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Soylent




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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 06:33 AM
Ocean Beach San Fran


This past weekend Elton was given a warning about buggying on OB. Mainly the ranger just said that if he recieved any complaints or saw the Snowy Plovers disturbed that he'd issue a citation. I don't think it was a big deal but it can't hurt to be aware of a new ranger wanting to flex his badge.



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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 08:51 AM


I've got a call from Elton (Mayor of OB) last Sunday, telling me he can no longer buggy at Ocean Beach. I was surprised because Ocean Beach is Elton's turf since the late 90's. He made sure that anyone visiting his turf behave accordingly, without supervision. Beach Patrols, and life guards knew him and were cool about what he did.
I'm surprised to hear about the complains. hmmm.


e




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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 08:58 AM


This is not good news at all. We all seem to be getting forced out of the sport we enjoy. Its because of these land use issues that kitesurfing is becoming more and more appealing to me. At least till they band kites from the water because they scare the fish :rolleyes:
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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 09:43 AM


you guys in cali need to fight back!!!

on second thought, the whole community needs to get in on this.
we need to find out,

who to speak with about the restriction caused by plover?
how old is this data claiming the plover is endangered?
Can one prove kites harass the plover?




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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 11:02 AM


I plan on continuing to fly at OB and make sure I am curteous to all on the beach and avoid the plovers when I see them. I will be on board with any legal action or fight we need to protect our right to use our public beaches.



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[*] posted on 4-15-2009 at 07:34 PM


It is such a thorny issue! There is an article the a student did in the 90's that is the root of the problem in regards to the plovers it is quoted over and over but every time I ask to see the article nobody has a copy as it was not published. I am trying to get a copy but have run dry at the moment. It feels like a new study has to come... perhaps the kite manufactures would fund one??



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[*] posted on 4-16-2009 at 10:12 AM


we should remember that this is a public forum and our comments can be viewed by anyone.



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[*] posted on 4-16-2009 at 04:28 PM


Im sad to hear this. I love kitelandboarding on the beach and it sucks that I can't kite surf because of my lack of strong swimming abilities and the general fear of drowning out there.

I noticed that there seems to be a new rule where people are allowed to launch. I'm not sure, but I saw two steaks or poles in the ground and everyone seems to be launching in that area. Does this mean kiting anywhere out of these spots are prohibited? Sometimes, I just want to fly my kite and catch some nice jumps....hopefully that doesn't get banned too.

Any confirmation or info on that?
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[*] posted on 4-16-2009 at 05:14 PM


Dagon just called me. He is down at OB and a life guard approached him saying it's now illegal to kitebuggy on the beach. The life guard gave him a pamphlet and Dagon called the number but didn't get anything clear. He pressed the life guard for more info and he said he'd get a park ranger over there and after issuing a citation he could explain it better.

So we officially have a problem. Maybe it's a life guard with issues or there is something on the books. We need to investigate to see the exact wording of the law if there is one.

A very sad day.




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 01:31 AM
Problem at OB


From : Eduard (kitebone@sbcglobal.net)
#@%$#! ya there’s a problem. How many kite buggyers can you come up with Elton?

Start here….

http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park.asp?park=68

and navigate to the section on the snowy plover protected area map….might have something to do with it unless someone really #@%$#!ed up. Then get everyone organized, start a petition online both at Ikitesurf and BayareaKiteboarding for help. Get the SF Boardsailing Association involved. There’s power in numbers. Come up with plan, rules and a map to self-police but that would still allow for kite buggying and land boarding in certain areas of OB. Join and demand a hearing by the GGNRA on the matter and be prepared for the worst. Start now before it becomes permanent if it’s not too late yet. Any ideas Dave?
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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 02:37 AM


Let’s meet up at OB this saturday noon and ask the park ranger for more info and to explain it better…..yes.
and do some kitejumping.
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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 08:35 AM


Mobilize the troops.



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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 09:05 AM


The life gurad did not tell me he would call a ranger over to give me a citation then we could talk about it. when I pressed him for more information he gave me a pamphlet with a number to call. I called and the woman answering did not know anything. the life guard said it was a new law that fobids buggying, he said he just got a recent email stressing the need to enforce this law. I called park police dispatch and spoke with an officer, he said buggying has been illegal there as long as he can remember he said he worked there for 3 years. There is obviously some misinformation.
we need to get organized and take care of this problem. Lets make sure we have a good plan before we start making calls and writing complaints. Brian O'Neill is Superintendent of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
The life guard or "beach patrol" guys name was John.




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 09:35 AM


I'm not sure how we can help but I promise you the whole Vancouver crew will try and help any way we can ! Even if it's just our sig' .


Usually poles on a kite beach mark the launch / landing area for the kitesurfers on the water. That or safe patrolled water without rip tides ?




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 02:58 PM


I wont be there this saturday but you can call park police dispatch at 415-561-5505 and they will send out an officer if you want to talk to one. Beach patrol is on staff from 9am-7pm according to park dispatch. I would avoid calling the dispatch number for information. I called a few times to inquire about the beach patrol hours and he seemed a bit suspicious, I told him I just wanted to talk to them about the regulations.



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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 03:30 PM


Elton called me too, with the same story. I decided to look it up, since the loss of OB for buggying will be a nightmare for many of us.

In the "2008 Superintendent’s Compendium" from the National Park Service, dated July 08, it states "The use of any purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite (power kite) e.g. Kitebuggy, Landsurfing or Landsailing are prohibited." and a clarification as to why:

"The park receives millions of visitors per year. These restrictions are intended to reduce any possible conflict between users, protect natural, cultural and archeological resources, and for public safety concerns. Power kiting and extreme boarding of any type can allow passage across most every type of terrain and at greater speeds powered by the wind and therefore subject to its own levels and degrees of danger. In consideration of the increased potential for resource damage, threat to wildlife and the health and safety of visitors these activities are prohibited."

In other words, it looks like they decided only know to implement these rules.

If we want to take action as a group, the person to talk to is
Brian O’Neill
General Superintendent
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
(415) 561-4722
brian_o'neill@nps.gov

I will also post the document I found, look for page 23.




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 03:30 PM


The following was taken from GGNRA website:


The following activities are prohibited in the two protection areas for the Western Snowy Plover:
• Dogs off leash from July 1 to the following May 15 (36 CFR 1.5(a)(2) through 10/19/08 and 36 CFR 7.97 beginning 10/20/08)
• Disturbing wildlife (36 CFR 2.2)
• Disturbing threatened species (16 USC 1538)

When you are in the Snowy Plover protection areas, you should:
• Keep your dog on leash. Snowy Plovers perceive dogs as predators; dogs often chase them and other shorebirds.
• Walk, jog, or ride your horse on the wet sand away from the upper parts of the beach where Snowy Plovers are most likely to be found.
• Fly your kites, play frisbee and throw balls in the areas close to the water, away from where Snowy Plovers rest.
• Dispose of garbage properly to avoid attracting predators.
• Leave kelp and driftwood on the beach—these provide resting and feeding areas for the Snowy Plover.
• Call Park Dispatch at (415) 561-5505 if you notice any disturbance or threat to the Western Snowy Plover.

BACKGROUND:
In March 1993, the Western Snowy Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) was listed as a threatened species, protected under the Endangered Species Act. Up to 100 of the estimated 2,300 birds remaining on the Pacific Coast can be found in Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA).

The Snowy Plover is a small shorebird that stands about 6 inches high, with dark markings across the forehead, behind the eyes, and a partial breast band. Snowy Plovers use sandy beaches, mudflats and salt ponds in San Francisco Bay and along the outer coast for breeding, resting and foraging. The Western Snowy Plover and its beach habitat are threatened by urban development, the spread of European dune grass, increased predation, intense recreational use, and human-caused disturbance.
Taken from the GGNRA website:

Although Western Snowy Plovers do not nest at GGNRA, they do spend up to ten months of the year on portions of Ocean Beach and Crissy Field. During their time here (approximately July until the following May), Snowy Plovers spend their days resting in shallow depressions in the sand (such as footprints), where they are camouflaged and out of the wind. They also build up their fat reserves for breeding by eating small invertebrates in debris left by the tides. In spring they move up and down the coast and to inland salt flats to nest.






I am trying to find out more information about where it specifically states kite buggies are not allowed but I cant find it yet. if anyone can get a copy of the "GGNRA Compendium Provisions" that should have the rules listed there.
As I read it we can only be cited for:
• Disturbing wildlife (36 CFR 2.2)
• Disturbing threatened species (16 USC 1538)

according to all the guidelines listed above, flying a buggy would not be harmfull to the snowy plover because we are staying in the hard wet sand, away from where the snowy plovers nest (so no bigfoots please).
Other concerns might be a safety hazard, the lifeguard said something about the footprint of the kite being so large. This is also not much of an issue because the kite can be kept high to avoid people, we only need about 6-10 feet of open downwind space.

So we need to be ready to argue that the kite buggy is not a threat to the plover because:
1. the only space appropriate for the buggy is the wet sand, far away from nesting areas.
2. the kite is 20-30 feet above the nesting areas and is not frightening to the plovers.
3. when the plovers are hunting in the wet sand we can easily steer the buggy far away so as to not disturb them.

We also need to be prepared to argue that the buggy is not a threat to people because:
1. the kite itself is high in the air and can easily be flown overhead of any people.
2. the buggy can be controlled and stopped easily by using the friction of the sand and the location of the kite.

We should also make sure we point out that the kites and buggies are a significan tourist attraction. People love to stand and watch us ride the buggies, ask questions and take pictures. This adds to the magic and unique atmosphere of San Francisco. (of course we are not arguing to the SF tourist board or even the city, Ocean Beach is managed by the State Parks Service)




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 03:31 PM
2008 Superintendent’s Compendium


And the document. See P23.

Attachment: 2008 GOGA COMPENDIUM FINAL 07-01-08.doc.zip (185kB)
This file has been downloaded 404 times





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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 03:36 PM


Dagon, see my previous post. It looks like the Snowy Plover is the least of our problems.
:(




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 03:49 PM


I am very sad, we need to get organized with an agenda of specific arguments. We know what they are going to say we need to be prepared to counter it with specific examples, demonstrations, etc.



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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 04:09 PM


To save you time browsing....

Quote:

Kite buggy means a light, purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite (power kite). It is single-seated and has one steerable front wheel and two fixed rear wheels. The use of these devices fall under skateboarding regulations (See skateboard).



Something tells me I won't get into the skate parks per their definition.


Quote:

36 CFR §2.20 – SKATING, SKATEBOARDS and SIMILAR DEVICES The use of rollerskates, skateboards, roller skis, coasting vehicles, or similar devices are allowed in the following areas: Within the San Francisco portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, roller skates, skateboards or similar non-motorized devices are permitted on hard surfaces wherever pedestrian traffic is allowed with the exception of: Alcatraz Island Fort Point National Historic Site (inside Fort) On any historic military coastal defense structure or building Stairs, walkways, benches, sea walls, seat walls, railings, ramps or curbs. In the Marin County portion of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this activity is prohibited everywhere except within the Stinson Beach portion where it is permitted only on hard surfaces. Extreme skateboarding, e.g. Mountainboarding, Rollsurfing and Dirtsurfing are prohibited. The use of any purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite (power kite) e.g. Kitebuggy, Landsurfing or Landsailing are prohibited. The park receives millions of visitors per year. These restrictions are intended to reduce any possible conflict between users, protect natural, cultural and archeological resources, and for public safety concerns. Power kiting and extreme boarding of any type can allow passage across most every type of terrain and at greater speeds powered by the wind and therefore subject to its own levels and degrees of danger. In consideration of the increased potential for resource damage, threat to wildlife and the health and safety of visitors these activities are prohibited.




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 04:23 PM


I really feel for you guys. What a shame that they want to enforce a total ban on kite buggying, mountain boards, etc.

I agree that it is a tourism draw. I am facinated by kite boarding, kite buggying, and landsailing whenever I see it. I can't help but stop and watch. I think the kites are beautiful and I am impressed with the skill it takes to master these sports. I'm still a novice, who has yet to try a buggy, but am looking forward to my first ride. From what I have been reading on this forum, it seems like the entire CA coastline may soon be off limits to kite buggys and mountain boarders. What a shame.

I was able to take a couple of BloKart rides at Ivanpah a couple of weeks ago, and I have been dying to get out again and go faster. According to these regulations, even a BloKart or other landsailer would be prohibited from Ocean Beach. It seems that they have a problem with speed, more than kites.

I spend a significant amount of time in San Francisco for business (I'm here Sunday - Friday from 4/12 - 4/30 for work). I was just out at Fort Funston at lunch time one day last week watching some hang gliders. The place was swarming with dogs on and off leash. That couldn't be a safe situation for the plovers. I was hoping I might have a chance to come out to the beach at some point and watch some of you ride while I'm in town. Guess that's not going to be an option. Maybe I should limit my trips to San Francisco to the minimum possible and spend my company's travel budget elsewhere.

I hope you are able to negotiate some access for the sport. Maybe you can work on setting up some sort of permit system like we have in the desert for Ivanpah. Maybe they would allow you to ride between 3 hrs before and after low tide if you promise to stay below the high tide line.

Good Luck.
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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 05:05 PM


Money talks and San Fran gets a lot from tourism.

If you make it clear to them that kicking us off the beach would stop an economy it might be heard? That the sport brings all sorts of cash to town . Businesses count on the sport to sell their gear, food etc. and Hotels benefit from the fact SF is on their destination map. That just like with the kiteboarders out on the water O.B. is part of the SanFran kiting tourism history and has been for longer than the kiteboarders out on the water.

I think one of your only workable angles is to go all " British " and get a section that can be used . Pay the Gov. a bunch of money to use it and such ? :megan:


I have a hoodie from back when we had this fight for our beaches it says in bold letters:

KITEBOARDING
IS NOT A CRIME

Might be time to start wearing it more !




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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 05:51 PM


I don't think the water kiters have the issue as us buggy pilots.



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[*] posted on 4-17-2009 at 07:22 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Soylent
I don't think the water kiters have the issue as us buggy pilots.


NO, I don't want the water folks lumped in or anything!

I was meaning more that they have to see how a sport like this can grow properly if handled like with the water people and that only a certian amount of access is required rather than the whole beach.

If you are doing a petition it could include do you travel to visit established kite buggy locations ?




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[*] posted on 4-18-2009 at 12:47 PM


Where do we go now? They will just keep taking it away. Same story over and over and some point in time when the area gets populated by the sport. The more people that see the more that want to do it and now once again limiting where to go. Can they just give us an island? or maybe a prison groung? For most of us may end up there trying to share and do something that we love. That is just..:evil:



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[*] posted on 4-20-2009 at 08:06 PM


Has anything more developed on this?

I have been getting together a little info. to try and possibly help. It seems that some of our international friends have already came across these issues. Now I'm still gathering some info. together so don't quote me on the bits and pieces i have came across so far. But their solution was a buggy license. To get the license you have to do some schooling I believe and show your skills in the buggy to show you are capable of controlling your equipment and not a danger to by-standers. I'm sure there is more to this story, but like I said I'm trying to piece things together. Maybe one of our international friends will chime in on this and give us some information.

I know it sucks to be controlled by the man, but if that is the responsible way to get things done .... then play by the rules or don't play :puzzled:
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Dutch




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[*] posted on 4-20-2009 at 09:32 PM


Excellent suggestions Dino.

It looks like the gorgeous weather will disappear at the end of the week, and the Winds will return. I am planning on buggying at OB on Friday, and test the waters. See if it is a lone ranger, or a significant change in policy,

Like Dino, I prefer to play by the rules, but I think we do not really know what the rules are.




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Dagon




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[*] posted on 4-20-2009 at 09:55 PM


That sounds like a good idea. I am trying to get in touch with a lawyer friend of mine, I dont know if he can help on this specific issue but he may be able to give some good advice on how to approach things.



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ripsessionkites




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[*] posted on 4-21-2009 at 01:29 AM


got email from Dino, and now i read this ... this sux not just for you guys/gals but the for the whole community.

first, oddly we're grouped with kiteboarders, since the showing of Kiter Kevin its getting worse. on that note, here are a few things we're learned here locally

History:
Great Vancouver, has 2 known Kite Parks, Vanier Park (run by sport kiters) and Garry Point Park (1/4 Rev, 1/4 Single, 1/2 Power Kiters).
I helped pioneer the sport of kitebuggy at GP many many years ago in the early 90's. We never had a problem, and people enjoyed watching and answered questions.

Roughly 2 years ago, we appoarched the parks board and let them who/what Power Kite Canada does and also to ask if we could get the annual winter pond unplugged sooner.
We had 2 meetings with them
One was an intro, and they asked what we do, we they can do, are we insuranced, and how can we create peace.
On the second meeting, it got abit worse, because there was a complaint that went to the city major and down to the parks board, that someone hit a park user with a kite.
We sorted through the issues.

Ideas:
Suggestions that helped us. since we havent heard from the parks board in over a year now.

1. Self Police Plan, we as kiter need to inform the public on safety, gear, kiting information.

2. Any issues that arise, they should have a contact person. Sometimes it just pissed off beach/park users ... who just love to complain because we're having fun.

3. If possible get insurance. We dont have insurance either, but we have plan in place so the Parks Board understand this. For the number of riders we have its not possible to buy insurance, it would cost too much. However I'm still looking into insurance all the time so we can protect us and the Parks Board.

4. Make it worth their while. Offer to do kite demos to educate the public. Offer to do a Kite Festival, that draws in Tourism.

5. Our park gets flood each year during the winter months, ie; if it freezes there is a nature icerink (thats dangerous already, but they allow it), second in the early spring they keep the pond for Bird Watchers. We never see birds in it thats worth watching.
You can explain that kiting doesnt harm animals, use other places as reference, like our event at NABX w/ turtosies.

6. Get a club going, numbers are key.

7. Give them examples of what other places have done. At our meeting we gave them information from NABX to Europe. We came prepared for the worst but got good results.

- Rules of NABX Samples
- in some Euro countries they can only use sections of beaches, if you cant have it all, some would be better than NONE.
- Buggy / Board licenses, thats what they do in Holland/Germany/France not just for racing. They have Club Examiners. Get all the shops that sell buggies / boards involved.
- shops should be a forefront for teaching and educating. share the Passion dont do it for profit gains $$$
- if you have new people coming to the beach all the time, educate them.
- ask to get a permit policy going. no permit no fly (with a piece of paper stating you understand the rules goes a long way)
- get your riders noticed in local papers, news, tv ... every year here in our local newspaper someone is featured. last year we educated the public LIVE, and taught a TV Host "how-to"

8. get the public on your side. bring extra helmet, and give them a tandem ride. =)

KITEBUGGYING IS NOT A CRIME




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