the remoteness of the reservoirs in relation to medical facilities and emergency services, please reconsider the many advantages of seaplanes being part of a solution. Local pilot organizations and national ones are here to help you get the information you need. Please allow us to help.
    Respectively,
    Bruce R. Hinds
    Ex-President & current board member,
    Washington Seaplane Pilots’ Association
    Director, Seaplane Pilots Association (national)
    Bee Sea n'ya, Bruce Hinds Director at SPA and WA-SPA, Seabee Club Newsletter
    Editor WSPA Newsletter Email:Bruce(at)WA-SPA.org

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    Excellent approach Bruce.

    Airpower of all kinds was a huge part of what made our country the best place in the world to live and is instrumental in a high level of public safety that also has a measure of quality to it as well. These governmental agencies everywhere, by way of educated communication given by citizens, need to be continually and accutely made cognizant of the versatility in continued, private air power for the good of all.
    CFII Amphibion

  10. #10
    I sent my letter all the way from Md.

    I hope to see that beautiful New Mexico from the air and water one of these days!

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