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No doubt MFWP has their work cut out for them in balancing the interests of both commercial and recreational use on the West Fork. Unfortunately conservation, preservation of environment and quality of experience have all taken back seat.

I was shocked to learn that the number of commercial floats on the WF is not capped. According to Chris Clancy there are currently 26 outfitters on the WF which translates to a maximum number of commercial floats of 52 per day per segment. Add 10 recreational boats and you have 62 boats per segment — one every 10 minutes.

Redefining a float as a launch allows a boater to begin in one section and float to the end. Thus, if there are 52 launches per segment upriver, it might result in 156 boats on Job Corps to Hannon — an average of 16 boats per hour — one boat every 4 minutes.

Some people have called these numbers “astonishing” but they match exactly my experience during the past 2—3 years. I regularly encounter boats at 5 minute intervals, sometime in groups of 2 or 3, boats anchored in prime holes, beached for lunch, damaged and mishandled fish, vehicles parked in vegetated areas and make-shift boat launch sites.

Sadly, conservation, environment and quality of experience are quickly deteriorating on the West Fork.

Please speak out in opposition to the proposed further commercialization of the WF.

Support conservation — not commercialization of our natural resources.

Jeff Degen, Darby

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