Although I agree with most of your points, there has been an increase in accidents requiring response in the last 2 to 3 years. The local S&R is certainly underfunded with not many options to increase funding so spending days bushwhacking through the canyon isn't exactly the best use of their scarce dollars. In my opinion, if the threat of having to dish out cash if something goes bad makes some folks think twice about putting on then it has my support. We as kayakers need to police ourselves and make sure we don't draw any unneeded attention to ourselves. Unfortunately, there have been instances where boaters have made poor decisions and then complained about how the S&R teams have responded. There is a core group in the valley that has taken the time to build a relationship with the local crews in an effort to keep access open and help them with logistics in response situations. This effort helps out all kayakers that wish to use the resource. It may seem like there is a bit of a locals only attitude but a resource is threatened and there needs to be a loud and clear message that paddling the rivers around Canaan Valley isn't just another day in the park. Come prepared, know your crew, caring the necessary gear, have a plan if something goes wrong and speak up if someone with your group is not prepared (mentally, physically or skill)
PS. this is in no way a response to the very recent tragic incident, but a response to a trend that has occurred over the last 10-15 years in this area of WV.