Strict Coast Guard license rules threaten Minnesota outfitters,...

Full story: TwinCities.com

As a canoe outfitter at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Blayne Hall has seen his business ravaged by windstorms and challenged by wilderness lawsuits and regulations.

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#1
Dec 16, 2009
 

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when the Coast Guard can't achieve their goals on a bigger scale, they focus on small victories that wind up screwing with good folks. Why? Because they can. Homeland Security run amuck. We all know what the phrase we're working on it means in government too. Good luck folks. The TWIC card is funny too, cost that out and see what that costs both the operator and government.
TheD

Lakeville, MN

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#2
Dec 16, 2009
 

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Jusy another example of the government putting crazy rules in place and placing the small business owners in a position that will either cost them thousands of dollars or put them out of business.

How's that Hope and Change working out for you?
Pat

Virginia, MN

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#3
Dec 16, 2009
 

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In coastal Alaska, six pack licenses are held by high school kids. They are a dime a dozen in local populations. No big deal!

They are not onerous or impossible tests. But the license shows that the commercial operator knows what he's doing in navigation and safety. That is a good idea! Keep up the good work, Coast Guard! These guys have had a free ride long enough. Why shouldn't they be licensed?
troyboy

Saint Paul, MN

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#4
Dec 16, 2009
 
grandfather law,
If anyone deservises it, it's the griz.
I often run it him, while fishing on the st. croix.
and have had the pleasure of exchanging, many a fish tale with him .
great guy, doing what most of us dream about,
to deny him that right is about,
as wrong as it could get !
Shane

Orange Park, FL

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#5
Dec 16, 2009
 

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Every thing is fine until a High school Kids tips over a boat hauling a dad with two small children and someone is tragically killed. Then who gets the blame? I can hear it already........ why didn't the Coast Guard make these out fitters have a license, why weren't they regulated?

The Coast Guard is all about safety and saving lives, in fact a lot of them serving put their own lives in danger rescuing others.... so don't blame them.

Open a paper and read were someone in a boat did something stupid, and cost someone else their life.......... the U.S. Coast Guard is just trying to prevent more of that!

600 for a license, small price if it saves a life! Every "business" is regulated, and every Commercial Business/fisherman on the Water has been for years.... its called saftey!
Shane

Orange Park, FL

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#6
Dec 16, 2009
 

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FROM-This is what happens...."when the Coast Guard can't achieve their goals on a bigger scale, they focus on small victories"

Check the Numbers, The U.S. Coast Guard Returns 4 dollars to the American Public for every 1 dollar spent on it's budget in Property saved, and that is without a price on the lives they saved with the property! Plus the drug interdiction, and immigration work they do saving Americans even more.

So what "Goal" hasn't the Coast Guard met? can you be less vague?
BearManNorth

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#7
Dec 16, 2009
 

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Shane wrote:
Every thing is fine until a High school Kids tips over a boat hauling a dad with two small children and someone is tragically killed. Then who gets the blame? I can hear it already........ why didn't the Coast Guard make these out fitters have a license, why weren't they regulated?
The Coast Guard is all about safety and saving lives, in fact a lot of them serving put their own lives in danger rescuing others.... so don't blame them.
Open a paper and read were someone in a boat did something stupid, and cost someone else their life.......... the U.S. Coast Guard is just trying to prevent more of that!
600 for a license, small price if it saves a life! Every "business" is regulated, and every Commercial Business/fisherman on the Water has been for years.... its called saftey!
You have no idea what you are talking about. In the first place, because the season is only 3 months long in the first place, it`s not like they have all year to make up the money on the cost of getting the lic.. Most may only work this part-time job a couple years while in school. The outtfiting and guiding up here, for the most part, is not a "high end" business....meaning the customer is your average "Joe" on a strict budget, NOT a rich business man. The lic doesn`t save a life, the people do. It has been this way up here from the start, without any help from the outside [in the form of government regulations], and things have gone just fine. No problems.

WE have already, government strict regulation of the lakes, in the form of limited issed permits for those even wanting to go into the B.W.C.A.W., the military on the water and in the skys, border patrols wandering throughout the area, homeland security, the Federal Forest Service, and now the Coast Guard?????????? Talk about overkill!

The regulations already in place have wittled down the business up here to a mere handfull. Even professional guides are mostly part-time people just trying to eek out a living holding 2 or more jobs. Because the season is so short, any profit is long term, and they cannot afford this extra burdon, because they don`t do that job [like campground and canoe transport] for more than a couple summers at best. The persons getting lic., can`t make enought to earn it back. It`s simple mathmatics.

I suggest you stay where you are, and comment on your own state and federal problems, because you have no idea at all about what is going on up here.
BearManNorth

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#8
Dec 16, 2009
 

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Pat wrote:
In coastal Alaska, six pack licenses are held by high school kids. They are a dime a dozen in local populations. No big deal!
They are not onerous or impossible tests. But the license shows that the commercial operator knows what he's doing in navigation and safety. That is a good idea! Keep up the good work, Coast Guard! These guys have had a free ride long enough. Why shouldn't they be licensed?
THAT is in Alaska...this is Minnesota. There is a vast difference. We have guides that work in both places here, so I know about the difference. You sure don`t.
Anon

Stillwater, MN

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#9
Dec 16, 2009
 

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1. These laws have been in place for many, many years. For whatever reason, someone decided the CG needed to start enforcing them, so now they are being enforced by local CG units. Yes it sucks, but it should not be too much of a concern (read on)

2. The laws were written for ocean-going businesses, not MN guides that fish 3 months a year, they are not applicable and should be changed.

3. It sounds like they are working on having these laws changed--or modified for MN, but don't count on seeing any changes for at least a few years—changes in policy move at a snails pace.

Recommendation to guides: This summer take a lot of your friends fishing. These can be new friends that you just met or old friends. Maybe your new friends will even chip in for gas money and supplies.

The CG shouldn't bug you too much, as they have very limited assets in MN, other than Duluth (and quite frankly, much more pressing enforcement duties).

If you are having a hard time passing the test for your six-pack, hang in there. Look for some study guides on the web. One site in particular has many practice questions that are “very similar” to the questions on the test.
BobWhite

North Branch, MN

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#10
Dec 16, 2009
 

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I've guided in AK since 1984, and most recently in WI and MN.

AK got around requiring a full-blown six-pack license by working with the CG to develop the OUPV License (Limited Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels Guide License on the Freshwaters and Rivers of Western Alaska).

The OUPV License requires that I know and demonstrate only those skills necessary for the waters I guide on... not how many green lights are on a mine sweeper, for cripes sake!

If the CG feels a need to become involved... why not develop a national OUPV license?

The TWIC, on the other hand is a crock of poop! I'm required to have one for my OUPV license, and tried to use it as ID to pass through security at MSP airport. The TSA worker looked at it like it was written in Russian. She had no idea what it was and asked for my driver's license instead... a license that just about anyone can obtain!
call it what it is

Plymouth, MN

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#11
Dec 16, 2009
 

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Call it what it is: yet another tax.
Is it becoming glaringly obvious the federal government is hell bent on getting their paws on every last job opportunity and dime to be made in this country? Seems like they want everyone to be on the government take, unable to make a living for themselves. Only large corporations are to survive, and with it, any personal freedoms set aside for the privilege to work for ever-decreasing wages and benefits or worker protections.
Anon

Stillwater, MN

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#12
Dec 16, 2009
 

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call it what it is wrote:
Call it what it is: yet another tax.
Is it becoming glaringly obvious the federal government is hell bent on getting their paws on every last job opportunity and dime to be made in this country? Seems like they want everyone to be on the government take, unable to make a living for themselves. Only large corporations are to survive, and with it, any personal freedoms set aside for the privilege to work for ever-decreasing wages and benefits or worker protections.
Again... This law has been in place for a long time. It sounds like you have other issues you would like to discuss besides CG enforcementin MN.
Cody

Stillwater, MN

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#13
Dec 16, 2009
 
I guess I stand alone.

I like knowing my guide isn't a drug user or a person convicted or even charged with a violent crime (THAT's what the TWIC card is for.)

If a business can not afford the cost of the CG license, how can they afford the commercial insurance? I would like to know that my guide has insurance, don't you?

Ok, it's too much money (or too large of a TAX lol!) you say. Guiding part time, 3 days a week for 3 months. 36 days and the license that will force these people out of business is about a grand. Oh yeah! For FIVE YEARS! That's $11.12 per trip. If that's going to force a business to go under gas prices should have done that a year ago.

Cut the B as in B, S as in S.

The "limited scope" oupv license is no longer being offered to guides. Check the USCG website. This is fairly new, so many aren't aware of it yet.

Good luck with having the law changed. They tried that down on Lake Texoma last spring after one in a guided party drown and the CG started cracking down.

Mr. Griz. I don't know you. Sounds like your a great guy with many well wishers. I wish you well too, but you can pass the tests. If you want to.
Cody

Stillwater, MN

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#14
Dec 16, 2009
 
"They tried that down on Lake Texoma last spring after one in a guided party drown"

I forgot to mention he drown in 3 feet of water.

Licensed guides must know CPR and Basic First Aid too.
BearManNorth

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#15
Dec 17, 2009
 
Cody wrote:
I guess I stand alone.
I like knowing my guide isn't a drug user or a person convicted or even charged with a violent crime (THAT's what the TWIC card is for.)
If a business can not afford the cost of the CG license, how can they afford the commercial insurance? I would like to know that my guide has insurance, don't you?
Ok, it's too much money (or too large of a TAX lol!) you say. Guiding part time, 3 days a week for 3 months. 36 days and the license that will force these people out of business is about a grand. Oh yeah! For FIVE YEARS! That's $11.12 per trip. If that's going to force a business to go under gas prices should have done that a year ago.
Cut the B as in B, S as in S.
The "limited scope" oupv license is no longer being offered to guides. Check the USCG website. This is fairly new, so many aren't aware of it yet.
Good luck with having the law changed. They tried that down on Lake Texoma last spring after one in a guided party drown and the CG started cracking down.
Mr. Griz. I don't know you. Sounds like your a great guy with many well wishers. I wish you well too, but you can pass the tests. If you want to.
I would recomend you READ and COMPREHEND a few of these other postings, explaining the reasons for concern and unnessary regulation and costs. Or at the very least, cange your screen name to "LostInFog".
BearManNorth

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#16
Dec 17, 2009
 
Sorry, I ment "change".
Sam

Minneapolis, MN

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#17
Dec 17, 2009
 
So is there a probem?

Are people being guided drowning?

What do you do for a living? Maybe you have had a free ride long enough and need to pay $600 also?

IF you have ever been pulled over, jerked around, by the Coast Guard on Crane Lake you would not be saying keep up the good work. They treat munions like dirt. Roaring around in their HUGE BOATS, banging into the side of your treasured craft, acting like the Ges-t-a-po.

I suspect they treat a guide like a sub-human.

Nothing worse then BIG GOVERNMENT!!!

The last thing a state should do is turn any body of water or land over to the FEDS! All they do is hire a bunch of college grads for enforcement, over pay them, send them to snake school, and tell them to go out and kick arse!

Reminds me of a honest friend who was fishing and a boat come over and said they were leaving and didn't want to keep or waste the fish they had caught. So the friend took the fish not wanting to see them wasted and intending to consume them on shore. So the FEDS show up and count fish and he was over a couple and the FED harrassed him for a long time. Finally the guy told the jerk to write me a ticket and I'll never fish there again!

Nothing worse than an immature enforcement agent!

Griz, enjoy to your reasonable discussions on the 1500, hang in there. If your cutting a tree on the Gunflint watch out for the FEDS they have been known to run over loggers. Must be their hate of anyone who doesn't HUG TREES!

==========
Pat wrote:
In coastal Alaska, six pack licenses are held by high school kids. They are a dime a dozen in local populations. No big deal!
They are not onerous or impossible tests. But the license shows that the commercial operator knows what he's doing in navigation and safety. That is a good idea! Keep up the good work, Coast Guard! These guys have had a free ride long enough. Why shouldn't they be licensed?
Cody

River Falls, WI

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#18
Dec 17, 2009
 
BearManNorth,

Take a deep breath. You have your mind made up and no one is going to tell you differently.

These articles make it look much worse than it is.

You're guide insurance costs more, but than again, the FEDs aren't making you have it.

Have a good Christmas!
larry dahlberg

Saginaw, MN

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#19
Dec 17, 2009
 
As is evidenced by various marine disasters like the oil spill in Alaska, having a Coast Guard license is no guarantee of safety. In fact, I am certain the number of boating accidents involving US Coast Guard licensed captains greatly exceeds the number of accidents incurred by unlicensed freshwater fishing guides.
Be that as it may, to me the real issue here is the appropriateness of the test as it relates to those who are being forced to take it.
It's akin to requiring a pilot's license to ride a motor scooter.
In my opinion, it would be good for our inland freshwater guides to have First Aid and CPR certification, but the navigation requirements and vessel ID stuff simply does not apply.
The most irksome part of the whole issue as it applies here is the lack of a grace period. The Coast Guard marched in at mid-season and literally took food off the table from those who make a living taking others fishing. That's just plain wrong, and in my opinion who ever gave the order regarding the sudden decision to enforce this should be brought into the public light and asked to justify the order.
The most absurd part of this becomes evident when you examine the boating regs as they apply to the general population. Any idiot with enough cash or credit can buy a boat that goes 70 miles per hour or more, and without license or even a test can take it out on a river or lake and put everyone's lives in danger! If the Coast Guard was really concerned with public safety they would not be focusing on guides. They would concentrate their efforts on making sure totally inexperienced boaters know how to operate their boats at least as well as beginner driver operate motor vehicles!
Angelina

Albertville, MN

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#20
Dec 17, 2009
 
Hey Pat - up yours - this guy has been guiding since the beginning of time. Thanks to the so called "coast guard weenies" the poor guy has to try and pass a test that would put most of the weenies at the coast guard to shame. What a joke - loeace him alone and let him make a living at what he's been doing all his life - Geez!!!!!!!

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