Special Report: Immediately Return Lake Berryessa’s Big Island Lagoon and Steele Canyon Cove to 5MPH Zones for Family Recreation

by Peter Kilkus (5/13/19)

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Table Of Contents

A. Executive Summary: There Is No Such Legal Designation As A "Non-Motorized Zone" Or "Electric Trolling Motors Only" Restriction At Lake Berryessa

B. Justification for this Action

     1. Original Decision Statement

      2. Arguments In Support of this Action

         a. Analysis of Need

         b. Recreation Guidelines and Planning Process

         c. Safety Issues

         d. Environmental Issues

Appendix A: Napa County Ordinance No. 1287

Appendix B: Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WALROS) Users’ Handbook

Appendix C: Non-Motorized Boating Safety Issues

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A. Executive Summary: There Is No Such Legal Designation As A "Non-Motorized Zone" Or "Electric Trolling Motors Only" Restriction At Lake Berryessa

In a highly unpopular move with no real public support the Bureau of Reclamation arbitrarily closed Big Island Lagoon, a traditional family boating rest area, to motorized recreation more than ten years ago. This action was taken with no public input, no supporting data, no analysis of need, nor any evaluation of its effects on lake users, violating Reclamation’s own policies and the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).

Monitoring of the area for the many years has shown there has been no appreciable use by non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks. This action simply created a wasted recreational resource that had previously been used by thousands of boaters on a regular basis. This area was an historical 5 MPH zone and a heavily-used family recreation gathering spot. It provided a quiet, safe respite from the activity on the main body of the lake.

Hidden on a map in the 2006 Record of Decision are two designations of "non-motorized zone". One is Big Island Lagoon. The other is Steele Park Cove (aka Willi's Cove). The Big Island lagoon entrances now have several buoys stating "Electric Trolling Motor Only" but no signs stating "non-motorized zone". Although warning buoys were placed at Big Island, they were not installed at Steele Park Cove. The “electric trolling motors only” warning can potentially be interpreted to mean that no kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, bass boats, patio boats, or other watercraft will be allowed in the area without a trolling motor attached.

Monitoring of the area for many years has shown there has been no appreciable use by non-motorized watercraft such as kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards. Statistical reports confirm that there are no safety issues related to the shared use of 5 MPH areas by non-motorized and motorized watercraft. (Appendix C)

The 2005 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and 2006 Record of Decision (ROD) noted no safety or environmental issues.

The 2006 ROD also stated that no changes would be made until the Public Forum referenced in this same section was created. Peter Kilkus first raised this issue in a formal recommendation to the Bureau of Reclamation on December 26, 2012. The recommendation was ignored. The subject was never discussed at any of the public forums held after the public process implemented in early 2013 - until it was again brought up by Kilkus at the November 14, 2018 forum meeting. Drew Lessard, Reclamation Area Manager, agreed to review the proposal.

Detailed justification supporting this action is given below. The conclusion is that since there was neither public input nor public support for this arbitrary action; there was no statutory authority or other justification for Reclamation’s decision; there is no enforcement authority applicable to these arbitrary designations; there was no analysis of need; and the action is in opposition to Reclamation’s stated purpose to support and expand recreation at Lake Berryessa, the Bureau of Reclamation should immediately rescind its action and return Big Island Lagoon and Steele Canyon Cove to their long-term 5 MPH status in anticipation of the 2019 recreation season.

B. Justification for this Action

1. Original Decision Statement

The original decision was arbitrary and implemented without sufficient deliberation. Even then it was meant only to be temporary. But Reclamation never followed through on its original commitment to implement the WALROS planning process to analyze the relevant recreational uses of Lake Berryessa.

Record of Decision: Future Recreation Use and Operations of Lake Berryessa, June 2, 2006 

“The WROS is not adopted as part of the VSP ROD. Instead, requirements in the RAMP ROD governing water surface carrying capacity and vessel occupancy are carried forward, and certain areas of the lake are reserved for non-motorized water craft and trolling engines on an interim basis pending future adoption by Reclamation of the WROS or other land and water use classification system in consultation with the forum established in Paragraph 1c (see referenced section below). In the interim, certain areas will be reserved for use by non-motorized watercraft and electric trolling motors only. These areas are identified in Appendix B, map number 413-202-8.”

2006 ROD: 1. Recreation Program Management.

“The following principles and actions will be used to guide and manage recreation activities at Lake Berryessa:

c. Collaboration. Reclamation will sponsor a regular forum with the opportunity for public involvement to promote communication, thoughtful consideration of interests, consistency and uniformity, and constructive resolution of problems or conflicts.”

ROD Map non-motorized arrows edited-1

 

2. Arguments In Support of this Action

Although no justification, needs analysis, nor statistical data for implementing this restriction were presented in the original 2006 ROD, there is ample justification for its elimination.

a. Analysis of Need

Any decision to change or revise a recreation policy should include a process that determines whether the proposed change is actually necessary or fulfills a real recreation need. The 2006 ROD is a result of such a planning process - including the requirements of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) except in the decision to designate “non-motorized” zones. This decision was ostensibly made to address a perceived need for non-motorized watercraft (kayaks, canoes) to have the use of their own restricted area. However, there was no evidence or data presented supporting that proposition.

The number of kayakers and canoers who use Lake Berryessa is vanishingly small. Observations by local Berryessa Pines residents who are kayakers themselves confirm that kayak use of Big Island lagoon by visiting kayakers is virtually non-existent. Kayak tours are sponsored by Reclamation only a few times per year and consistently have low attendance.

Although Lake Berryessa has never been a popular kayak destination, arguments have been made that more kayakers would use it if it were “safer” - which usually translates as “too many wakes from motorized boats make it uncomfortable.” There have never been any actual safety issues documented. However, even with the west shore resorts closed and a drastic decrease in the number of motorized watercraft using the lake, no increase in kayak or canoe use was seen.

Kayak rentals at the nearby Lake Berryessa Boat and Jet Ski Rentals do occur during the summer season, but the kayaks are launched at the Spanish Flat Recreation Area. Observations by staff of both companies confirm that these kayakers do not paddle from Spanish Flat to Big Island lagoon because it is too far away. The number of kayaks launched at Oak Shores Day Use Area is also low.

The Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce made a concerted effort in 2009 to recruit many Bay Area canoe and kayak clubs, such as the Marin Canoe and Kayak Club (www.marincanoeclub.org), with personal letters to come to Lake Berryessa. There was literally no response to these efforts. See letter printed below.

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Kalling All Kayakers

This will be a prime summer for kayaking on Lake Berryessa. Since the Bureau of Reclamation declared the Big Island Lagoon a “non-motorized zone” there will be a lot of calm water for paddling in that area. With four major west shore resorts closed power boat and jet ski traffic will be less than normal.

Lake Berryessa Chamber of Commerce members want to encourage kayakers to visit the lake and enjoy the calm waters. Come out for an evening paddle at Oak Shores. Get your supplies at a local store or end your day at a local restaurant.

Some good launch points are:

·       Capell Cove public boat launch: Parking lot, good beach for launching.

·       Oak Shores Day Use Park: Lots of parking. Two launch ramps for hand launching of car-top boats. 

·       Boats may also be carried to the water anywhere within the park.

·       Smittle Creek: Easy walk from parking lot to the water.

·       Pope Creek Bridge: Large parking lot at the intersection of the Knoxville and

·       Pope Canyon Road: Path down to the water.

·       Putah Creek Pullout: At the north end of the Putah Creek Bridge. Parking with a

·       rough but well used trail down to the water.

·       Eticuera Launch: Short distance past the east end of the causeway that crosses the north end of the Lake. 

·       This day use facility offers a parking lot, restroom and a smooth path to carry or wheel a boat to the water. 

b. Recreation Guidelines and Planning Process

Per Reclamation’s own policies as stated in the 2006 ROD (considered the “bible” for future development of Lake Berryessa’s recreational facilities), the restriction of Big Island Lagoon should have been reviewed beginning in 2009. The Water and Land Use Recreation Opportunities Spectrum (WALROS - Appendix B) was approved and adopted by Reclamation in 2009. Its application by the Department of the Interior mandates creating the greatest recreational opportunities possible. All concessions/resorts would maintain the highest level of development in order to serve the public demand.

The standard for WALROS decision-making incorporates (1) sound professional judgment, (2) preponderance of the evidence, (3) a rule of reasonableness, (4) a sliding scale rule of analysis, and (5) a scale of degree. WALROS also requires planners to identify recreation stakeholders and develop a plan for collaboration and the nature of external collaboration with visitors, communities, private sector organizations, and other stakeholders.

WALROS is an inventory, planning, and management tool.  As such, it is valuable to the managing agencies, local communities, recreationists, and the private sector (e.g., tourism industry) especially for its applicability to the following tasks:

·    inventory and map water and/or land recreation opportunities;

·    integrate recreation into the agency planning process;

·    compare recreation demand to the supply of available recreation opportunities;

·    provide a visual map (compatible with geographic information systems [GIS]) of proposed plann alternatives;

·    evaluate the benefits and costs of proposed alternatives;

·    identify and manage a tourism niche for communities and the private sector;

·    plan and manage a regional system of water and/or land recreation opportunities;

·    identify and protect important natural and cultural resources;

·    increase public awareness of recreation choices and available opportunities;

·     decide the type and location of visitor management activities;

·    prioritize, design, and locate facilities;

·    develop visitor capacities;

·    justify budget and personnel needs;

·    legally justify planning and management decisions;

·    provide interagency communication, consistency, collaboration, and coordination;

·    conserve a diversity of water and land recreation opportunities; and

·    ensure high-quality recreation experiences and benefits for  current and future visitors and the local community.

Lake Berryessa clearly falls into the category of Rural Developed Setting and Rural Developed Recreation Experience described in Appendix B.

c. Safety Issues

A recent public statement from local Reclamation management stated that “the small area behind Big Island was restricted so kayakers and canoes can safely enjoy the lake too.” This justification was never mentioned in the ROD, nor was a safety analysis presented. The statement implies that standard “5MPH” zones and “No Wake” zones are unsafe for kayakers and canoers, but no supporting statistical data was presented.

The Big Island lagoon has always been a rest area for boaters. All boats simply idle in and stop for a period of time to relax, lounge on inflatable floats, swim, kayak, then idle back out to the main body of the lake.

The implication is that if 5MPH/No Wake zones are unsafe for kayaks and canoes, they must also be unsafe for people in inflatable boats and on inflatable mattresses, and children on inflatable tubes. The idea that any boat idling with a trolling motor is significantly less dangerous to a kayaker than a boat idling with a normal motor is not supported by the data. There have been no documented kayak accidents at Lake Berryessa in any 5 MPH zones.

A report published in 2009, Non-Motorized Boating in California, (Appendix E), (Appendix C) states that in the 11 years from 1995 to 2006, there were only 242 non-motorized boating accidents documented in all of California. None of them were attributed to a kayak or canoe interacting with an idling motorized boat in a 5 MPH zone.

In 2004, the American Canoe Association (ACA), the oldest recreation-based waterway conservation organization in the country, published: Critical Judgment II: Understanding and Preventing Canoe and Kayak Fatalities. (Appendix E)

Over the seven years of the ACA’s analysis, 76 percent of canoe and kayak fatalities involved capsizing, with capsizing probability about the same between canoes and kayaks, and as likely on calm water as on choppy or rough water. Hazardous water or weather was more likely to be a cause of kayak fatalities (46 percent of the total), than canoe fatalities (20 percent). Alcohol was more often a factor in canoe fatalities (25 percent), than kayak fatalities (9 percent).

Alcohol use was a greater problem in calm water, as was a lack of life jackets. The ACA analysis found that about 90 percent of canoe and kayak fatalities were males, and about 50 percent of victims were fishing at the time of the accident. Most canoe accidents involved aluminum and/or inexpensive canoe brands.

d. Environmental Issues

Big Island lagoon and Steele Canyon cove are part of the defined “resort areas” in the 2006 ROD. The Final Environmental Impact Statement: Future Recreation Use and Operations of Lake Berryessa, 2005 (FEIS) identified no serious environmental impacts to fish and wildlife resources from the recreational use and development of the lake. The 2006 ROD supported this conclusion in Section VII. Environmental Commitments

3.3.2 Environmental Consequences and Mitigation: No significant impacts are expected to occur with implementation of this decision. Impacts to fish and wildlife resources, water quality, and air quality will not be significant, and no mitigation beyond normal Best Management Practices is needed.

Impact 3.3.2.14: Potential Impacts to Birds (Common and Protected Species): Again, bird populations at each resort would be temporarily disturbed by increased dust, noise and human activity. Some displacement of nesting birds may occur if vegetation within the resorts were removed during development activities. As with wildlife, there is an abundance of the various bird species present in the resort areas, and their mobility and ability to adapt to an urban environment forecast only a minor impact to resident populations under this proposal.

There are no special-status species nesting within or potentially affected by the proposed developments at the resorts, the Capell Cove launch ramp, or Camp Berryessa. Only minor impacts to common species would be anticipated from build-out activities.

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Appendix A: Napa County Ordinance No. 1287

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF THE COUNTY OF NAPA, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AMENDING SECTIONS 12.08.010 AND 12.08.040 OF THE NAPA COUNTY CODE TO ADD POPE CREEK AND PUTAH CREEK TO THE BERRYESSA LAKE AND PARK AREA AND TO PERMIT BOATING VIOLATIONS IN THE BERRYESSA LAKE AND PARK AREA (INCLUDING POPE CREEK AND PUTAH CREEK) TO BE CHARGED EITHER AS A MISDEMEANOR OR AN INFRACTION

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Napa, State of California, ordains as follows:

BERRYESSA LAKE AND PARK AREA

Sections:

12.08.010        Definitions.

12.08.020        Application of provisions—Statutory authority.

12.08.030        Unlawful activities designated.

12.08.040        Boats and other vessels—Operation restrictions.

12.08.050        Speed limit exemptions.

12.08.060        Enforcement authority regarding parking violations.    

Chapter 12.08: BERRYESSA LAKE AND PARK AREA

 12.08.010        Definitions.

A.        As used in this chapter: “Berryessa Lake and Park area” means the federally owned or controlled lands, reservoir areas and waters known as Lake Berryessa in the county of Napa, including but not limited to the Capell Cove, Smittle Creek Park, Oak Shores Park, Pope Creek, and Putah Creek areas.

 

“Boat” is defined in Harbors and Navigation Code Section 651(d) to include any vessel which is any of the following:

1.              Manufactured or used primarily for noncommercial use;

2.              Leased, rented or chartered to another for the latter’s commercial use;

3.              Engaged in the carrying of six or fewer passengers, including those for-hire vessels carrying more than three passengers while using inland waters of the state that are not declared navigable by the United States Coast Guard; and

4.              Commercial vessels required to be numbered pursuant to Section 9850 of the Vehicle Code.

“Boat” means and includes personal watercrafts, watercycles and similar devices.

“Bureau” means and is defined as the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

“Camping” means and is defined as follows:

1.              Erecting a tent or shelter or arranging bedding, or both, for the purposes of or in such a way as will permit remaining overnight;

2.              Use of any parked or standing vehicle for the purpose of sleeping during nighttime hours is also included in the definition of camping;

3.              Use of houseboats or boats for the purpose of sleeping during the nighttime hours, whether anchored,moored or beached, is also defined as camping, and may be permitted in certain areas by the bureau.

“Parasailing” means the propelling of a person on water skis or other similar device, through the water, on the surface of the water or through the air, by means of a boat or other device.

“Vehicle” means and includes all vehicles, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, off-road vehicles, four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorcycles, minibikes, snowmobiles, dunebuggies, all-terrain vehicles, trailers, campers, recreational vehicles, bicycles, or any other such equipment.

“Vessel” means and includes every description of watercraft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, except the following:

1.              A seaplane on the water;

2.              A watercraft specifically designed to operate on a permanently fixed course, the movement of which is restricted or guided on such permanently fixed course by means of a mechanical device on a fixed track or arm to which the watercraft is attached or by which the watercraft is controlled, or by means of a mechanical device attached to the watercraft itself. Harbors and Navigation Code Section 651(c).

“Water skis or similar devices” mean and include all forms of water skiing, barefoot skiing, skiing on ski boards, knee boards or other contrivances, parasailing, ski kiting or any activity where a person is towed behind or alongside a boat.

B.         Any word that is not specifically defined in this section shall be interpreted pursuant to any other definition, if any, as contained in this code, the California Harbors and Navigation Code, or in other cases according to the word’s common meaning.

12.08.020        Application of provisions—Statutory authority.

A.        The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to all of the waterways connected to Lake Berryessa and shall be construed to supplement federal and state laws and regulations when not expressly inconsistent therewith on all waterways where such federal and state laws and regulations are applicable.

B.         This chapter is enacted pursuant to Section 660 of the Harbors and Navigation Code of the state, and other applicable federal and state laws.

12.08.030        Unlawful activities designated.

A.        Within the Berryessa Lake and Park area, it is unlawful for any person:

1.         To pick flowers, foliage, berries or fruit, or cut, break, dig up or in any way mutilate or injure any tree, shrub, plant, fern, grass, turf, fence, structure or improvement of any kind, unless an employee of the county or an employee of the bureau while in the performance of official duties or unless authorized by special permit by the bureau;

2.         Unless authorized by the bureau, to cut, carve, paint, mark, paste or fasten to any tree, fence, wall, rock, building, monument or other object within the Berryessa Lake and Park area any bill, advertisement or inscription;

3.         Unless authorized by the bureau, to dig up or remove any dirt, stones, rocks or other substance whatever, make any excavation, quarry any stone, or lay or set off any blast within the Berryessa Lake or Park area. Any proposed blasting must first be submitted for and receive approval from the county;

4.         To leave or abandon in the Berryessa Lake and Park area, except in receptacles designated for that purpose by the bureau, human or animal waste, cans, bottles, waste, paper, broken glass or other rubbish or garbage;

5.         To light, build or maintain in the Berryessa Lake and Park area any open fire, with the following exceptions:

a.         When a written permit has been obtained from the bureau,

b.         When fires are maintained in fireplaces, grills or other facilities provided and designated for that purpose by the bureau, and

c.         When fires are in oil or gasoline stoves or gas grills in camps and picnic areas maintained and designated by the bureau;

6.         To bring any dog or cat or any domestic animal into the Berryessa Lake or Park area except on a leash;

7.         To ride, drive, lead or keep a horse or other livestock in the Berryessa Lake or Park area except upon roads and trails designated for that purpose by the bureau, or in such other areas as may be designated as pasturage areas under lease by the bureau. No horse or other livestock shall be hitched to any tree or shrub in such manner as to cause damage to such tree or shrub. This subsection shall not apply to the use of horses for law enforcement purposes, or if prior approval has been obtained through issuance of a special permit by the bureau;

8.         To pursue, chase, hunt, molest, catch, capture, injure or kill any bird, mammal or reptile or to attempt to pursue, chase, hunt, molest, catch, capture, injure or kill, or to disturb any bird, mammal or reptile’s habitat in the Berryessa Lake and Park area, unless certain areas are designated from time to time to be hunting areas by the bureau and the California Department of Fish and Game;

9.         To operate any vehicle at a speed in excess of fifteen miles per hour on any road in the Berryessa Lake and Park area, other than upon state or county highways, unless otherwise posted;

10.       To operate any vehicle within the Berryessa Lake and Park area except upon roads and thoroughfares and areas designated for such purpose by the bureau;

11.       To sell, peddle or to offer for sale any food, liquids, edibles for human consumption, or any goods, wares, services or merchandise within the Berryessa Lake and Park area, except under permit issued by the bureau, and subject to such laws and regulations as may now or hereafter exist, promulgated by the board of supervisors of the county, the director of public health, or the director of environmental health of the county;

12.       To camp in any portion of the Berryessa Lake and Park area other than in areas designated for such purpose by the bureau, unless authorized by special permit by the bureau;

13.       To wade, swim, bathe, operate a boat or water ski within one thousand five hundred feet of Monticello Dam;

14.       To operate a boat or pass through any logboom or line of buoys designating a closed area;

15.       To contaminate or pollute the waters of Lake Berryessa or the shore area or the tributaries thereof, or to discharge any human waste, litter, garbage, oil or other debris therein;

16.       To enter any areas of the Berryessa Lake and Park area which are closed to entry by the bureau, and posted against trespassing in accordance with the provisions of Section 602 of the California Penal Code;

17.       To carry and possess any firearms in the Berryessa Lake and Park area without a valid concealed weapons permit or a permit issued by the bureau;

18.       To destroy, injure, deface, remove and/or alter public property, including but not limited to developed facilities, natural formations, gravel, mud, sand, mineral deposits, designated historical or archaeological features, except when in accordance with written permission from the bureau;

19.       To cut down or remove live trees, or gather wood, without the written permission of the bureau;

20.       To bring into the Berryessa Lake and Park area any household or commercial garbage, trash, rubbish, debris, dead animal(s) or litter of any kind for disposal or dumping without the written permission of the bureau;

21.       To engage in the sport or activity of parasailing on Lake Berryessa in the following areas:

a.         Within one thousand feet of any powerline, or

b.         As posted on at least two signs on shore or on buoys in or near the prohibited area, or

c.         Within two thousand feet of Monticello Dam.

22.       To park any vehicle in a fire lane, in a red zone, or in any other area that is not a designated parking area within the Berryessa Lake and Park area;

23.       To bring any glass containers to the day use facilities at Oak Shores Park and Smittle Creek Park areas;

24.      To tie or attach any vessel, rope, canopy, hammock or similar item(s) to any tree, shrub, bush, vegetation, pole, picnic table, bench or other park facility, improvement, or structure;

25.       To abandon a campfire or any open fire.

B.         Unless otherwise provided, a violation of any of the provisions of this section, other than provisions relating to the parking of vehicles, may be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction pursuant to Section 17 et seq. of the California Penal Code, and Government Code Section 25132. Violation of any provision of this section relating to the parking of vehicles shall not be a criminal violation but shall instead be subject to civil penalty in accordance with Vehicle Code Section 40200 et seq. and Chapter 10.32 of this code.

12.08.040        Boats and other vessels—Operation restrictions.

A.        No person shall operate or navigate any commercial motorboat carrying passengers for hire on or around the Berryessa Lake and Park area unless licensed in accordance with law. Authorization must also be obtained from the bureau prior to engaging in such activities.

B.         No person shall moor any boat, vessel, personal watercraft, watercycle, water ski, innertube, air mattress or other device which can be used for floating on the water, or designed for travel upon the water, to the pillars, abutments or appendages of the Pope Creek Bridge or the Putah Creek Bridge. A violation of this subsection shall constitute an infraction. A second violation within one year shall constitute a misdemeanor.

C.         No person shall operate a motorboat or other vessel at a speed in excess of five miles per hour in any area marked with a buoy bearing the words “5 miles per hour” or bearing the words “No Wake.” “5 miles an hour” shall be interpreted to mean creating “no wake” as the boat travels through or on the water.

D.        No dock shall be constructed in the Berryessa Lake and Park area without prior approval from the bureau.

E.         Unless otherwise provided, a violation of any of the provisions of this section may be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction pursuant to Section 17 et seq. of the California Penal Code, and Government Code Section 25132. 

12.08.050        Speed limit exemptions.

The sheriff and any of his deputies are exempt from the speed limits imposed by subsection (A)(9) of Section 12.08.030 and subsection (C) of Section 12.08.040 while driving a sheriff’s patrol boat under all of the following conditions:

A.        If the boat is being driven in response to an emergency call or is engaged in rescue operations or in pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law;

B.         If the driver of the boat sounds a siren as may reasonably be necessary in the circumstances, and the boat displays a lighted blue lamp visible from the bow as a warning to other persons using the body of water in the vicinity of the boat.

12.08.060        Enforcement authority regarding parking violations.

The sheriff and any of his deputies, and, at the discretion of the sheriff, any uniformed employee of the United States Bureau of Reclamation assigned to the Lake Berryessa and Park Area, are authorized to issue notices of violation to persons who violate provisions of this chapter relating to parking restrictions.

SECTION 2.   If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this Ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision

shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.  The Board of Supervisors of the County of Napa hereby declares it would have passed and adopted this Ordinance and each and all provisions hereof irrespective of the fact that any one or more of said provisions be declared invalid.         

SECTION 3.   This ordinance shall be effective thirty (30) days from and after the date of its passage.

SECTION 4.   A summary of this ordinance shall be published at least once 5 days before adoption and at least once before the expiration of 15 days after its passage in the Napa Valley Register, a newspaper of general circulation published in the County of Napa, together with the names of members voting for and against the same.

The foregoing ordinance was introduced and read at a regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Napa, State of California, held on the 12th day of December, 2006, and passed at a regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Napa, State of California, held on the 9th day of  January, 2007.

Chapter 12.12 - JUMPING FROM PUTAH CREEK AND POPE CREEK BRIDGES

12.12.010 - Findings—Purpose of provisions.

The county board of supervisors makes the following findings:

That many persons, particularly young persons, when engaging in recreational pursuits at Lake Berryessa, have jumped, and have attempted to jump, from the Pope Creek Bridge and the Putah Creek Bridge into the waters or tributaries to the waters of Lake Berryessa;

That a number of people have been hurt from this activity, and, particularly in years where there has been less than average rainfall, such an activity poses a danger to anyone engaging in same.

Therefore, the board of supervisors also finds that it is in the interests of the public health, safety and welfare to specifically prohibit this activity, and enact a substantial fine in order to discourage persons from participating in this dangerous activity.

12.12.020 - Unlawful activities designated.

It is unlawful for anyone to jump, leap or otherwise propel one's own body or the body of another from the Pope Creek Bridge or the Putah Creek Bridge.

It is unlawful for anyone to attach a rope or other apparatus to the Pope Creek Bridge or to the Putah Creek Bridge, for the purpose of swinging from either bridge.

It is unlawful to swing from either the Pope Creek Bridge or to Putah Creek Bridge at any time.

It is unlawful for anyone not otherwise authorized by law to climb onto, or to jump, leap, or otherwise propel one's own body or that of another, from the superstructure of the Pope Creek Bridge or the Putah Creek Bridge. For this purpose, "superstructure" means the part of a bridge which rests on the piers and abutments, but which is beneath the level of the roadway.

It is unlawful for any person not otherwise authorized by law to attempt to commit any act made unlawful by this section.

It is unlawful for any person to stop or loiter on the Pope Creek Bridge or Putah Creek Bridge.

12.12.030 - Violation—Signs posted—Penalty.

Anyone violating Section 12.12.020 of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and a fine shall be imposed in the minimum amount of two hundred fifty dollars for the first violation, three hundred fifty dollars for the second violation, and five hundred dollars for third or subsequent violations.

Before such minimum fines may be imposed, signs must be posted at both ends of each such bridge stating the activity prohibited and the amount of fine which may be imposed.

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Appendix B: Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (WALROS) Users’ Handbook

The Water and Land Use Recreation Opportunities Spectrum (WALROS) was approved and adopted by Reclamation in 2009. Its application by the Department of the Interior mandates “creating the greatest recreational opportunities possible. All concessions/resorts would maintain the highest level of development in order to serve the public demand.”

(www.lakeberryessanews.com/special-publications/walros_handbook_2011.pdf) or (www.usbr.gov/recreation/publications/WALROS_Handbook_2011.pdf)

 

 

The standard for WALROS decision-making incorporates (1) sound professional judgment, (2) preponderance of the evidence, (3) a rule of reasonableness, (4) a sliding scale rule of analysis, and (5) a scale of degree.

Lake Berryessa clearly falls in the category of Rural Developed Setting and Rural Developed Recreation Experience described below.

Table 2.2.—Physical setting attribute guidelines

Physical attributes table LB only

Rural developed setting: A rural developed WALROS area is beyond a metropolitan area and the suburban ring of development. Rural developed areas may serve as “bedroom” communities for urban areas and may contain working farms, ranches, and towns. In this setting, primary road networks are common. Although development will be prevalent and common, the setting has a pastoral sense because of an interspersing of forests, water resources, hills, valleys, canyons, wetlands, open spaces, and agricultural lands. Naturally appearing shoreline edges are common, although various water controls or other structures are also common. Recreation management is prevalent and common but not as extensive as in an urban setting (e.g., personnel, rules, facilities, signs, services, conveniences, security). Recreation use, diversity, socialization, concentration, sense of security, and conveniences are less common than in a developed suburban or urban setting. The sights, sounds, and smells of recreation and non-recreation use are common, yet interspersed with locations and times when the urbanized visitor may experience a sense of tranquility and escape from everyday challenges. Examples of rural developed areas include areas with country estates, second homes and cabins, dams, power stations, primary and secondary roads, communication lines, resorts, marinas, small communities, full service campgrounds, county and State parks, farms, ranches, and small commercial and industrial establishments.

Rural developed recreation experience: The area provides occasional or periodic opportunities to see, hear, or smell the natural resources (e.g., forests, wildlife, aesthetics), but development, human activity, and natural resource modifications are common and frequently encountered. The area is less developed and more tranquil than a suburban setting. The opportunity to experience brief periods of solitude is important but changes from day to day. In a rural-developed area, everyday sights and sounds are also important. Socialization within and outside one’s group is typical, and the presence of other visitors is expected. The opportunity to relieve stress, alter everyday routines, and achieve a moderate level of comfort and convenience along with a sense of safety and security is important. The array of recreation activities may be diverse, ranging from relaxation and contemplation (e.g., sunbathing, sailboating, shoreline fishing) to physical exertion and challenge (e.g., competing in shoreline and water sports, tournament fishing, ice fishing, water skiing, snowmobiling, motocross racing, and kayaking). The rural developed area is typically attractive for day use by weekend visitors from local metropolitan areas, nearby communities, short-term campers, recreational vehicle users, large groups, and adventure tourists within a day’s drive.

Appendix C: Non-Motorized Boating Safety Issues

a. Non-Motorized Boating in California, March 2009, Division of Boating and Waterways Report  (https://dbw.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=28754)

As participation in non-motorized boating increases, safety is of greater concern. In addition, when there are serious non-motorized boating accidents, they often receive high-level publicity, thus heightening concerns and fear about non-motorized boating safety. When considering activities such as whitewater paddling, non-motorized boating safety issues are often more closely associated with outdoor recreation safety, rather than with boating safety. In other cases, particularly for the casual paddler, safety concerns have many of the same characteristics as those of motorized boating.

Table 7.4: Type of Non-Motorized Boating Accident in California (1995 to 2006)

Capsizing: 114

Collision with vessel: 59

Falls overboard: 23

Collision with fixed object: 8

Flooding/swamping: 8

Fall in boat: 8

Struck submerged object: 7

Struck by motor/propeller: 3

Collision with floating object: 1

Fire/explosion: 1

Other/unknown: 10

Total 242

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b. American Canoe Association Accident Analysis

In 2004, the American Canoe Association (ACA), the oldest recreation-based waterway conservation organization in the country, published a report: Critical Judgment II: Understanding and Preventing Canoe and Kayak Fatalities, 1996-2002. (www.americancanoe.org/resource/resmgr/seieducational_resources/critical_judgement_ii_aca.pdf)

American Canoe Association, Inc

7432 Alban Station Blvd Suite B 232

Springfield VA 22150

www.acanet.org

Over the seven years of the ACA’s analysis, 76 percent of canoe and kayak fatalities involved capsizing, with capsizing probability about the same between canoes and kayaks, and as likely on calm water as on choppy or rough water. Hazardous water or weather was more likely to be a cause of kayak fatalities (46 percent of the total), than canoe fatalities (20 percent). Alcohol was more often a factor in canoe fatalities (25 percent), than kayak fatalities (9 percent).

Alcohol use was a greater problem in calm water, as was a lack of life jackets. The ACA analysis found that about 90 percent of canoe and kayak fatalities were males, and about 50 percent of victims were fishing at the time of the accident. Most canoe accidents involved aluminum and/or inexpensive canoe brands.

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