SKollmann Posted February 20, 2010 Report Share Posted February 20, 2010 Last Spring Buzzi Unicem, owner of the cement plant on the Vermilion River (one of the most paddled and best whitewater runs in Illinois), closed the river to paddlers out of fear of liability. State Representative Frank Mautino recently Introduced HB 5296 The Vermilion River Navigability Act which would solve the problem by declaring the closed portion to be navigable and therefore making it public and open. The bill has reached a crucial point and will have a hearing on Tuesday in the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee. It is critical that Committee members hear from large numbers of paddlers. Only emails or phone calls will make it in time. Emails should be short and to the point, such as "I am in favor of HB5296" . . . and give your reason for your support. Urge the Representative to pass this bill through committee. We should all contact all the committee members on or before Monday February 22, 2010, and reiterate this message. Anyone willing to travel to Springfield to give testimony in front of the committee should file a witness slip prior to the hearing if they want to be recognized. A Synopsis of HB5296 Amends the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act. Provides that the Vermilion River, from its confluence with the Illinois River upstream to the bridge at 18th Street in LaSalle County, is declared a navigable stream, shall be deemed and held a public right-of-way, and shall remain free, open, and unobstructed, and all laws prohibiting the obstruction of navigable streams shall be deemed applicable to the Vermilion River between the points identified. Attached is a roster of Legislator's Contact Information. Please help us once again to show the power of a unified paddling community. Tom Lindblade President The Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) 2138 Clinton St, Rockford, IL 61103 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.