Waldo Lake: Just say ‘NO’ to Floatplanes

A few links… online petitionGovernor’s letterUSFS Supervisor’s letterOregon Parks & Rec letteraiR-link

The following is the statement sent to OSAB by this one Oregon citizen, expressing opposition to seaplanes at Waldo Lake…

Statement Opposing Seaplanes at Waldo Lake (submitted to OSAB, 1/31/2013)

Please accept this as my statement in strong opposition to seaplane use of Waldo Lake. I opposed this absurd aviation activity when I used the allotted three-minutes and spoke to you and the other members of the Oregon State Aviation Board (OSAB) last May. In my words, I noted that both former Governor Kulongoski and current Governor Kitzhaber, as well as the vast majority of citizens, have made it clear they strongly oppose seaplanes at Waldo Lake. I also suggested in very clear terms, OSAB’s continued catering to the desires of the tiny seaplane user group, smacks of cronyism, especially since you went on record as a seaplane pilot yourself.

That was eight months ago. Nothing has changed since. Now, you have the responsibility to permanently shut down seaplane use at Waldo Lake. Please do your duty.

You may not be aware of Oregon’s fatal seaplane accident of 7/31/94. A couple from Boring was paddling a canoe in the Willamette, when a seaplane taking off struck both of them. Their two young children were lower in the canoe and survived without physical injuries, but their parents were killed. I was working in the air traffic control tower at Salem when the radio call came in. We quickly dispatched emergency crews, but to no avail. When I learned of the larger details, my heart ached – as it still does – for those children.

Waldo Lake is an extraordinary place with exceptional water quality. It is a huge attraction for nonmotorized boating activity. Clearly, it is appropriate for the state to JUST SAY ‘NO’ TO SEAPLANES and all gas-powered use of the lake surface. Not just for environmental reasons (noise, water purity, wildlife) but also for safety reasons. The seaplane/watercraft accident precedent was set; now you have a chance to guard against a tragic repeat.

Mr. Gardiner, you yourself are a seaplane pilot, and are thus mindful of the fact that seaplanes have much louder propellers than do regular aircraft. The regular aircraft are already too loud. Seaplanes, especially in a special area such as Waldo Lake, are entirely inappropriate. Furthermore, you are aware that seaplane pilots transitioning through the Willamette Pass area, have superior facilities – with docks even! – just a few miles away, at Crescent Lake. They also have landing access to Odell Lake, in close proximity to Highway 58. Both of these other lakes are far superior for use by seaplanes. Clearly, there is no excuse for OSAB hornswoggling the citizens of this state with any implication that Waldo Lake serves any necessity for aviation. You know that it does not.

Crescent Lake rRsort

Photo shot 11/5/2010, and copied from the C-SPA.org website in late January 2013. Crescent Lake is just a few minutes south of Waldo Lake, and less off-route, for pilots transitioning through the Willamette Pass area.

Nearby Crescent Lake is promoted by C-SPA.org as a destination for their seaplane pilot buddies, like you Mark. They even have docks to tie down.

Please do us all a favor. Lead OSAB in rejecting seaplane access to Waldo Lake.

Jeff Lewis, Mulino, OR
(copy posted at aiREFORM.com)
Waldo Lake Cross Country Routes

map copied from the C-SPA.org seaplane website. Implies Waldo Lake is critically located and needed for use by seaplanes. But, other much larger nearby lakes (ODELL LAKE, and CRESCENT LAKE) are not on the map, and are far better located for seaplane use. In fact, C-SPA.org promotes use of Crescent Lake, with a photo of seaplanes tied down to the dock. Clearly, Waldo Lake is NOT needed for aviation use.