Input sought on boating, rafting, New River, Cabwaylingo

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Bluestone Lake on New River extends into the mountains near the Virginia border.

The W.Va. Division of Natural Resources is seeking public comments on proposed and modified rules that concern boating, permitting rentals on the New River, establishing new safety standards for whitewater, and allowing off-road vehicles in Cabwaylingo State Forest.

The first rule, according to a press release from the division, involves designating a new section of the New River where rental services are allowed. It also introduces safety qualifications for general outfitters and guides that operate and provide services in whitewater zones and increases the minimum threshold for required reporting of accidents. The rule, 58CSR12, is available .

The second rule involves boating. Modifications include defining terms, changing language about personal flotation devices to be consistent with federal code, defining “watersports,” establishing personal flotation device requirements for tubing activities, updating address information for submission of accident reports, increasing the minimum threshold for required reporting of accidents, language updates to replace “Conservation Officer” with “Natural Resources Police Officer,” changes to restrict the display of flashing blue lights to authorized emergency law enforcement vessels, and reducing duplicate language already established in code. The rule, 58CSR25, is available .

The third rule is new and involves regulating a two-year pilot project permitting ATV’s and ORV’s on designated roads and trails in Cabwaylingo State Forest. The rule, 58CSR36, was authorized by the passage of Senate bill 498 during the 2018 regular legislative session. It may be found .

The rules have been filed with the Secretary of State’s office and will be open for review and written comment until 5 p.m. on July 26. They will be advertised in the State Register and are available for review at the DNR South Charleston and Elkins offices. Written comments are accepted at DNRComments@wv.gov or may be mailed to WV Division of Natural Resources, Attn: Wendy Greene, 324 4th Avenue, Room 343, South Charleston, WV 25303.

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