Laughlin, NV: Community speaks out on proposed boating restrictions.

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Laughlin, NV: Community speaks out on proposed boating restrictions.

Crowd of people filled up the conference hall at the Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nevada on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 to speak out on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service proposed boating restrictions.

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ZachNews Photojounralist Zachary A. Lopez went to the public meetings which were fulled of people from in and around the Colorado River Tri-State area.

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: 1:00pm PT Public Meeting. **

The proposal includes watercraft to travel at no-wake speeds in waters in the Havasu National Wildlife Reserve jurisdiction, banning personal watercraft, waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing in backwaters, and requiring boat motors not to exceed 30 horsepower in the Topock Marsh.

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service say that due to an increase in safety concerns and the protection of wildlife habitat, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of reassessing all boating recreation activities taking place at the Refuge.

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As the comment section of the public meetings began, people who live, work, and play on the Colorado River and Havasu National Wildlife Reserve spoke up raising their concerns on how these proposed boating restrictions could affect the local economy, local businesses, and the community.

Some of the speakers question the motives of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service calling the proposed boating restrictions and the draft documents misleading, confusing, and incomplete.

As people spoke against the proposed boating restrictions, the crowd clapped, and when the facilitator asked the crowd not to clap, some in the crowed shouted, “Why not?” and “It’s our rights too”.

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Representatives from local governments; including from Bullhead City, Arizona and Needles, California, as well as county government were present and spoke out on the side of the people against the proposed boating restrictions.

The City of Needles in Needles, California is in objection to the proposed boating restrictions from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

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ZachNews received the 2 page letter of the City of Needles in objection of the proposed boating restrictions from United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

** Video from ZachNews on YouTube: District 5 Mohave County Supervisor Steve Moss. **

ZachNews spoke with District 5 Mohave County Supervisor Steve Moss after the 1:00pm PT public meeting regarding the proposed boating restrictions.

Very few people spoke up in support of the proposed boating restrictions for safety to other people, including people kayaking on the Colorado River.

Many of the speakers urged the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to extend the comment period, which is set to expire in a few days, so that more people can comment on these proposed boating restrictions.

Well the speakers ask questions, representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service remained silent and didn’t response to the questions.

Representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service only spoke only about the updated map that was released and the areas being proposed.

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Representatives from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service explaining the proposed boating restrictions location, which included an area on the east side of the Colorado River just north of Lake Havasu City, Arizona and the Topock Marsh area near Topock, Arizona, and said to the crowed that there will be no changes in the 17.5 miles from the Interstate 40 bridge to the southern buoy line and the California side in the area south of the 2-mile expansion, and no new areas will be closed to access or cut off to through traffic.

The original 11 page draft documents and the old map of the proposal was released by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for the public to review and comment on.

** Documents: Draft Compatibility Determination: **

http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Havasu_NWR_Boating_DRAFT%20CD_12April2016.pdf

This Draft Compatibility Determination will be available for public review and comment until Thursday, May 12th, 2016.

If you were unable t make the public meetings, comments can be sent either by mail or by email to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

** Written comments can be sent to the following address: **

United States Fish and Wildlife, Havasu National Wildlife Refuge
Attn: Draft Recreational Boating CD:
317 Mesquite Avenue
Needles, California, 92363

** Written email comments can be sent to the following address: **

Havasu_Boating_Comments@fws.gov

Comments will be accepted through close of business on Thursday, May 12th, 2016.

**** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story. ****

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