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Old 08-10-2011   #31
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Randy you sure have change your opinion in the last year.. Remember your take on Frog Rock??

"I've never heard a serious discussion about filling in a strainer until now.

I don't mean any disrespect to anyone who has been affected by this particular rapid -or recent tragedy- but I think we need to leave the river alone. Sure, pull wood out - it's a little less permanent, but blasting and filling rock with concrete?

If it's too dangerous then go find another stretch of river. What's next, lowering Mount Everest to keep people out of the death zone? (maybe an extreme comparison - insert your own here) If we're going to pull out the dynamite let's do it to redesign the diversion dams that kill people every year and remove something manmade at the same time.

As an advocate of Leave No Trace outdoor principles I don't feel good justifying the action because the area is already impacted. I spent more than one summer camped at Frog Rock and it's really pretty. It doesn't need fixed by man, even if it is already impacted.

I'm sure this will inflame or insult some of you, but please take it with a grain of salt. I'm just expressing my opinion. I'm also leaving for a river trip soon and won't be able to defend myself if anyone wants to call me a whiny bitch or an idiot or a stupid duckier.

The deaths are sad, as they are on Miller's Folley or the Thumbnail in West Virginia, or any of the other undercuts that make floating a little more dangerous in this world. But who wants to turn white water boating into the American ski business, where all hazards are well marked and mitigated to guarantee safety?"

"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 08-10-2011   #32
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Cutch View Post

Gaining access to the river corridor isn't meant to modify the navigation of the river, it's just meant to give us point A to B. Modifying the river to make it easier for a specific water craft is disturbing to me.
This is what I was emphasizing. The devil's advocate (me in this case) would state that our desire to access the river has directly impacted the makeup of the river bed in many areas; Evan's unintended consequences in action. It could very well be that this rock ended up where it is as an act of god or an act of front loader. Can you imagine what Gore Canyon looked like before the railroad was put in? Still just as awesome but drastically different. So how does the impact of knocking off a sharp point compare with the tons and tons of blast rock deposited in and around the river for the specific purpose of getting around and into the river (Never mind the diversionary structures).

If the rock is easy to get around and only causes a problem for a short window then the issue is greatly diminished. I think the question ends up being, "Should we, as a boating community, implement river mitigation on rivers that are heavily manipulated by transportation impacts?" After all, we directly benefit from this process in places like the BR section of Clear Creek. I can see the fear, here, where someone comes along and says... blast and bulldoze BR out.. it's too dangerous for the public. That would be a very tragic unintended consequence.

On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 08-10-2011   #33
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Bozeman, Montana
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this is rubbish..cutch you are far to right to be argued against..
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Old 08-10-2011   #34
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Mesa, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1993
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Both sides have merit. If commercial boats that run this stretch all the time are having difficulty avoiding the hazard then therein lies my concern. Private boaters must accept the risks of running rivers. I do not have an answer but I do have some questions. I have been on this river once, I look forward to doing it again. With all due respect, anyone guiding on this river should be able to avoid the obstacle. There are inexperienced people's health at stake. It's been identified and should be avoided. It has been stated, on this thread, that it is possible to avoid it. The professionals have to able to go around it. I've been there, I was not very good at it. I understand that a crew with limited abilities makes it difficult in situations. I also know there are a lot of capable guides that make it happen with rookie paddlers, much respect to them. They are better boaters than myself. If there is an injury that occurs due to this rock then this debate will take a different tack, won't it?
Whether U Think U Can, or Think U Can't; U R Right!
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Old 08-10-2011   #35
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Bozeman, Montana
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Posts: 65
Honestly... I don't see any harm in filing (hammering? banging?) down a sharp edge on a rock that was thrown into a river after blasting a tunnel 30 feet up.

I mean, you're right next to a road... for fuck's sake. It's not exactly a wilderness trip. If a road sign fell in and was suddenly cutting up rafts, would that be part of this "pristine" riverbed too?
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Old 08-10-2011   #36
Gnarnia, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by Cutch View Post
We don't need a third option of modifying the river bed to our specifications. Instead of busting out the dynamite (albeit historical status quo), learn to portage like normal river runners that can't stick the line.
Bomber Who Destroyed Quartzite Falls Flees


Taz Stoner, a river guide who led the dynamite crew that calmed the fatal rages of Arizona's Quartzite Falls, apparently has fled to avoid prison.

"I had to leave on short notice to God knows where," said Stoner in a letter read to U.S. District Judge Earl Carroll on the day of his sentencing. Prison would have been "just too much," he wrote.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Charlton said investigators have been unable to find Stoner. Acquaintances believe the 34-year-old outdoorsman and engineer could be in Canada.

So an arrest warrant has been issued for William (Taz) Stoner, who claimed he blew up the falls to save the lives of weekend white-water rafters, not to vandalize a wilderness treasure or decrease its challenge.

"I kinda knew we were doing something wrong," Stoner said in a December interview with The Times. "But I had no idea you could go to jail for it. I did it to save lives, to make it safer for people to pass through there."

But environmentalists say that quartz rock helped squeeze the Salt River into a natural canyon hazard that no man should put asunder. The U.S. Forest Service said the falls' broad lower lip was federal property destroyed by Stoner and seven acquaintances with 45 pounds of dynamite.

Last year, the Quartzite Eight were arrested, charged, and eventually pleaded guilty. Stoner signed an agreement to spend 18 months in jail and pay a fine of $30,000. Others plea-bargained for probation, suspended sentences and fines.

But hours before sentencing on March 27, Stoner became a fugitive. His flight, prosecutors say, breaches the agreement and leaves Stoner vulnerable to heavier sentences. Destruction of federal property, for example, carries a maximum of 20 years in jail and a $250,000 fine.
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Old 08-11-2011   #37
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Un freaking believable.

This conversation could be a skit on SNL.

So... just so I am clear on this.... it is OK to clear a river of wood, which is likely to have an impact on river ecology... but not OK to move a pathetic rock that is tearng up a bunch of rafts?
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Old 08-11-2011   #38
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by festivus View Post
Un freaking believable.

This conversation could be a skit on SNL.

So... just so I am clear on this.... it is OK to clear a river of wood, which is likely to have an impact on river ecology... but not OK to move a pathetic rock that is tearng up a bunch of rafts?
Unless the woot floats and is Therefore a witch and must be burned.
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Old 08-11-2011   #39
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
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Originally Posted by festivus View Post
Un freaking believable.
So... just so I am clear on this.... it is OK to clear a river of wood, which is likely to have an impact on river ecology... but not OK to move a pathetic rock that is tearng up a bunch of rafts?

I'm not sure but I think "pathetic" rocks create eddys for fish to live in which are likely to have an impact on river ecology? I may be wrong though.
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Old 08-11-2011   #40
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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Originally Posted by RDNEK View Post
Randy you sure have change your opinion in the last year.. Remember your take on Frog Rock??
I do remember. I also remember teetering on both sides of that argument - primarily because of the man-made/natural distinction. Though I ultimately spoke out against the changes being discussed at the time, i.e. blasting or filling, and still oppose the permanent re-channeling, part of me still feels happy that the hazard is less likely to take a life on that easy section of river.

Of course the Tunnel rock seems to me to be "man-made", as it is one of two large piles of rocks from the blasting of the tunnel in the early 1900's. The rock might even be able to be turned by hand.

RDNEK, I'm really not sure what my opinion is, as I've clearly stated in my posts above that I'm on the fence about this. I think it's more than alright for a person's wilderness ethic to cause conflict within them. That's why I participate in these discussions, to really talk it out - many of us are on the front lines of these sort of decisions and should be as prepared as possible when it comes time to make them. Forgive me if I've given you the wrong impression.

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