Where is the industry support for access issues?
I wrote a long thoughtful email about this before that no one seemed to care about. I bring it up again given the escalation of the Maui issue.
Rock climbing is another sport that had serious image problems and some high profile access issues.
There is an amazingly organized lobby, The Access Fund http://www.accessfund.org
, which receives lots of industry support, to keep climbing access in place. These guys do tremendous work. The do local, state, federal lobbying. Support other groups with knowledge about how to effectively lobby, give small grants, buy easements and sometimes entire moutains!0. The industry is being incredibly short sighted by not getting involved in these issues..
That is a very reasonable question and deserves more of a response than most people want to read on an internet forum. PLEASE take a look at the link to "The access fund" they are a mostly industry supported organization with also membership support and are incredible!!! They are a an amazing example of what is possible for our needs.
This is a very common thing and in the US the term used is advocacy.
But for a quick idea here you are. The whole process is really about information gathering, analysis and dissemination.
1. Create a name, 1. "Open Shores" for example.
2. For starters 2. they could fund an effort to take a serious analytical look at 5 or so cases of access issues. See what worked in certain cases and what didn't. Create a users guide to access issues available on the internet.
3. Next big access issues they can make that information and guidance available in the following way.
a. 3. Help the local group coalesce into an organization that will represent their interests
b. Help the local group navigate the local laws and ordinances to understand the issue
i. Help the local group create an action plan for the local
c. Help the local group craft letters to the editors in local papers and calls to local officials
d. Help the local group craft legislation, administrative rule changes, ordanices that they would like to see enacted to be able to hand to elected officials or local officials
f. Help the local group organization participation at local/state meetings regarding the issues
g. Help the local group with legal representation should legal action be the optimal direction
h. Help the local group obtain funding for their efforts
4. Take the 4. knowledge gained in this action and incorporate into Open Oceans advocacy action plans and start the whole process over again for the next case.
How does that sound? It isn't that complicated and different groups do this all the time. The biggest thing it requires is leadership and organization.
I would like to be the first to nominate Toby to be the executive director of Open Oceans
The one complicating thing about this is that as the saying goes all politics are local so the expertise that is effective in one location may not do a thing in another.
This issue in Maui is just the catalyst to start this sort of thing.
Before I aggravate the twitter people with a post of more than 140 characters, they should know that my below words of wisdom contain less than usual FACTUAL support and more than usual conclusions based upon SUPPOSITION, thereby making it more likely than usual that any extra effort to concentrate for the required amount of time will be wasted.
The foregoing is the case because I’m not very familiar with rock climbing, haven’t taken the time to check out the recommended link and am not privy to the actual thought processes of the industry’s upper management personnel.
kassak has identified one of the major deficiencies regarding promoting kiting access (safety as well). Specifically, that there is a virtual TOTAL lack of industry involvement. He’s also done a great job of outlining how this situation could be improved.
Unfortunately, without meaning to throw excessively cold water on the likeliness of any improvement, I think the following hard to overcome problems are the primary answer to his question:
The primary problem rock climbers face regarding access is land owner concerns of liability with secondary concerns about environment damage by the activity to climbing surfaces and damage caused by getting to the climbing surfaces. These problem can be significantly overcome with relative common and easily understood FINANCIAL solutions such as waivers, insurance and/or purchases of the land or its use rights. Furthermore, much of the activity takes place far from non-climbers and there is relatively little opportunity for any direct, adverse effect upon the non-climbers.
On the other hand, the primary problem kiters face regarding access is interference with non-kiter enjoyment of public resources with secondary concerns regarding kiter safety. In this situation, solutions are more complicated.
a). Virtually all the problematic activity takes place at PUBLIC locations where there tends to be intense competition between user groups for use of the resource and the management authority theoretically must prioritize use such that the greatest number of the public is able to utilize the resource to the maximum extent.
This tends to AUTOMATICALLY put kiters at the BOTTOM of the list. This is especially true because the techniques which could minimize kiter interference with others are neither well known by non-kiting authorities (who generally don’t want the additional WORK involved in regulation), nor accepted by kiters (2 which come to mind from the Maui thread are drift launching and self-rescue).The industry is desperate to CONCEAL difficulties
associated with kiting and has no interest in bringing attention to the many skills kiters SHOULD develop because they may discourage SALES.
b). The psychological profiles of climbers and kiters are different (in general). I suspect that there is a MUCH greater tendency among many kiters to want PUBLIC exposure of their wonderfulness and this tendency may ALSO be associated with a more SELFISH attitude in general (since they’re so wonderful). The industry deliberately PROMOTES the “look-at-me” attitude
as a way to convince kiters that the way to get more attention is to become more and more PROFICIENT and/or perform more EXTREME moves because obviously this entails BUYING the most modern equipment.
The foregoing being the case:0. The industry is being incredibly short sighted by not getting involved in these issues..
True. But at this point, they’d have to edit virtually every bit of their promotional material to keep from getting laughed out of a meeting where they were trying to convince an authority that kiting was a compatible (let alone beneficial) use for their beach. For example, I recently criticized a thread with a Blade video showing a total lack of kiter concern for non-kiter safety. Can you imagine Epic sending a rep to such a meeting ?1. "Open Shores"
Excellent name.2. they could fund an effort to take a serious analytical look at 5 or so cases of access issues.
As indicated in 0 above, the study would identify conduct which they constantly PROMOTE either deliberately or as an incidental adjunct as part of promotional material.3. Help the local group
Regrettably, the “local group” generally tends to contain the majority of the kiters whose conduct is objectionable (one of the major reasons why “self-policing” is impractical).4. knowledge gained in this action
I suspect that if they ever did implement your suggestions, the goal would be to find a way to CONCEAL the “knowledge gained”.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
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