Preserve existing access to watercraft launching sites on Tiber Reservoir

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Whereas, Montana's sportsmen, anglers, and associated small businesses are aware of the threat that aquatic invasive species pose to our water resources and our future recreational opportunities, and

Whereas, Montana's anglers bear a significant share of the monetary burden imposed by efforts to contain these invasive species, and

Whereas, Montana's sportsmen and anglers bear the entire burden of the inconvenience created by the necessity to inspect and decontaminate watercraft, we the undersigned propose the following:

Gated access be provided at all watercraft launching ramps currently scheduled to be barricaded under the recently unveiled Tiber Reservoir AIS Containment Plan and, further, that this electronic keyed access be extended to all participants enrolled in the Certified Boater Program.

We, the undersigned, recognize at least five advantages provided by our request as set forth in this petition:

1) Those who bear the monetary burden of AIS containment protocols would not be subjected to the further inconvenience of severely restricted access to the reservoir.

2) Search and rescue operations conducted on the reservoir would not be hampered by the reduction of existing launch points.

3) Labor shortages and housing deficiencies would be mitigated by the unmanned nature of the proposal.

4) Existing issues created by the necessary seasonality of manned checkpoints would be eliminated.

5) An excellent means to collect ramp and reservoir usage data is built into the electronic key card proposal.

In light of the small cost of implementing this proposal and the documented advantages the proposal brings, we the undersigned, urge the department to implement our request.