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Herald Post about the Forks

Posted by JeffK1 
Herald Post about the Forks
June 26, 2018 04:55PM
A friend at work pointed me to this article. Probably old news for people in the know about the Russell Fork.

[www.kentucky.com]

Jeff K
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
June 28, 2018 04:10PM
Great article from the lex Herald! I do find it ironic that the mayor of Elkhorn City has to ask for "suggestions" on how to make that town more prosperous and a mecca for boaters and tourist!!!!! That shows how out of touch their leadership - if you call it that - is with their own community and the great natural resources they have available!

B. J. - kayak bum and river guide
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 03, 2018 01:20AM
Yeah here's the quote of what the Mayor said: "If any citizen has suggestions on how to boost tourism further, Taylor asked them to contact the city or come to a public meeting." I LOL after reading that. What an idiot.

Wes
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 04, 2018 07:22AM
I thought that was pretty funny also. I have a suggestion for him that would be sure to boost tourism, find a new line of work.

Bob
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 09, 2018 07:24PM
Heck yeah Jeff its exciting times for all this. Last Monday I met with the Sen Majority Leader himself Mitch McConnell, Hal Rogers and Appalachian Regional Commission Chair Tim Thomas. Mr. Thomas was quite interested in how we can improve tourism in KY, VA and West VA, He wanted to know more about how this whitewater initiative will improve east KY and SW VA and I had a great opportunity to explain exactly how in good detail.
In my past two years working with the congress and USACE and now hopefully the ARC we hope have located some funding for our study instead of having to go out and find it. Id share the picture they asked us to take but I don't want this conversation turning into politics. This should be proof you can work what your constituency of a all political persuasions and get things accomplished.

EC mayor is right it takes the citizens to make things happen but it can also be read in a different context about outsiders too. Steve Ruth is right too, removing the tourism liaison to the city council is a suspect approach but I don't judge because I am not in their shoes. I believe I am right too in that they can still consider the history of alcohol and its effects in that town and approach it in a modern responsible way to benefit the city and its citizenry but i am not one. They are there 365, a non-local kayaker if very successful will be there 30 days in a year. But (hopefully more in the future!) When the highway is finished is too late so now seems to be the time for them to move on taking advantage of traffic and recreational opportunities increasing in their back yard

EC and boaters need to come back together not further apart I said once and I believe it. Keeping a positive attitude and outlook and not killing the conversation for both would reap great rewards. Just my 02

Jason



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2018 07:25PM by jasonfoley.
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 10, 2018 12:12AM
Great work Jason and a big, HUGE thanks for the years of effort that you and some others have put into getting scheduled releases on the Russell Fork. Although we're not there yet, thanks to your efforts we are finally getting close. As far as Elkhorn City is concerned, I've been a welcomed guest there for many years and as such have always tried to give back to the community. Over the years I’ve developed many friends who I’ve found to be people that I trust, people I know I can count on and who have been a selfless source of help and advice for a long time. Elkhorn City is made up of these people, and for that matter so is the town of Haysi. Good solid people that deserve to reap the benefits of any prosperity that will come from this. My feeling is that once these releases become a reality, it will be a life changer for many that call Elkhorn City home and given time, I hope this makes as big a difference to the region as it has in other communities such as those that surround the Nantahala river.

With that said, I am also someone that has direct experience in dealing with the Government of Elkhorn City and am all too familiar with the change that has occurred there over the past couple of years. When they talk about being open to ideas, when they talk about all the work they've done to bring tourism to the area and when they talk about their work with "people planning races, festivals and other events that could attract people from out of town.", being one of those people, I know exactly what that means too. I know from personal experience how hard they've made it for the people that actually can bring these events to town to pick Elkhorn City as a destination.

Thanks to the work of you and others, the stage is set. Events like the Russell Fork Rendezvous and the CloudSplitter Race have already made our choice. In the case of the Rendezvous, thanks to the actions of the Elkhorn City government, we were given little choice other than to move this festival to a town that welcomed us, a town that does see the future, has worked hard at embracing it and one that I know will benefit from this, Haysi, Va. My guess is that if things do not change in Elkhorn City then Haysi will be the big winner here. In fact, without change, Haysi could end up being the only winner here. Events like Rendezvous want to know that they are welcome by the communities that act as our hosts. They want to know that our guests are welcome and they want to be seen for what they are, a benefit to the community. Unfortunately without change, events like the Russell Fork Rendezvous will know exactly where the bypass around Elkhorn City leads, which is straight to Haysi, Va.

Although the road that bypasses it is almost complete, the people of Elkhorn City really do have a choice as to its impact. Given my friends that call it home, given the friendly nature of its citizens and remembering the many years that Elkhorn City was such a boater friendly community, I truly hope the people of Elkhorn City realize just how important their choice will be in the next election. Regardless of the bypass, the issue there is not its location. If the right choices are made Elkhorn City will be the next Kentucky boomtown. The issue there is not the citizens, the people of Elkhorn City are friendly, welcoming and extremely helpful. The issue there is very simple. The issue in Elkhorn City, the issue that could and probably will decide rather Elkhorn City's future is one of prosperity or bust will be decided in the next election and as someone that cares about the people there, I truly hope the citizens of Elkhorn City elect a government of forward thinking individuals that reflect the welcoming nature of the people that call Elkhorn City their home.

Bob



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 01:16PM by xsubdude99.
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 10, 2018 07:43PM
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2018 12:20PM by jasonfoley.
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 10, 2018 08:21PM
I reckon I will weigh in on this because I have a thirty year experience in Elkhorn City and on the Russell Fork River and I am livid with this Mayor and the current administration and have been for awhile now. I have a number of very good friends in Elkhorn City. But, I am "leaving" until someone there gives a durn about us. I am done with Carson Island. I will hang at the Breaks and Ratliff Hole still. I will eat at Time Out Deli still, but I note the Mayor of EC apparently hates the owner. That must be why I like the restaurant. The days when Elkhorn City wanted to grow and embrace a healthy future with outdoor recreation, with plans for river parks, the Trail Town, Heritage Council and other positives, sadly, seem by the wayside now. My understanding is that the Mayor has been quoted as asking what good the paddlers do for Elkhorn City. I have heard it said that he does not support eco-tourism for the same reason. He says he is big on coal, even though it is unlikely there will ever be many coal jobs there ever again. I think it is just a ruse for votes. He reportedly is big on spending time with folks in rest homes who are unable to get out and then even helps them go vote. Wonder who they vote for? The local machine seems to be with Taylor and his rabid police force and if they don't want "outsiders" (a laughable term) like the rest of us "lifetime Kentuckians", then I will visit my close friends in EC, but will support Haysi because they actually do want us. I don't believe Mike Taylor is candid, credible or reliable as any kind of friend to the paddling community. I feel personally insulted by Elkhorn City's recent tone and specifically the city's actions last Rendezvous. I like who I like at EC, but I am not cool with the Mayor or his government. I am a Kentuckian with many generations in my family on both my mothers and fathers side from this the east and west sides of this state and they can take or leave it as far as I am concerned with EC. I will respond accordingly with my tourist dollars going to those I feel are worthy. But, that dude needs to go. There is no middle ground with that guy. And, perhaps a lack of economic interest by paddlers will get someone's attention that will then recognize the need to change the administration there. Get that goof ball out of there and with all the changes going on, I suspect one will then see in Elkhorn City an increase in the traffic that now just stops at the Red River gorge to eat pizza after a day of climbing, hiking or paddling. You add water to the Russell Fork River, things will boom there. No doubt. But, EC will get left behind if it does not care to embrace a future different than what they knew before in the coal mining days of yore. Them days are gone buddy. And yeah, Whitesburg may be the coolest small town in all of Kentucky if not all of Appalachia! Too bad Elkhorn City can't get any of that. Haysi is sure trying though. Good people that deserve our support!

So thanks Bob for moving the Rendezvous to Haysi. It ain't going to be easy and you got your work cut out for you.

Thanks also to you, Jason, for meeting with Mitch. I sure hope we get some traction finally. It has been a long a frustrating one for me and I am grateful for your zeal in staying on it and meeting with these people that could make a difference. Such a no brainer to quit wasting water from the ACOE and provide recreational releases with it. No one loses and everyone gains. Maybe folks in power are getting it. There will be good economies coming from it. I promise. Just add water!
Brent
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 13, 2018 11:04AM
Great job Jason to at least getting the politicians to discuss the recreation potential of the Russell Fork area. Seems that just a short one trip to the nantahala, pigeon, Gauley, or Ocoee should be enough for anyone to realize the recreational value of promoting the natural resource in East Kentucky and western Virginia! It should be a NO BRAINER!!! However, I trust politicians about as much as a weatherman, but the weatherman is just a little more honest about it!!!!! According to America's favorite (places), you'll need a spruced up water front, some craft beer, and a commitment to recreation!!!
B. J. - kayak bum and river guide



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2018 11:06AM by bj196321.
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 14, 2018 11:16AM
Although a 30 day release schedule would be an improvement it is not enough for potential rafting companies to be economically feasible! Larger scale rafting will need about 48 to 60 days, four days a week, and perhaps from memorial day to labor day ( when school is out and families on vacation). Of course the water is there, but is behind a dam, and someone will have to negotiate with army corps of engineers on a release schedule. 30 days straight is good for private boaters, but during the week would be wasted because most of them work other jobs!
B. J. - kayak bum and river guide
Re: Herald Post about the Forks
July 14, 2018 12:09PM
Guess I should add: 48 days from memorial day to labor day and 12 days (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) in October.

B. J. - kayak bum and river guide
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