Share This Page

Keep locks open for boaters

| Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' plan to offset budget reductions by eliminating recreational use of the upper Allegheny River has been slow and methodical. But 2013 will see the river become a series of impoundments for recreational boaters, not a navigable river system. The lock-usage equation based on commercial tonnage is 80-plus years old and needs to change.

In the story “Idea floated” (Dec. 5), Armstrong County Commissioner Rich Fink noted that our members of Congress have the option to restore funding to the corps budget, but this would be a small step forward — not a solution.

The corps budget-cut proposal would end recreational traffic through the locks. Recreational-use funding appears to be reserved for Crooked Creek, Tionesta, Kinzua and other dams operated by the corps.

Why not continue to fund the upper Allegheny River? No other corps facilities on the Allegheny River system are being closed.

If the issue is lack of revenue, look at the locks and dams that are impacted. Numbers 6, 8 and 9 have federally leased hydro-electric power plants on them. How much revenue is generated at these facilities? The people who know these numbers don't share them.

Recreational use of the lock system has only a seasonal impact — mostly weekends and holidays — from Memorial Day through Labor Day. “Shifting resources” is Army Corps-speak for “We don't care about recreational boat traffic.”

Boaters don't care from which fat federal pocketbook funding comes, just find it and add recreational use to the list of corps priorities.

Preserve and maintain the Allegheny River lock and dam system.

Barry Ward

Brackenridge

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.