The undersigned lakefront residents of Smith Mountain Lake oppose the initiative currently being vetted by the Tri-County Lakes Administrative Commission (TLAC) to impose wakesurfing exclusion zones on Smith Mountain Lake for the following reasons:
1. Any regulations adopted to restrict wakesurfing should be adopted on the state level and apply to all Virginia lakes equally
2. Appropriate regulation should focus on mandating reasonable stand-off distances from vulnerable shoreline and not permit local activists to close portions of waterways where these stand-off distances could be observed.
3. TLAC, the SML Water Safety Council and local businesses should mount an education campaign to instruct wake boat operators in responsible wakesurf behaviors. The Wake Sports Industry Association has created effective training materials that could be used for this purpose.
4. Cove and channel closures merely have the effect of pushing wake boat operators to other areas on the lake. If there is a problem to be addressed, this initiative merely moves it; it does not correct it. Residents in the newly impacted areas could be expected to initiate their own channel or cove closures, ultimately resulting in such a patchwork of closures that Smith Mountain Lake would be effectively closed to wake sport practitioners.
5. There is no reason to single out wakesurfing as a uniquely targeted activity. There are other wake generators — for example, large cabin cruisers — that generate wakes that are equally destructive.
- John Stroebel of Moneta, also signed by Kent Masters, John and Carol Wilson, Ken Hayes, Perry Kairis, Mark Thomson, Dave Koury, Matt McGuire, Ben Powell, Joy Manning, Dennis Stamis, Roger Winters, Jim Mould and T.J. Kuczewski
Read more stories in the current issue of the Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Pick up a copy or subscribe at www.smithmountaineagle.com/subscriber_services to view articles in the print and/or e-edition version.