Originally Posted by jmack
The NPS may have been helpful in 1978 but more recent they have made the Narrows essentially unrunnable by not issuing permits if the flow was over 600 cfs in the previous 24 hours. This policy is unfathomably stupid, and will likely lead to more incidents as people try to do this run without enough water. Your tax dollars at work...
Thanks for the correction on the flows.
Zion NP has an interesting history with recreational policy. Canyoneering opened a major can of worms in the past and led to major permitting regulations. They do not permit canyoneering parties above an abysmally low 120 cfs. Its an arbitrary # that makes no sense other than one for litigious reasons. The randomness of the 600 cfs figure is equally difficult to accept.
That said....part of the issue is the# of deaths and population the park has attracted. Not only did the kayaking community have some major epics but young local yahoos led to a highly covered death when they jerry-rigged a Tom Sawyer style wooden raft a few yeas back and died. For canyoneering the park has never relented after the major boy scout deaths in Kolob decades ago. National attention from the kayaking community came late in the game (always kayakers there but relatively rare in comparison) and their recent epics just exacerbated an existing problem.
Not sure how to facilitate better outcomes. Until the national zeitgeist changes to one in which the NPS is not liable for accidents that happen from accidents in the park I am not sure they will relent.
Also, I doubt it will lead to more accidents than we saw in the recent past. It was a crazy couple years down here. Should have made anyone cringe. But really there is no way to predict the creative ways people will get themselves hurt in the side and backcountry (and my principle argument would be to get the NPS out such decisions if there is limited resource damage).