Alexander On Tailwater Fishing: Corps Agrees To Hold Public Meetings, Consider Alternatives

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tn.) on Thursday met with Lt. Colonel James A. DeLapp, Commander of the Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, at Senator Alexander’s request, to discuss the Corps’ decision to restrict access to fishing areas in dam tailwaters on the Cumberland River System, which Senator Alexander said is “a significant source of enjoyment for Tennesseans and visitors from around the world.”

In the meeting, Senator Alexander asked Colonel DeLapp to give the public the opportunity to voice their concerns and hold several public meetings to take input from the people and communities affected by the Corps’ decision. He also encouraged Colonel DeLapp to “look at alternatives to the new policy” and requested that “if the Corps moves forward in restricting fishing in dam tailwaters, to restrict it to the smallest area possible, consistent with the Corps’ safety requirements.”

Senator Alexander thanked Colonel DeLapp for agreeing to both of his requests.

Senator Alexander is the senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water, which has jurisdiction over the Army Corps of Engineers.

On Nov. 20, he sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers urging reconsideration of their decision. He wrote: “At a minimum, I believe that any change of this magnitude should be subject to a public comment period so those who enjoy fishing can have an opportunity to express their concerns and propose alternatives to improve public safety. Changes should only be considered after a thorough review of all public comments and suggestions.”

In the letter, Senator Alexander requested a personal report on the situation from Colonel DeLapp prior to any change in practice. That personal report was delivered in Thursday’s meeting with Senator Alexander in his Washington office.

The full text of the letter is below:

November 20, 2012

Lt. Colonel James A. DeLapp

Commander, Nashville District

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

P.O. Box 1070

Nashville, TN 37202-1070

Dear Colonel DeLapp:

I am writing to express my concerns about your decision to restrict access to fishing areas in dam tailwaters on the Cumberland River system and recommend that you reconsider that decision.  
 
The Cumberland River system is a significant source of enjoyment for Tennesseans and visitors from around the world.  Those who enjoy fishing and the businesses that serve them benefit from the open access of the Cumberland River system, and the revenue that is generated by these activities is an important part of Tennessee’s economy.
 
It is my understanding that the current practice has not resulted in a significantly higher risk to public safety than is experienced at other dams across the country.  The current practice is strongly supported by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and they share my view that restricting access to tailwater areas is unnecessary.  At a minimum, I believe that any change of this magnitude should be subject to a public comment period so those who enjoy fishing can have an opportunity to express their concerns and propose alternatives to improve public safety.  Changes should only be considered after a thorough review of all public comments and suggestions.
 
I look forward to talking with you directly on this issue to discuss any proposed changes prior to their enactment.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,
 
Lamar Alexander


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Fireside at Greenway  Oct. 30 Erin Medley and a starry night Outdoor Chattanooga will finish our 2014 Fireside at Greenway Farm series with a special evening of guitar folk and stargazing this Thurs., Oct. 30, 7 ... (click for more)

Governor Haslam Dedicates Trail At Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area

Governor Haslam joined staff from the Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation last Friday to dedicate a new trail at Pogue Creek Canyon State Natural Area. “Tennessee has incredible natural areas that offer something for everyone, and this partnership will help protect and preserve these lands for future generations ... (click for more)

Two North Shore Sold To Pennsylvania Real Estate Firm For Almost $24 Million

The Two North Shore commercial development on Manufacturers Road in North Chattanooga has been sold to a Pennsylvania real estate firm for  $23,983,363. Steve Arnsdorff, who developed the successful center from the ground up and has continued to manage it, said the deal closed last week. He said the sale for the property at 319 Manufacturers Road is to Stoltz Real Estate ... (click for more)

Cold, Wet Front To Make For Chilly And Damp Trick Or Treating; Snow Showers Possible Saturday

A surge of cold, moist air will make for less-than-ideal trick or treat conditions on Halloween night. Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing this weekend. There is a possibility of snow showers in Chattanooga on Saturday. Here is the latest forecast: Today Showers likely, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 58. Calm wind becoming northwest ... (click for more)

Thanks For Publishing The Stokes Photo Book

I pre-ordered the Stokes Photo Book and picked it up Wednesday . The covers and content are very high quality and contain photos you will not see anywhere else.  This book of photos is worth much more than $35.  I have seen many historic photos of my hometown Chattanooga, but this collection is amazing. My favorites are National Cemetery, Confederate Cemetery near ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)