Monday, March 4, 2002
Steamboat Springs Peter Van De Carr, the owner of Back Door Sports, is taking a Zen approach to the city's attempts to potentially extend a ban on commercial tubing above Fifth Street.
"We're like a stream of water," he said of the group of six remaining tubing operators. "We're just following the path of least resistance."
"I think we're just trying to settle this and get on with it."
Van De Carr is one of the tubing operators who is OK with the potential ban on commercial tubing, as long as it saves him the hassle of fighting what he thinks is a losing battle. All reports indicate that he is in the majority, though some tubing operators have protested the ban and think it is unfair.
Tonight, the City Council will decide whether to ban commercial tubing on the Yampa River above Fifth Street for two more years to "decrease user conflicts." They will also be deciding on whether to change the fee structure for river operators.
The council voted 5 to 1 on first reading to extend the ban at the recommendation of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The only public opposition came from a trailer home resident who lives in Dream Island trailer park, where tubing companies now operate.
Don Jalack, a resident at Dream Island, said the city did not deal adequately with the residents of the trailer park and has dismissed their concerns.
Jalack said the more than 17,000 tubers that came through the river near his house this summer were very disruptive.
"Having every single one of them down there is crazy," Jalack said.
City officials say they have given the residents of the trailer park a chance to speak out and they have not done so. Mike Neumann, the city's open space supervisor, posted notices on the doors of every trailer in Dream Island the day before a public meeting after this summer. Neumann said the lack of participation is evidence that most of the residents are not concerned.
The Yampa Valley Fly Fishers has urged the city to ban commercial tubing on the upper stretch of the river indefinitely. They have done too much work to restore the river to see it destroyed by over-use, said Scott Lewer, the organization's president.