To grow, protect and support Tennessee's paddlesports outfitting businesses by improving members' financial viability, ensuring a fair and reasonable regulatory environment and enhancing members' ease of doing business.
TACIR Hearing December 2nd
TPA's Executive Director will be among the panelist at a hearing conducted by the TN Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations on paddlecraft uses in the state on December 2nd. TACIR is studying the challenges with providing river and lake access Join us.
Among the topics TACIR is considering are
1. the procedural and financial measures necessary to accommodate the increased demand for non-fish-and-game recreational activities and the resources required to manage such activities by TDEC and TWRA;
2. how TWRA-managed resources are being utilized by non-motorized vessels for non-fish-and-game recreational activities, such as paddle boarding, canoeing, tubing, and kayaking;
3. the accessibility to and funding for all non-fish-and-game recreational activities;
4. the annual fees and taxes charged to paddle craft and commercial outfitters in the previous four fiscal years;
5. any duplicative fees charged by TDEC and TWRA, and what action may be taken to eliminate such duplicity in fee structures and their regulatory authority generally;
6. the extent to which customers of non-motorized vessels contribute to revenue derived from the purchase of fishing licenses and registration of watercraft;
7. the amount of funding needed to manage, sustain, and improve access to and the management of non-motor vehicle activities in this state and what fundraising options are available to support non-fish-and-game and other similar activities;
8. what fee structure is most appropriate for recreational users generally, given that the benefits of non-fish-and-game programs are broader than just outfitters, who are already paying sales tax;
9. the feasibility of outfitters who pay additional fees to TDEC and TWRA receiving a credit on the sales tax paid on such fees and whether the local option sales tax should be included in the credit; and
10. what measures TDEC and TWRA can implement to improve their strategic plans, their organizational structures, and the oversight and sustainability of non-fish-and-game-related recreational activities.
Legislation Authorizes Review of Funding Resources and Strategies to Improve Non-Fish and Game Recreation
Senator Kerry Roberts introduced SB 1080 to amend the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 4; Title 69 and Title 70, relative to recreational activities including the regulation of commercial paddlecraft rental businesses.
The proposed legislation authorizes the Department of Economic and Community Development to review possible funding resources and develop strategies for improvements for non-fish and game recreational activities, in conjunction with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and the Department of Environment and Conservation, and report its findings to the governor and the general assembly by January 1, 2022.
The bill amends TCA Title 4; Title 69 and Title 70. Title § 69-9-227 deals with the law authorizing regulation of commercial operations that lease or rent nonmotorized vessels. Title 70 covers the authorities and funding sources of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Title 4 also covers broad state agency authorities.
Good News About Paddlesports Contributions to Emotional, Physical and Economic Well-Being During the Pandemic
Check out these op-eds by TPA Members.
Know Before You Go Paddling for Safety Sake
Since the Coronavirus pandemic led to shutdowns and restrictions on some leisure travel, the public has been flocking to the outdoors. Paddlecraft use of waterways has increased dramatically in 2020 with many self-guided paddlers using their own craft to visit the state’s rivers. Some paddlers do not have sufficient experience or are attempting to paddle rivers in high water conditions increasing the risks of a serious incident or water rescue.
Safety data shows that paddlers are much less likely to be involved in a serious incident when they go with a professional outfitter, in part because outfitters do not operate when water conditions are too treacherous for inexperienced paddlers. When a customer rents a canoe, kayak or inflatable they also receive a briefing on potential hazards and are issued a Coast Guard approved life-jacket.
The Tennessee Paddlesports Association (TPA) is offering a free set of briefing posters to the public in an effort to reduce the risks to inexperienced paddlers who venture out in their own canoe, kayak, paddleboard or inflatable.BeSafePoster General 2020.pdf Kayaking Basics.pdf
TPA also urges paddlers to be considerate of other users and to avoid leaving their boats on ramps where they block access by other boaters. TPA has a set of Best Practices designed to diminish user conflicts.
The Tennessee Paddlesports Association is a state-wide association of outfitters providing paddlecraft rental equipment, instruction, and other services on Tennessee waterways under permits issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Watch the latest TWRA Commission meeting on potential rules affecting paddlesport outfitters
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Paddlesports Outfitters help Tennesseans and visitors reconnect with nature and truely enjoy the beautiful rivers and lakes throughout Tennessee.