Visited the web site this morning and I noticed the new hours for the park for May 15-Sep 16 is 24hrs for boaters only. I called the park office and was told that all fishermen must leave the park by 9:00PM.
First, we need a roll call of Maryland residents. What we need to do is organize a letter writing campaign, by State of Maryland residents, to your State legislators. That campaign has to take two forms-- first of all, we need people writing individual letters to their reps (I'll get the list of rep names & addresses and help people figure out whom there reps are if they need the help, and will compose a form letter for anyone whho wishes to use it). Second, we need an "en masse" petition, signed not only by all of our Maryland residents but also taken to tackle shops, businesses in the area, etc to be presented to the reps and to DNR. Third, and this would be very helpful, we need to organize MD residents who can stop by their rep's District Offices to make their point of view known in person.
I'm a VA resident, but having run legislative offices in NYS and having run both electoral and lobbying campaigns in NY & with the Feds, you'd be surprised at what a minimal amount of grass roots organizing can do. Do it half assed, though, and all we are is a pain in the ass. Do it with some organization behind it and it becomes easier to do what we ask than it is to ignore us especially since this is sucha minimal ask.
I'm going to open a thread in the fishing issues forum to start putting together alist of people who can be relied upon to start writing letters, doing visits, and circulating petitions. Please head over to that forum and place your name on the list if you are a Maryland resident. Once we get the effort underway, I can start pitching it to the media.
I like what HuskyMd and Rugger have to say on this matter. However, I cannot support a boycott until after The Capital Longcasters' 2004 Rockfish Challenge on April 3rd. Has anyone called the park and spoken with the staff for more details about what is going on?
I just spoke to Susan at the SPSP office. She told me that the staff are having meetings right now and discussing the 24 hours fisherman access during the summer. She suggested that I call back on Tuesday and speak with the manager - Kenny Heartman. Susan said the hours were tenatively changed because people were bringing guests who were not actively fishing during fishermans hours. This seems like a very minor issue to me. I will certainly be calling them on Tuesday, and it may not be a bad idea if you did the same. Long Live Access.
Sandy Point State Park
1100 East College Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401
Unfortunately in my experience these things start as minor issues, Old Bay, and then grow after a year or two even if the bad policy is temproarily allayed. What will always make a difference on this sort of thing is to overkill the situation from the community side-- the objective is to take this idea off the table, not to table it for a week, a month, or a year. When there is no organized action against a proposed reg then even if the outcome is favorable for the regulated in the short term it becomes a battl;e that has to be fought over and over again.
They seem to try this every year. They also mentioned that they may change the off-hours gate rate from $1 to $3 per car. The rangers expressed two key issues last year. They are people with non-fishing friends and people breaking into cars. What would happen if they charged $5 and turned on the lights over the beach from sunset until say 2am. It's just an idea, please don't shoot me.
We need to speak up now and not wait another minute. I heard that they avoid these problems in DE by fighting them as soon as they start.
Did anyone happen to also notice that the entrance fee for SPSP and point lookout is now $5 a person on weekends and $6 a person for out of state. Point lookout I believe was only $3 last year. The 2004 state park pass is now $75 of Md residents and $100 for non-residents.
Night Fishing Pass - Valid from sunset to 6 a.m. No other passes are valid during this time period. Fishermen wishing to stay past sunset will be required to pay an additional night-use service charge of $3 per vehicle; $4 per vehicle for out-of-state residents. All members of your party must have a valid fishing license and be actively fishing to remain in the park after sunset
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