Northumberland officials worry ramp fees could sink kayak and canoe traffic 

 
Jackie Nunnery

by Jackie Nunnery

HEATHSVILLE—Just as Northumberland’s planning commission on January 21 was putting the finishing touches on a conceptual plan for a new canoe and kayak launch, a new law which took effect January 1 could put a damper on plans to bring people to the county’s rivers.

House Bill 1604, introduced by Del. Hyland “Buddy” Fowler, a Republican from Ashland, passed the House and Senate with little opposition or fanfare early last year. Del. Margaret Ransone and Sen. Ryan McDougle both supported the bill.

The new law requires those using any Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources owned or managed facility, including boat ramps, to be permitted. The permit can be a valid hunting, trapping, or fishing license; a valid Virginia boater registration, a current Restore the Wild membership; or a daily/annual access permit. Passengers with a permitted boat operator or those under the age of 17 do not require a permit.

According to the DWR website, this would apply to three sites in Northumberland….

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