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Old 04-21-2009   #21
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 321
Originally Posted by yarmonymatoid View Post
I get out of the boat to scope out the situation and find the other dude bangin' this ugly toothless bitch doggy style around the corner on a rock. They were so messed up they didn't even know we were there.
BLM should just make a full set of teeth "required" equipment, violators of which are punished by dragging their trailer to the dump. That would clear out the riffraff!

I'm not a big fan of permits and fees either, but its to the point where its needed.

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Old 04-24-2009   #22
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
1) The proposed fee is just that, not a permit. If the BLM simply wanted to generate revenue - and what would the purpose of that be? - the BLM would have imposed a fee many years ago. It is not free to fund either rangers, maintainence, or even volunteers. It all cost money. Ruby Horsethief is tremendously popular and hence requires an increased level of attention which cost money. Volunteers are the lowest cost option, so instead of writing on Mountain Buzz, feel free to volunteer, as some writers have.
2) Generally, the BLM does what the public wants and not just what some BLM'er wants. Much input has been solicited about what users want. The BLM actually values your input and has several options for you. These social networking sites are interesting, but aren't generally used for input from the public. Have you filled out the comment card at the take out with intelligent, thoughtful input? Have you called, written, attended public meetings or joined the advisory group? If you want a permit system, have you thought about enforcment and the associated cost of additional rangers, boats, equipment, and vehicles? Have you thought about not getting your Ruby Horsethief permit? A very high percentage of users want to keep the river spontaneous and free from a permit system. The easiest thing for the BLM to do would simply to have instituted a permit system. Right now they are still trying education and information - because right now that is what most users still want.
3) For the last 2 years the BLM has funded increased levels of staffing and has at least one ranger on the river at least both weekend days. The camping system works better than it used to and most users are following fire and sanitation regs. The sytem works if you use it, and it doesn't work if you don't use it. This year an additional ranger will be at the Loma launch on weekends, all weekend long.
4) The rangers at Westwater are already extremely busy handling their users who have actually paid to be on the river. They really do not have the time to handle RH users who are using the same facilities at Westwater for free.
5) "Keep the bastards off." This is America. How, exactly, do you propose to do that without a permit system?
6) Having said all of that, with the increase in use, ultimately the only way to keep the experience pleasant and the resource healthy will be an eventual permit system.

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Old 04-24-2009   #23
ric's Avatar
Fruita, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 201
Ruby Horsethief?

Why do you all call it that?
It's Horsethief Ruby canyons!

The fees being Floated, are to cover the upgrades over the past years, which are great.
Thats how it works, they put in the improvements then there throw in the fees, so there's no argument!

They'll need to pay for the new boat ramp at take out some day also.

And why are motors even allowed in there,I thought the left bank was Wilderness area?

Blm does it they're way, soon you'll be paying to camp out at 18 1/2 road too.
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Old 04-24-2009   #24
Land of Lovin, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,449
I guess I don't understand the big deal, it's three to seven bucks right? Just pay it! If it works out at all like Pumphouse I'm all for it. Pumphouse is nice and clean with picnic tables and designated campsites.
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Old 04-24-2009   #25
God Amongst Men
yetigonecrazy's Avatar
Phuoc My, Da Nang, THE 'NAM
Paddling Since: 1845
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,988
the problem is, pumphouse doesnt have a large metropolitan area with 20,000 people in it, all less than 20 minutes from the river. that kind of user base living that close to the river, and it wont just "work out". theres a big difference between being too cheap to pay your money, and keeping 1000 dumbasses off the river who shouldnt be there in the first place.

factor in places like the sports authority, which make people feel far better at things (like boating) than they actually are, as well as folks who dont have or could care less about proper river etiquette and youve got a bad mix.

like what was said earlier, if it had complex logistics or was not near anything else such as a city (like pumphouse is) then that alone would cut down on the users. but as it is, its a shitty situation, and other than a rare late-season (september or october) trip, i avoid Ruby Horsethief like the plague.

Grand Junction is kind of a shitty place for easy raft floats. deal with the homeless folks on the day run, deal with the white trash yahoos on RH, or get your car broken into at the whitewater takeout. sounds like win/win all the way around.
"Don't f$&@ing eddy out, just run it! Whaddya doin??" -LMyers
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Old 04-24-2009   #26
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
What Jensjustdukie's 5 to 7 bucks! Cheap entertainment. Its called Ruby Horsethief because that's its traditional name. The river itself is the jurisdiction of the state, not the BLM. And the wilderness starts about a half mile in from the water. Why would you think that you have a right to the river and motor boaters don't? And yes, fees at 18 road will allow the BLM to hire more staff for the 1.2 million acres managed by just a handful of folks so that YOU get clean toilets and a campground with no or fewer illegal campers all over the place going potty between camp sites or tearing out live juniper trees. Still a pretty good deal. can volunteer to go out there a couple times a week and scrub toilets.
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Old 04-24-2009   #27
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 103
Bring it on!

We only go down RH in March and April anymore. It used to be that May was OK - not anymore. I'd much rather endure a spring storm than the summer hordes.

Permits would take away some of the spontaneity of a RH trip, though. I think a lot of people would snarf them up "just in case" making it harder to get on the rio than it really ought to be. And then there's that idea that "if it's permitted, it must be special" that will attract more people.

But overall, I think the place is getting so trashed that they have to do something. Maybe the current crash in oil and gas prices will thin out th eoil patch and take care of the crowds. Here's hoping.
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Old 04-24-2009   #28
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 30
Originally Posted by ric View Post
And why are motors even allowed in there,I thought the left bank was Wilderness area?
The Grand Canyon is managed as a wilderness area, yet one is permitted (for the time being) to motor one's ass down the ditch.

Now what we have here is a concrete example of the concept of "tragedy of the commons". The BLM is short on funding and resources to manage the area effectively. Because there is no oversight, there are no percieved consequences of being a inconsiderate slob, people treat it as they would anything that is free and without social or moral ramifications, as a result, sustainable recreation becomes a race to the bottom, because the lowest common denominator becomes a standard by which everything is based. The only way to reverse the ongoing trend is to "force" a value for taking care of the resource by imposing a fee. I think it ought to be more than $7 bucks, until we as a collective user group and prove that it needs to be less.

That being said, is there a local group / 501 3-c (to volunteer or donate money to) that is currently coordinating and spearheading an effort to educate, and partner with the GJ field office to manage these areas?
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Old 04-24-2009   #29
striker's Avatar
steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 71
I ran Ruby last weekend and when our group got to the camp we signed up for there where already people there. Luckily they were nice folks and we found a way to share the camp. They were simply unaware of the registration situation. I feel that a sign on the way down to the ramp would at least help people that are already trying to do the right thing. When you get to the boat ramp you have to walk over to the board to find out about the registration system, and even when you do it is not made obvious that you need to register. A sign would at least be a start in helping the camp registration system. I would hate to see a fee put in place on this streach. I feel that paying to use public lands amounts to double taxation. The BLM is charged with protecting these lands and receive taxpayer money to do so. I feel that a permit is nessisary if the river is overused, but if the the situation is abuse as oppose to overcrowded then enforcment is nessisary, not permiting. I agree with Jonas-f as well and feel that a non-profit, donation based river user group would be the best solution to the problem, and I would be interested in helping to form one. If we help to take care of the resourses then permits and fees will not be nessisary.
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Old 04-27-2009   #30
grand junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1
Originally Posted by jonas_f View Post
is there a local group / 501 3-c (to volunteer or donate money to) that is currently coordinating and spearheading an effort to educate, and partner with the GJ field office to manage these areas?
Actually, yes. Ruby Horsethief is entirely within the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area. There is a non-profit, Friends of McInnis. At this point they have largely, but not entirely, focused on the land areas more than the river, but would welcome a sort of River Division for Ruby Horsethief. They can be contacted through their site at Friends of McInnis Canyons Every year they do organize a river cleanup and on really busy holiday weekends try to provide volunteers at the launch to inform and educate about river etiquette and the camping system.

Incidently, re lack of signs directing folks to register for a camp site: There's a large, prominent sign on the ramp down to the river. At the Kiosk is a registration box that says "Registration" on it in large letters. On top of this box is a laminated sign instructing users to register for their site. In front of this box is a huge map and in both the upper left and lower right are instructions to register for your site. And the kiosk panel to your right is a huge information panel that is ONLY about camping along Ruby Horsethief and - of course - includes instructions about registering.

Anyway, contact Friends of McInnis. User involvement is always the key and even more useful than simply blaming the BLM on a social site they don't even monitor.

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