Oregon rafters may get a break on permits
The Oregon State Marine Board is considering a plan that would no longer require people who rent commercial rafts and kayaks to carry Aquatic Invasive Species permits.
While raft-rental companies still would be required to buy the same permits to outfit their fleets, their customers would not have to physically carry proof while on waterways. Just the company name on the raft would suffice, thereby saving the Marine Board printing costs and reducing water authorities' need to check for permits.
"I think it's going to make life easier for everyone," said Sgt. Shawn Richards of the Jackson County sheriff's Marine Patrol. "We do yearly inspections on liveries, so we know they're compliant. This way, if there's not a tag on the boat, we don't have to hassle the clients."
The Marine Board is taking written public comments through Nov. 30, the Mail Tribune reported .
Marine Board spokeswoman Ashley Massey said the results will be presented to the board in January, and if it passes, the plan would be in place before next summer's boating season.
The proposed change would not apply to private boaters on privately owned crafts, who still would have to carry their permits.
Created by the Oregon Legislature in 2009, the invasive species program is the first line of defense against environmental invaders such as zebra and quagga mussels.
Users of nonmotorized boats over 10 feet (3.05 meters) must carry a permit, which is transferable. Boats under 10 feet (3.05 meters) remain exempt.