Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 21, 2013

Girdler part of opposition to boat access restrictions

Somerset —  

State Senator Chris Girdler, R-Somerset, and the Kentucky State Senate have joined other powerful voices of opposition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plans to restrict boater access within 500 feet above and below Wolf Creek Dam.
Girdler, who also serves as deputy district director for Congressman Hal Rogers, sponsored Sen-ate Resolution 112 urging the Corps not to implement plans to restrict access above and below dams on the Cumberland River. The resolution, co-spon-sored by Senators Sara Beth Gregory, R-Monticello; Stan Humphries, R-Cadiz; and Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson; among others, “expressing the sentiment of the Senate,” was approved Friday, February 15.
“Tourism is one of our major industries and at a time when our economy appears to rebounding with the lake level rising, this government directive can be detrimental to our region,” Girdler said.” I believe this is yet another example of the government making decisions for people who should reasonably be left to their own judgment. I urge the Corps to reconsider their proposal.”
Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, commander of the Corps’ Nashville District, and other members of the Corps were met with a blanket of opposition to the plan during an informational meeting January 24 at The Center for Rural Development. 
Fishermen claim the tailwater up close to Wolf Creek Dam is one of five hottest fishing spots in Kentucky. They contend responsible anglers have fished in this area without an accident since the dam was built.
DeLapp, however, said since 2009 there have been three fatalities, one serious injury and 10 near misses/rescues in hazardous waters downstream from Corps-operated dams. He said the Corps has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-court settlements for these mishaps.
The district commander emphasized the Corps is simply following regulations enacted during the 1990s; regulations the Nashville District up to now has not put in place.

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