End canoe and kayak registration in Ohio! Make Ohio lawmakers repeal ORC 1547.54.2.a&b!

End canoe and kayak registration in Ohio! Make Ohio lawmakers repeal ORC 1547.54.2.a&b!

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Jacob Messer started this petition to Ohio State House

I urge you to sign my petition that will make Ohio lawmakers repeal or amend Ohio Revised Code Chapter 1547 Section 54 Paragraph A Clause 2 Items a & b so that watercraft powered by paddle or oar are exempted from the $12 or $17 registration requirement. The bill is simply an attempt to generate revenue for the Ohio Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks but promises nothing in return to the non-motorized Ohio paddling community. 

ORC 1547.A.2.a-b is a law that requires every watercraft operated on the waters in this state shall be numbered by this state in accordance with federal law or a federally approved numbering system of another state. A watercraft numbered by this state shall display the number on the watercraft as provided in section 1547.57 of the Revised Code.  This law was originally written to register motorized boats similar to cars.  Canoes and kayaks were later added to this registration system as an income boost to ODNR.  

Link to Ohio Revised Code: http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1547

This law discourages river recreationists from coming to Ohio causing a decrease in tourism revenues further impacting the state economy. This Bill is simply a funding mechanism with no clear management plan in place for administering the funds fairly and equitably to those that are taxed. 

Think of your bicycle.  You do not have to register it, but you cam use it on state funded roads and bike paths.  Why should paddlesports such as canoeing and kayaking be treated any differently? Ohio puts millions in bike trails. Lawmakers cite that bikes do not need to be registered like cars because bicycling is viewed as a public good since it encourages health, is non-polluting, and reduces traffic congestion. Boating should be treated similarly, since it too benefits the environment compared to motor boating, reduces congestion on lakes, and contributes to public health.

Paddlers, like bicyclists, make few demands on the infrastructure. Unlike hunters or fishermen, they take nothing from the environment. Except when investigating fatal accidents and dealing with occasional hooligans, state boating agencies provide very useful few services to us. Although paddlers do make use of a few powerboat access areas, state boating agencies seldom help out with the vast majority of conservation and access issues we face and rarely monitor many of the waterways used by Ohio paddlers.  

I urge you to sign this petition so that Ohio lawmakers repeal or amend this bill so that canoes, kayaks and rafts are exempted from the registration. This law does discourages paddlesport recreation in Ohio and is unfair comparable to precedent set by other non-motorized modes of transport.

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