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"SAVE THE THOROFARE" PROJECT UPDATE

April 25, 2016

The Priest Lake Breakwater Committe has, on rare occasion, had inquiry or comments regarding the wish that the thorofare and Upper Lake would be reserved for only "muscle powered" shallow draft vessels.  A spoksman for the committee replied to one of the inquiries with the following, which does a good job of explaining the position of the Breakwater Committee and its purpose.


"While anyone is free to open discussion about changing the access status of the Thorofare, it should be noted that President Johnson and Congress in the 1960’s designated the Thorofare and Upper Priest Lake as a protected area to be enjoyed by all people, without reservation of how those folks might reach this pristine area over the water. A whole bunch of time, history and tax dollars have been spent to maintain this waterway for any craft without limitation of power source. The USFS, Idaho dept of Lands, Bonner County Waterways, Bonner County Search and Rescue and Bonner county Marine Patrol all have vested interests in maintaining their motorized access to the Upper Lake.


When our Thorofare Breakwater Advisory Committee was formed over a dozen years ago by Bonner County, we were taxed with helping to determine how to provide a more permanent breakwater wall, as well as advise how to maintain a motorized channel that would accommodate public watercraft, USFS campground maintenance craft, various fire fighting vessels, Search and Rescue craft, and perhaps most importantly, Bonner County Marine Patrol boats for first responders. All of these boats are large and require a reasonably deep and stable channel to ensure reliable access to the Upper Lake.


Our group was not asked to initiate nor accommodate forums or discussion as to whether these waters would remain open to motorized craft. Rather, our mission is to advise the best way to preserve that access for the long term and make the best use of invested public monies.


Thus, as expressed before, our group has no authority nor interest in weighing in on such an argument. We will leave that topic for other groups and forums.


I hope that helps clarify the Priest Lake Thorofare Breakwater Advisory Committee's mission and position regarding your inquiry."


Cordially,
Ken Hagman
4/1/2016

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