HB 213 passed – kayakers got screwed

April 1, 2009

Well, Idaho HB 213 passed in the Senate today. All it needs now is the governor’s signature, which is guaranteed. All out-of-state motorized boats will have a $20 annual fee. In-state motorized boats will have a $10 fee. Nonmotorized boats will have a $5 fee. This doesn’t hurt me too badly. I only have one boat. Some kayakers have 10 or more. They’ll be stuck paying $50 yearly, while posing zero risk of importing invasive species. It will also hurt people coming into the state to boat. They’re stuck paying a $5 fee per boat for a few days’ worth of boating.

The goal of this bill is to raise money to fight invasive species. I’d be less mad about this if the plan for fighting invasive species was likely to be effective. Rumor says this money will be used to set up boat wash stations at major lakes. Well, the people who are going to use these boat wash stations are the same people who were already paying attention to the issue. The people who are actually a risk are a risk because they don’t use things like boa washing stations! As for people like me, the odds of my kayak being within 100 miles of a boat washing station are amazingly slim – yet I’m stuck paying for them.

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