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Juniper Wayside

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Dave Cannon | Ocala Star Banner
Published Monday, June 30, 2008

 Juniper Wayside is the takeout point for most paddlers on Juniper Creek in the Ocala National Forest.   A few hardy souls launch at the site and paddle upstream,  others paddle down stream and back.    The vast majority of paddlers use it as a takeout at the end of the 7 mile trip from the Juniper Springs Recreation Area. 

It is also used by locals as a swim/party area.  No swimming signs are ignored, as folks wade in the shallow water, dogs run about, airboats roar, music blasts, drugs consumed.  Once, when launching at 6:30 am, a car pulled up across the Creek. I heard the driver say, "got the heroin ?"  They saw me, and left.

Crowds are a problem, but it appears the Forest Service is tossing the baby out with the bathwater.   They are allowing no activity other then landing.  No more launching.  Here is an article from the Ocala Star Banner, Juniper Wayside on the changes.  Mike Rowlands, the paddler featured in the article, brought this to my attention via a series of comments on Dave's Yak Tales

Paddlers need to make our voices heard and keep Juniper Wayside open for launching and landing.   I made some suggestions in the comment section of the Star Banner article.  Add your thoughts, and contact Forest Service to voice your opinion.

Last update Saturday, July 12, 2008

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Cmt Juniper WaysideLogin to Post   
You are in the public comment zone. What follows is not from Green Wave Forum; it comes from other people and we don't vouch for it.
Unknown on 7/12/2008 6:15pm
I had to paddle Juniper today, Sat 7-12-08
admin on 7/12/2008 8:24am
Excellent work and thank you for keeping Juniper Wayside open for all Florida paddlers!!! Smile
Unknown on 7/11/2008 7:34pm
That's wonderful. Thanks, Rowmin Goat !
rowmin on 7/11/2008 7:00am
Hello all. I just got a phone call from Rick Lint. He informed me the Juniper Wayside is OPENED for canoe and kayak put-in effectinve immediatly. Thanks for all of your support. Thanks Rick Lint. Michael Rowlands aka Rowmin Goat.
rowmin on 7/8/2008 5:24pm
Thanks for the link to keep Juniper Wayside open. It is the same reply I heard from an assistant of Rick Link on June 25th. I talked to R. Macon on that day. They talk of all the studys and meetings which have to happen before changing it back. They should have done their homework before they changed it in the first place. I will still be in front of Juniper campground and swimming area on Saturday 12, 2008 with my protest signs. I maybe can speed the process up when the message gets out to the patrons. Mike Rowlands
Unknown on 7/7/2008 7:21pm

This is the email address for National Forests in Florida. Send a message to keep Juniper Wayside open for launching. I did.
rowmin on 7/6/2008 6:28pm

Posted 06 July 2008 21:01
I have received many encouraging replys to the article written with my comments. The article was in Sunday's paper on June 29th, in the Star Banner. I want to let everyone know that I will be in front of Juniper Springs campground and swimming area on Saturday July 12th to protest the closure of the Juniper Wayside put-in canoe and kayak launch area. I will have signs for 4 more people if they show up. I will do it alone if need be because this disgrace of justice and public easement must be told to many others before change will occur. Thanks for all of the replys. Mike Rowlands................ LONG LIVE THE FREE RIVERS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMRICA.
rowmin on 7/2/2008 3:27pm
Update for July 2,2008. I emailed A.B.C. channel 9 out of Orlando today and invited them to do an article on the Juniper Wayside put-in controversy. I also contacted the Attorney General of Florida to let them know of the access denial of this beautiful river to the people of the United States. Tomorrow I may have more ideas. Forestry head at Seminole ranger district is Rick Lint. Phone toll free in Marion county 288-8520 extention 5501. I will not quit till this is overturned. Mike Rowlands Thanks for the help however small.....
paddlesolo on 7/2/2008 10:18am
I do think the government oversteps its bounds at times, particularly since I read the local comments and there was no announcing the decision or public input. I am still trying to make up my mind about erosion problems. This was the issue at Morrison Springs and they are spending thousands of dollars creating board walks, a separate boat launching area, doing away with the sandy beach type swimming area. But in the long run, the natural beauty is distroyed and replaced with manmade structure.

As far as the dope and rowdies, seems like some random law enforcement visits could control that situation. When I complained about a rural canopy road that many seniors used for walking, private investigators were posted, and the drug trafficing disappeared. Word gets around!