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Old 12-10-2003   #1
Littleton, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
Brown's Permits ?

Sorry, I haven't visited the board for a while (new look). Is there any update as to whether permits to boat Brown's Canyon will be required next year? If so, has there been any instruction as to how to get on the list for them? Maybe it is unfamiliarity, but I couldn't locate a search for this new board, so don't flame me if this topic has already been worn out. Thanks!

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Old 12-10-2003   #2
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 35
I could be wrong, but last I heard they were counting boats on browns not last season but the season before that, because of the low water they arn't issuing permits and won't re-examine the issue for another few seasons. any additional info would be good though.

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Old 12-10-2003   #3
cosurfgod's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 384
A different permit than registering and paying the $2 per person? I have not heard of this.
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Old 12-10-2003   #4
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
They decided no permits required this year. They are still looking at options.
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Old 12-11-2003   #5
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 15
i think the best source for information on this subject is directly from AHRA. i do not know if they have a website or distribution list (for meeting minutes), but i will try to find out and post here.

based on my understanding, there will be citizen task force meetings held in the coming months. there was one such meeting held already in november, and i think there was (or is yet to be) one held in december. while these citizen task force meetings are not really intended to be public forums, there does seem to be room on the task force for more private boaters. if you live in the ark valley, or are close enough and flexible enough with your schedule to attend late afternoon/early evening meetings, there could be opportunities to participate.

as far as the actual permit system is concerned, it is my understanding that the private boater counts in browns DID exceed the limits in 2003. there were 7 days over 150 (6 is the limit); the highest day was around 220, and the 7th date was reached very early in the season, i think before the 4th of july. therefore, there is justification under the conditions of the plan to implement a permit system. however, it is possible that the AHRA will not be able to implement the permit system in 2004 due to budget limitations. it is also my understanding that there have been proposals from the outfitters for "swaps" of permits that would allow an increased number of privates in Browns in exchange for allowing an increased number of raft permits, along with a wider launch window, on the Numbers run.

so anyway, that is my understanding. nothing is final, and things could change. i will try to find a way to get more info directly from AHRA, and post back. i am not associated with AHRA, nor have i attended any of the meetings, so please do not take my statements above as "official". later.
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Old 12-11-2003   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 16
Browns Permitting

Hi All,

I am Marshall Nichols, your Private boater rep from AHRA's citizens task force. I was alerted to this thread by one of your regular posters and asked to post on this subject.

The best I can tell you is currently, the commercial outfitters have combined elements of the proposals I made to exchange use in Browns Canyon and made a counter proposal which basically involves exchanging use in Browns Canyon, 90 boats per day to be exact ( they would like to retire some of this use, but I'm gettin gahead of myself) for a total commercial use of 60 BPD in the Numbers ( a 20 BPD increase from what's currently allowed). The managment plan allows for this level of use in the numbers currently.

They also requested that the launch window at the numbers site be lengthened to 2PM to allow them to use thier new allocation. This is a sticking point for me, and we are still negotiating on the exact methodology / time / amount of trade / retired use. The private boater permitting task force is still going ahead in absence of a solid agreememt with the commercial outfitters.

The first meeting is tomorrow at AHRA Salida to explore the possibility of permitting for the privates on the Browns stretch. The CTF is working toward a resolution, and has endorsed the concept of the plan introduced by the commercial permittees, but again, the devil is in the details. I will copy the article in the local newspaper here that details the last CTF meeting. The next meeting is on Jan 22 at AHRA Salida, 9:00 AM. I urge you to attend if you can, if not feel free to contact me off list wiht your comments and any issues you would like considered. I as well have the documents presented in jpg format if you would like to see the exact plan et al.

Here's the article from the mountain mail

Members of the Citizen Task Force for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
voted Wednesday to endorse the “purpose and concept” of a plan for Browns
The proposal outlines plans to eventually reduce the number of commercial
boating permits from the current 60 to 45, as suggested in the Arkansas
River Management Plan.
Also in the proposal is a suggestion to increase boating opportunities for
private boaters during the early season.
The proposal comes from months of discussion and ideas of how to avoid a
permitting system for private boaters in the Browns Canyon area, which is
nearing the limits outlined by the management plan.
Private and commercial boaters have yet to agree on any kind of proposal
that might possibly “share” the number of boaters allowed, so the newest
proposal discussed Wednesday was created.
“We don’t want to see permits anymore than anybody else,” AHRA Park Manager
Rob White said.
“But with the management plan, we’re still marching forward to a permit
system in the absence of some agreement.
“A permit system on this river is inevitable at some point,” he added. “We
all want to hold off as long as we can.”
Commercial and private boaters and other interested parties packed the
meeting room at AHRA to discuss the boating plan, and most attendants agreed
it was the “best yet.”
Task force members asked White and other managers to set a timeline to have
an agreement for Browns Canyon boating completed.
In other business, task force members:
• Discussed a provision in the management plan that calls for two additional
boat ramps in Salida, one upstream from the current ramp and one downstream
from the current ramp.
“(The upper ramp would be) for people coming through town who want to take
out before the kayak play hole,” White said.
“And the lower ramp is for people who want to start a trip and avoid the
congestion of the area.”
White said AHRA, the Division of Wildlife and other agencies would like to
construct a restroom and changing facility near the existing ramp.
Possible locations have been identified and a feasibility study is being
conducted, White said.
• Discussed partnering with other entities to purchase and store water.
The Voluntary Flow Program, operated through the Bureau of Reclamation, insures there
will be at least 700 cubic feet per second of water flowing on the Arkansas
from July 1 to Aug. 15 to help with the recreation industry.
White said drought years make it difficult for the flow program to exist, so
AHRA would like the option of storing water to help augment water down the
river if needed.
“The great thing is we don’t consume the water, we just use it and it
continues down (the river),” White said.
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Old 12-17-2003   #7
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 16
Integrated Concept Plan

Good Morning All,

It would appear there's some good news on the horizon for the Private
boaters in Browns Canyon here on the Arkansas River. After lengthy
negotiations and endless meetings, we have finally come to what appears to
be an agreement between AHRA, Private Boaters and the Commercial Permittees.
I am copying 2 documents regarding Commercial & Private Boat operations
within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). These documents were
discussed and formulated during a December 8th, 2003 meeting between AHRA
staff, Colorado State Park's Leadership Team (Lyle Laverty - Director, Joe
Maurier - Deputy Director, Larry Kramer - Chief of Field Operations & Kurt
Mill - Rocky Mountain Region Manager), Bob Wigg - Rocky Mountain Region
Assistant Manager and Rick Storm - Chief of Law Enforcement for Colorado
State Parks. The Integrated Concept Plan details modifications currently
being considered by Colorado State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management
in regards to Commercial and Private Boat operations within the AHRA. The
Public Process document sets forth the process Colorado State Parks and the
Bureau of Land Management plan to utilize for collecting public comments
regarding the proposed Integrated Concept Plan.

Here is the first document:

Integrated Concept Plan
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area - 12/08/03

The below noted information consists of an Integrated Concept Plan to
provide assistance in resolving a number of Private Boat and Special Use
Agreement issues that have been brought to the attention of Colorado State
Parks and the Bureau of Land Management.

Reduction of Commercial Boat Carrying Capacities

Browns Canyon (Section 2 B) – Reduce Commercial Use on weekends from 450 bpd
to 360 bpd
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Parkdale (Section 4 B) – Reduce Commercial Use on weekends from 300 bpd to
240 bpd [60 bpd reduction to be available for commercial use in Section 4 B
when the Royal Gorge (Section 5) is under a High Water Advisory from AHRA]
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Adjustment of Commercial Launch Window

Numbers (Section 1 C) – Adjust Commercial Launch Window from 8:30 am – 11:00
am to 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07 (NOTE: I have discussed this at length
with AHRA and have signed on conditionally on aggressive enforcement by
AHRA, Marshall CTF Private Boater Representative)

Increase in Private Boat Carrying Capacities

Browns Canyon (Section 2 B) – Increase Private Use on weekends from 150 bpd
to 240 bpd
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Private Boat Permit System

Work with Private Boat Permit Planning Team to establish a working
"framework" for an AHRA Private Boat Permit System (This does NOT mean that
it will be implemented, only that Parks wants a working system in place
should it become necessary to implement one in the future)

Minimum Fee

Increase Minimum Fee for Special Use Agreements/Boating (this is for
commercial operators ONLY) from the current $400 per year to $1,000 / $2,000
/ *$2,500 per year (* Recommendation)

Minimum Per Client Fee

Establish Minimum Per Client Fee for Special Use Agreements/Boating – 5.25%
of Gross with a minimum of $2.00 Per Client (Tied to current AHRA Individual
Pass Fee)

The second document outlines the Public Comment Process, pasted below:

Integrated Concept Plan
Public Participation / Open House Process
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

The below noted information details the Public Participation / Open House
process which will be followed to gather comments regarding the Integrated
Concept Plan. The Integrated Concept Plan was developed in order to provide
assistance in resolving a number of Private Boat and Special Use Agreement
issues that have been brought to the attention of Colorado State Parks and
the Bureau of Land Management.

Presentation of Integrated Concept Plan – 12/03

Present Integrated Concept Plan to Private Boater & Commercial Permittee
Citizens Task Force (CTF) representatives

Comments from CTF representatives to AHRA

Parks Board Work Session / BLM Briefing – 01/04

State Parks Leadership Team & AHRA staff meet with Parks Board to discuss
the Integrated Concept Plan and comments received to date by AHRA

AHRA staff to meet with BLM to provide briefing to Royal Gorge Field Office
BLM Management Team

Public Participation / Open House Process with Integrated Concept Plan –

Hold four Open House Meetings to discuss and receive comments from the
public regarding the Integrated Concept Plan – Leadville (01/20), Salida
(01/22), Canon City (01/27) & Denver (02/09)(places and exact times will be

Parks Board Meeting / BLM Management Team – 02/04

Parks Board considers adoption of Integrated Concept Plan

BLM Management Team briefed on Parks Board action regarding Integrated
Concept Plan

Ok, that should be pretty much self explanatory. Should anyone desire to
comment on these issues, you can either attend one of the public scoping
meetings in January, or if unable to attend or you have other questions,
please feel free to contact me at and I will do
what I can.

It appears that we have come to an agreement, if all of the other powers
that be agree, then this will move forward and become law so to speak. Let
your voice be heard.

Thank you for your time,

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Old 12-18-2003   #8
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
Marshall - you and the others on the CTF rock! Thanks for all you do.

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