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Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission

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Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 1 of 12

Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission

    Regular Business Meeting

    February 20, 2007 5:30 p.m.

    Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission Headquarters - Located two (2) miles North of Tahlequah, OK, on State Highway #10

     MINUTES

     Agenda Items are listed in the order of action by Commissioners.

01. Meeting called to order.

    Chairman Blackard called the meeting to order.

02. Invocation.

    Chairman Blackard led the invocation.

03. Roll Call.

     MEMBERS PRESENT MEMBERS ABSENT

     Bill Blackard Ed Brocksmith

     Alan Chapman Bob Ed Culver

     Larry Clark Jeanne Hayes

     Gerald Hilsher John Larson

     Steve Randall

     Jan Rucker

     Rick Stubblefield

    D.I. Wilkinson

04. Introduction of Guests and Visitors.

    Jerry Hammons, Illinois River Store; James Marble, Tom Waggoner, Skelly Park; Denice

    Deason-Toyne, Phil Lorenz, Kurt Robinson, STIR; Thomas Eastham, Chuck Eastham,

    Riverville Lodge; Donna McReynolds; Jack Spears, David Spears, Arrowhead Resort; Philip

    Hixon, MCF; Michael Cathey, Bigfoot Floats; Ron Timmons; Rod Walton, Tulsa World;

    Bartow Hix; Carl George, Sparrow Hawk Camp; Austin & Leslie Bennett, Eagle Bluff Resort;

    Barbara Kelly, Diamondhead Resort; Vechil Eller, All American Floats; Teddye Snell,

    Tahlequah Daily Press; DeWayne Smoot, Muskogee Phoenix; Archie Peyton, Peyton’s Place;

    Sheri Herron, BMP Inc.; L.D. Stephens, War Eagle Resort; Rod & Susan Foster, Elephant

    Rock Nature Park; Nic Heidinger, Cornell Properties; Brian Stanglin, Anthony Dotson, Larry

    Setters, Meredith Lee, Cheryl Allen, OSRC Staff.

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 2 of 12

05. Public Comments.

    There were no public comments.

    06. Approval of the Minutes of the December 19, 2006, OSRC Regular Business Meeting

    and January 23, 2007, OSRC Special Business Meeting.

    Commissioner Rucker motioned to approve the Minutes from the December 19, 2006,

    OSRC Regular Business Meeting. Commissioner Wilkinson seconded the motion.

    The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -Aye-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Abstain- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Abstain-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    Commissioner Stubblefield motioned to approve the Minutes from the January 23, 2007,

    OSRC Special Business Meeting. Commissioner Hilsher seconded the motion.

    The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -Aye-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Abstain-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Abstain-

07. Report from Illinois River Watershed Partnership.

    Sheri Herron reported to the Commission what the Illinois River Watershed Partnership

    (IRWP) has been doing recently. IRWP is educating people about watersheds by using the

    Urban Non-Point Source Grant. Another project involving the grant is “Rain Gardens.” Rain

    Gardens are landscapes that create a bowl depression to trap runoff and to filter the water as it

    seeps back into the soil.

    Other plans also include a newsletter available to Arkansas and Oklahoma; signage along thsmaller tributaries of the Illinois River; and a IRWP BBQ at a dairy farm on May 5, which will

    involve discussions related to dairy farming and water quality.

    The Arkansas Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is getting ready to start

    with $30,000,000 allocated for the protection of riparian areas and the reestablishment of

    riparian areas. Primary targets for funding will be farmers with livestock.

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 3 of 12

    Best Management Practices, Inc. (BMP) has exported 24,420 tons of poultry waste that contained 732,000 pounds of phosphorus out of the Illinois River watershed from September 2006 to January 2007. BMP is at 36% of its goal in litter removal.

    08. Report from Save The Illinois River, Inc (STIR)

     thKurt Robinson reported that he attended a meeting on February 13 at the University of

    Arkansas at Fayetteville regarding Confined Animal Production Impact on Humans. It is a two year study sponsored by the Johns Hopkins School of Health. Participants ranged from scientists, government agencies, food growers to environmental groups, veterinarians and doctors. He said that Missouri had problems with hog manure seeping through fractures in limestone and entering the drinking water supply. Mr. Robinsons talking points at the meeting

    included phosphorus loading and bacteria impacting the Illinois River and Lake Tenkiller.

    Fiber Watt, a company originally from England, just received authorization to build a power plant in Minnesota that will use poultry litter as a fuel to generate electricity. The power generation plant is expected to go online in 2007 and is projected to burn 500,000 tons of poultry litter annually.

    In Chesapeake Bay, “Nutrient Trading” is practiced by compromising on standards. For example, if a stream is supposed to be at 1 milligram per liter of phosphorus but is exceeding at 1.25 milligrams per liter, then the entity exceeding the limit can make a deal to haul out of the watershed “X” amount of litter for a certain time frame.

    Arkansas House Bill 1318, if passes, sets a $15.00 per ton tax credit for both buyer and seller if the litter is in a designated nutrient surplus area watershed.

    Mr. Robinson said that companies that have a pollution problem should model the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) by initiating “Industrial Self-Taxation”. Since 1994 the

    OERB has cleaned up over 7000 polluted and contaminated oil well sights.

    In Oklahoma, House Bill 1302 and Senate Bill 709 would eliminate Confined Animal Feeding Operation distances within that protect scenic rivers, water wells, and sensitive water supplies established by the Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB).

    09. Consideration, vote to approve, amend or take other action on proposed draft rulemaking language for limiting the size of ice chests used by floaters to 48-Quart capacity or smaller and to prohibit use of all alcoholic and 3.2 beer and other non-intoxicating beverages within OSRC owned and managed public use areas adjacent to the Illinois River located from the confluence of Barren Fork Creek extending upstream to the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Boundary in Adair, Cherokee and Delaware Counties; Flint Creek located in Delaware County; and those portions of the Barren Fork Creek located in Cherokee County, discussion presented by D.I. Wilkinson and Jeanne Hayes, Co-Chairpersons for OSRC Alcohol Ban Subcommittee.

    Commissioner Wilkinson told the Commission that the Alcohol Ban Subcommittee met several

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 4 of 12

    times and with stakeholders along the river. They concluded that drunks and drunk behavior should not be tolerated at all. The idea presented is run the drunks out by making it difficult for them and to discourage repeated drunk behavior by doing the following: The canoe operators will tell their patrons to limit their alcohol consumption; if the don’t, they will be removed from the river and not allowed to float with them anymore. All the canoe operators agreed that limiting the size of ice chests to 48 quart would limit the amount of beer on the river. The banning of alcohol at some of the public access areas would create a more family oriented atmosphere to attract visitors. A larger ranger force is needed to enforce existing rules and maintaining order on the river.

    Commissioner Randall said that in the last meeting that the Commission had already voted to move forward with this issue but Administrator Fite recommended that they hold off while pursuing funding for 10 additional seasonal rangers. Commissioner Randall conveyed that the Commission votes on something that they have some control over instead of waiting for the legislature to decide if they are going to allocate funds for the additional rangers. He recommended to the Commission that they take the next step and vote Agenda Item #9 up or the issue will die.

    Commissioner Hilsher motioned to adopt the proposed rule language with the following changes: strike alcohol free zones at U.S. 412 at Flint Creek, Echota, Todd, and U.S. 62

The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -Aye-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    10. Consideration, vote to approve, amend or take other action authorizing the OSRC Administrator to prepare public notification, solicit public comments and hold public hearings pursuant to requirements of Oklahoma Law and Oklahoma Office of the Secretary of State, Office of Administrative Rules Division to advance action to promulgate a new rule within the Oklahoma Administrative Code 630: Scenic Rivers Commission to limit the size of ice chests used by floaters to 48-Quart capacity or smaller and to prohibit consumption of alcoholic and 3.2 beer and other non-intoxicating beverages within OSRC owned and managed public use areas adjacent to the Illinois River located from the confluence of Barren Fork Creek extending upstream to the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Boundary in Adair, Cherokee and Delaware Counties; Flint Creek located in Delaware County; and those portions of the Barren Fork Creek located in Cherokee County.

    Commissioner Wilkinson motioned to approve Agenda Item #10 as written. Commissioner Rucker seconded the motion.

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 5 of 12

The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -Aye-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    11. Review of 2007-2008 (June 01, 2007 May 31, 2008) Commercial Flotation Device

    Permit (CFDP) Applications

    Administrator Fite passed out to the Commissioners a packet of supporting documents for the benefit of the Commissioners with their task of commercial flotation device license (CFDL) issuance.

    Chairman Blackard recognized Carl George, Sparrow Hawk Camp. Mr. George read from a letter he wrote to the Commission. He essentially said that if the permits were not to be issued to him, he would be financially destroyed. He pointed out that nowhere on the Permit Application did it say that if it is turned in late that the applicant would not be considered for permits. He asked the Commission to do what was morally right and to renew his permits.

    After some discussion, Austin Bennett said to the Commission that there are a set of rules that is being given to the float operators to follow. He said that every year the float operators know that on February 10, the permit applications are due as stated in the OSRC rules. Mr. Bennett said that it will be very interesting to see if the Commission is going to issue the permits in accordance with the law.

    Michael Cathey suggested that all the applications that were late should be forgiven and given equal consideration. Barbara Kelley agreed with Mr. Cathey.

    Carl George recommended that the OSRC promulgate a rule for next year in which there is a grace period. He said that he was under the assumption that every year he was automatically considered for permit renewal.

Tom Waggoner said that he is a new applicant for CFA#1 and didn’t care what the

    Commission decided on the people who turned in late applications. He told the Commission that he wanted full consideration for the 250 permits requested for CFA#1 and the other float operations that turned in on time because they followed the rules and turned in the applications on time.

    Chairman Blackard told the audience that he is not in favor of taking away Commercial Flotation Device Permits (CFDP) and would open up the 3,900 limit to accommodate the additional permits requested.

    Rod Foster said that this is an opportunity to fix the system that operates on an assumption that

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 6 of 12

    what you got in permits last year you automatically get them this year. Also the Commission needs to recognize that the new and existing smaller businesses need the opportunity to take root and grow. Mr. Foster said that the permit hoarding needs to be addressed, there are several operations that stash permits in a drawer because they don’t have a floatable boat to put them on.

    Tom Eastham said that he has been in the float business for 34 years and said that if you need more permits, you can buy an existing float operation. He said that there are 4 operations currently for sale.

    After some discussion, Administrator Fite commented for the record some clarification points. -The rule to limit the 3,900 licenses became effective in May 1987. Also that year, the ability to further transfer licenses (CFDL) was limited the Commission.

    -On the revocation of licenses, the Commission retains the right to revoke the licenses of any commercial flotation device operation after the OSRC makes a finding that the operation has engaged in a pattern of willful violation of OSRC rules, or the ecosystem of the river section in which the CFDO is authorized to float in is in danger of being harmed by the number of flotation devices authorized and it is necessary to protect that section of river by revoking a certain number of licenses, or the health and safety of individuals floating on the river is threatened by the number of CFDs currently licensed to float a particular section of river. -Failure to make application for CFDLs is also another mechanism for denial of licenses. -Mr. Fite also provided Commissioners an explanation of how the 3,900 CFDL limit was established found in OAC 630:10-1-7 Limitation on licensing of flotation devices.

    Archie Peyton asked why are the float operations required to turn in there applications in early February when most of the CFDO’s are closed for the winter and that the current permits are stvalid until May 31.

    Nic Heidinger commented that last year he was too late to be considered for permits but was told that the next year he would have the opportunity to reapply for permits and asked the Commission for consideration for his request of permits in CFA#3.

    Commissioner Hilsher said that if the Commission granted the late applicants the same status as the on timely applicants, it would impact the rights of the timely applicants and would expect that someone would go to court if someone lost their permits or if someone didn’t receive the requested permits. Commissioner Hilsher addressed Mr. Peyton’s question and said that the

    permit application deadline is due in February because it allows enough time for OSRC meeting scheduling should any reconsiderations arise.

    Commissioner Stubblefield asked that the Commission entertain the concept that there is a fee for late applications and to increase the cost of permits to avoid hoarding.

    12. Consideration, vote to approve, amend or take other action on issuance of the 2007

    2008 (June 01, 2007 May 31, 2008) Commercial Flotation Device Permits.

    Commissioner Hilsher motioned that the Commission accept all of the timely filed applications;

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 7 of 12

    grant to Red Neck Yaught Club 25 of the 50 permits requested in CFA#1; grant to Arrowhead Camp, including the 7 requested by Thunderbird Resort 136 of the 257 requested in CFA#2 (move the 7 under Thunderbird’s name to Arrowhead Camp); grant 280 of the 527 requested to Sparrow Hawk Camp in CFA#3; grant 84 of the 160 requested to All American Floats. These four late filers would receive 52% of requested permits and the on time applicant would receive what they requested. Total number of permits would equal 3,900. There was no second.

    Chairman Blackard asked the canoe operators present if they would be willing to lend permits to the new applicants so the could startup a new float operation. Mr. Marble said that he didn’t want to borrow any permits; he wanted the permits he requested on his timely filed

    application.

    Commissioner Hilsher motion that the Commission recognize the timely filed applications as awarded so that the Commission can deal with the remaining 525 permits with the late applicants. There is no second.

    Commissioner Wilkinson didn’t like the idea that a new applicant like Skelly Park should receive 250 permits while taking away nearly 50% of an established CFDOs typical permit allocation due to late filing. He said that a new applicant should go out and buy one of the existing operations in order to have permits.

    Commissioner Randall suggested that the issue be broken down by CFAs. He said that the 63 permits from Spencer Ridge Resort and the 20 permits from Kamp Paddle Trails are not used by either operation. He recommended that those permits be given to the new applicants Skelly Park and Red Neck Yaught Club.

    Jack Spears said that in 1995 Administrator Fite wrote a memo that said that there were approximately 700-900 permits that were not utilized. He said that it is wrong to grant permits to an operation that does not have the boats to put them on.

    Commissioner Randall motioned to award the 20 permits that were historically Kamp Paddle Trails to Red Neck Yaught Club and to award the 63 permits that were historically Spencer Ridge Resorts to Skelly Park. and accept all other in CFA#1 as submitted. Commissioner Chapman seconded the motion.

    Commissioner Randall commented that he was familiar with both Kamp Paddle Trails and Spencer Ridge Resort. He said that Kamp Paddle Trails has been for sale for quite some time and has not been an ongoing operation. Ken Spencer is a neighbor of Commissioner Randall and has closed up Spencer Ridge Resort last year and believes that Mr. Spencer has no intention of reopening.

    For the record, Administrator Fite clarified the motion to indicate the following licenses granted in CFA#1:

    66 licenses granted to Flint Ridge P.O.A.

    35 licenses granted to Illinois River Ranch

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 8 of 12

     0 licenses granted to Kamp Paddle Trails

    21 licenses granted to Riverside Resort

     0 licenses granted to Spencer Ridge Resort

    63 licenses granted to Skelly Park

    20 licenses granted to Red Neck Yaught Club

    205 licenses total for CFA#1.

    Commissioner Randall asked if the 63 permits would be meaningful to Skelly Park’s operation if they did not receive the 250 permits applied for. Mr. Marble replied “absolutely not”. Commissioner Randall told Mr. Marble that in his motion that Skelly Park would receive 63 permits, if that was not acceptable he would amend his motion to remove them. Mr. Marble then said that he would be glad to accept the 63 permits and then discuss receiving the remaining 187 permits they had requested.

The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -No-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    Commissioner Wilkinson motioned to keep the same number of permits in CFA#2 and CFA#3 as issued for the 2006-2007 float season.

    Chairman Blackard gave the floor to Austin Bennett. Mr. Bennett told the Commission that for the past ten years he has been following the OSRC rules and has been applying on time every year. He stated that he has a real need for the additional permits that he has requested because of the expansion of his operation.

Commissioner Chapman seconded the motion.

    After some discussion Commissioner Hilsher asked that CFA#2 and CFA#3 be reviewed separately. Commissioner Chapman withdrew his second. Commissioner Wilkinson withdrew his motion.

    Commissioner Stubblefield motioned that the Commission reallocate 20 permits from the Illinois River Ranch in CFA#1 and grant those permits to Skelly Park.. There was no second.

    Commissioner Wilkinson motioned to issue the same number of permits for the 2007-2008 float season as was issued for the 2006-2007 float season for CFA#2. Commissioner Chapman seconded the motion.

The vote follows:

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 9 of 12

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -No-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    Commissioner Hilsher recommended to the Commission that, under the notion that on time

    applicants trump late applicants, All American Floats lose 20 permits to Cornell Properties and

    that Sparrow Hawk Camp lose 127 permits to Skelly Park (which would move from CFA#3 to

    CFA#1).

    Commissioner Wilkinson motioned that the Commission grant 20 permits to Cornell Properties.

    Said permits would be taken from late applicant Sparrow Hawk Camp (reduce from 527

    permits to 507 permits), and grant the rest of permits for CFA#3 the same as last year.

    Commissioner Chapman seconded the motion.

    Commissioner Randall asked if there were any other late applicants for CFA#3. Administrator

    Fite said yes, All American Floats.

    Commissioner Wilkinson amended his motion to take 15 permits from Sparrow Hawk Camp

    and take 5 permits from All American Floats.

    The vote follows:

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -No-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Aye- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

    Mr. Foster asked the Commission why do the permits have to be assigned to a particular vessel.

     Chairman Blackard said that would be a good question for the licensing subcommittee.

    Administrator Fite recommended to the Commission that they take the 7 licenses granted to

    Thunderbird Resort and transfer them to the 250 licenses of Arrowhead Camp for a total of

    257 licenses.

    Commissioner Hilsher motioned to transfer Thunderbird Resorts 7 permits to Arrowhead

    Camp for a total of 257 permits. Commissioner Rucker seconded the motion.

    The vote follows:

     OSRC Regular Business Meeting 02/20/07 Page 10 of 12

     Blackard -Aye- Hilsher -Aye-

     Brocksmith -Absent- Larson -Absent-

     Chapman -Aye- Randall -Aye-

     Clark -Absent- Rucker -Aye-

    Culver -Absent- Stubblefield -Aye-

    Hayes -Absent- Wilkinson -Aye-

13. Ranger Department Report.

    Ranger Supervisor Brian Stanglin reported that Ranger Dotson will attend the CLEET thAcademy on February 26 for his full time CLEET certification.

    The Rangers have worked several cases where people have disposed of their personal trash in

    the parks. About 75% of those have been identified and written citations.

14. Education Outreach Coordinator Report.

    Meredith Lee reported that she has been working on the next edition of the newsletter and it

    should be distributed in about two weeks.

    Ms. Lee said that she is gearing up for the spring “Frogology” programs and will soon be

    visiting several of the local elementary school second graders.

15. Administrator’s Report:

    a. Status report on pending Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and

    USEPA-Oklahoma Conservation Commission-Oklahoma Secretary of the

    Environment-OSRC Riparian Protection Program; stb. Report on pending legislation in the 51 Session of the Oklahoma Legislature;

    c. Report on Oklahoma Ethics Commission Annual Reporting Requirements;

    d. Other OSRC Activities.

    Administrator Fite reminded the Commissioners that it is time to remit their Financial

    Statement Forms to the Oklahoma Ethics Commission. Penalty for late filer would be $100.00.

    The CREP should be ready to go sometime in April. By this summer, the Commission should

    be able to start expending funds to cost share match CREP money.

    Mr. Fite has informally met with members of both the Oklahoma House and Senate about

    acquiring $50,000 funding for additional seasonal rangers. The OSRC may receive an

    additional $50,000 for ranger vehicle replacement and equipment.

    Mr. Fite has asked the Oklahoma Legislature for the authorization to implement a vanity tag

    and to not limit the OSRC on the July 1, 2007 deadline. He is also pursuing a $10.00 flat fee

    for an annual private user fee permit. He said that the OSRC is seeking authorization to hire an

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