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Old 11-07-2011   #21
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
You used to be able to drive and mountainbike on the rim ,maybe you still can,and you could hike down Little Hole to the river.There were no signs posted prohibiting it.We talked to the ranger about camping at Little Hole; it was not allowed at river level ,but not prohibited to hike to the rim or overhang below the rim.The overhang contained a minor archaeological site[ no structures] that was badly combed over long ago.We were asked not to do any digging for artifacts .We left boats[ duckies] a hundred yds. inland and hiked to the overhang to camp with access to car /coolers /camp gear on rim.We were still required to carry groover ,firepan ,extra paddles, etc .that are mandatory on both days,camping or not.It must have been before 2001.Under the scenario presented the person would have a permit to be there those days anyway.Rich's post definitively answers that you cannot run twice.

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Old 11-07-2011   #22
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 883

From time to time I used to camp at the Little Hole location mentioned in the previous post. It was a nice quiet spot you could drive to and easily take a stroll down the canyon to the river.

However, several years ago BLM erected a fence to delineate the Wilderness Study Area. While it does have several pedestrian gates, it imposes a restriction on mechanized traffic into Little Hole, as well as further down at Hades Overlook and Big Hole. There's a great ledge right above Hades, which hangs out over the rim and looks right down on Hades and Little D. It makes a wonderful spot to spend the night. Likewise, Big Hole (beyond the fence as well) is a great spot to camp and hike to the river if you like. If you're law-abiding, these locations are essentially backpacking destinations now.

I never did hear the official reason for the fence. But I do know that there were persistent problems with motorcycles and other motorized vehicles violating the WSA "no off-trail" restriction. And there also were people carrying in at Little Hole to sneak Westwater. So it may be that they felt the fence solved both those problems at once. If so, it's an illustration of how a relatively small number of folks ignoring regulations can bring about even more burdensome restrictions.


Rich Phillips

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Old 11-08-2011   #23
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
A note to my friends

Originally Posted by Alberto View Post
Stupid hoser!
See, I didn't even offer to drive to his house and beat the shit out of him. I told you I was growing up after having the three kids!!
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Old 11-09-2011   #24
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168
I have to say that I love the extensive comparison of Colorado Law and Federal law and Federal Regulations.

Does anybody remember that Westwater is in Utah?

While a private property owner of the streambed and banks may only have a right to the "beneficial use" of the water, the State and the Federal governments absolutely have a claim that they own the water. They can also regulate use and access to the waterway.
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Old 11-09-2011   #25
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432
Its good to see people fired up.

For the record, I do believe that westwater needs protected. And should be permitted to protect from over use.

I do not have Law, UT under my screen name. Your post are cute.

Am not about to go run it permit less under the full moon with all the high school paddlers from Grand Junction that can not get a permit anyway.

We are talking about a 16 mile section of river here.

Could the users benefit from a day use option without impeding on others wilderness experience?

Your allowed to bring your dog down the canyon on an overnight trip.
But under current regulation a single day trip is out of the question.
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Old 11-09-2011   #26
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,346
I believe the public ownership rights of the waterway trump others. At least I know that for sure on the Salmon, they've even adopted it into their regs, even though they don't state it overtly. You can run the SF Salmon which includes 21 miles of the permitted section of the Main Salmon. You can do this without a permit as long as you enter and leave the permitted corridor in the same day (paraphrase of their regs). So while you use the river you don't use the permitted resource (the land/camps). There's been many a conversation amongst Idaho lawyers/boaters about this topic, and the fireside consensus is that they can't limit the use of the water, just the land. FWIW, although other agencies probably have different interpretations. And really, who wants to go to court to test this? Not me, not anyone I know.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 11-10-2011   #27
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700

I now better understand your argument. Going over a section of water without a permit does not hurt the banks in any way. It is why the argument against boating in Yellowstone does not make sense. As with the origins of most laws, the actions of a few hurt us all. Speaking of how to circumvent the rules and regulations of access will only entrench the regulator against the users in general.

If you have problems at Westwater, talk with the rangers. They are not inflexible jerks. (As an example, I have been permitted to lap the canyon. This was over a decade ago, but they were cool with it). If you attempted to run any river without a permit and tried a clever access argument, they probably would be inflexible. The fact that you were prepared with the argument would show that you were purposefully trying to circumvent the system put in place to protect the place. That would probably make them mad.

My comment above was not pointed at you. It was at Alberto who responded to my initial comment telling me to suck it. I certainly am Childish, but not cute. It is in reference to my childish responses here in past decades where someone would come at me with profanity and I rose to their troll bate.

As far as what it says under my name, over years I lost my password at times and changed screen names. I think the system prompted you for what is your profession and where do you live. I live in Park City and am a lawyer. I'll change it now, as you are right that it probably presents me as something I am not. I am an expert in nothing. I am passionate about access. Admittedly childishly passionate.
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Old 11-10-2011   #28
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 432

1. We might be we surfing the same access wave. This could be the case if you believe as I do that rivers should be managed in a way that benefits the most users while protecting the environment that they run through.

2. You are free to be childish.
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Old 11-10-2011   #29
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 646
You can fly with an airplane over private land, but National Parks can regulate air space over their land.

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