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Old 07-01-2006   #1
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
NPS permits--may be hazardous to your pocketbook

Thought I'd send along a little reality check for NPS regarding Yampa permitting scheme. We obtained a low water permit and July 20 launch on 1st day of cancellation call in this year. Within 2 weeks we paid our hefty $200 fee, which I'm fine with as it hopefully goes towards conserving this beautiful river etc. We were going to canoe the trip and based on experience knew that we could work with a minimum of about 400cfs. We began calling every day, many times a day, as the early summer heat made out July 20 launch look impossible, even for canoes. Found a cancellation on July 6. Was promptly and curtly told that we had to fork over another $200 to cancel and take the new permit. "It's written in the fine print" I was told. So we were looking now at paying $400 split between only the four of us that planned to go. Is this a scam or what?

NPS: these and other unscrupulous practices are a rip-off of epic proportion. Just to finish. I emailed what I thought was the main coordinator of river permits for NPS, firmly but respectfully submitting my dismay with this unfair practice. I searched and searched for the correct person to send it to, and asked this person to pass the email on if it so was needed. Here's the wonderful and inciteful response I recieved from the head of Grand Canyon river permitting. Of course he only runs this large show and certainly couldn't take a few minutes to point me to the "person in charge" that I needed to speak to. Here tis

"... I manage Grand Canyon permitting. I'm not sure who manages the yampa.

-Steve Sullivan"

Nice job Steve! oops. Surprise, surprise. And this from the head of the GC permitting system. We all know how well they have their act together Go figure!


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Old 07-01-2006   #2
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
yup. they are running a real shitshow up there in dinosaur. i cant believe they want you to pay for a trip that is impossible to run. i think they need to go to a per person fee. the 200 is rediculous for people running small trips. it forces you to take some monster group in there just to make the fees reasonable. doesnt seem conducive to an area where they are trying to control impact. fees are not the only place they are raping privates. i just got off a trip a couple weeks back. the trip leader had paid for his permit, turned in a trip list and requested his camps less than a week after he drew the permit. at this point the camps are supposed to be first request first serve. he got his list of camps and none were what we wanted. not even one camp at jones. he sent them a letter bitching and telling them that they were saving the good camps for the commercials and that it was bullshit since they didnt even know if they were running a trip yet, and they definitely hadnt turned in a trip list. he got a new list of camps only slightly better but got jones thank god. on the trip we ran into 3 commercial trips. sure enough, they had all the camps we requested. they stuck our group of 25 in some shit camps while sheri griffith with her whopping group of 5 duckies and 1 raft floated past to all the best big spots. it is clear that the NPS has a huge undeniable bias. we all need to start writing letters to these bitches letting them know this kind of shit is not ok. this system was originally set up back when there was more demand for commercial trips than private. surely the demand has switched to the private side these days and so should the permits. just the man i guess shoving it in sideways wherever he can.

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Old 07-01-2006   #3
Poison Slingin'
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 48
You 'll love this. We did a trip in late May which was sweet. One thing I did fine really odd was that on our launch day our group and two others are all sitting at the put in waiting for an inspection. You would think that with a river so hard to get a permit for that they would be all over groups, making sure we had a groover, fire pan, etc. We all waited and waited and finally called the ranger station. They said "Oh, go ahead and launch someone will check you on the river." Needless to say being checked after you've launched is too late. But not to late for a ticket. We never saw anyone, not once. Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't believe we were never inspected. I know our group had everything, but what if some of the other didn't. Maybe they pooped where ever they wanted. Made huge fire rings and didn't have life jackets. Seems crazy to have no inspection on the Yampa and be checked over and over at places like Westwater. Sorry to hear about your trip...hopefully it works out.
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Old 07-01-2006   #4
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
does seem odd. we didnt get inspected nor did we wait around for the guy. not a lawdog on the whole run. we figured they'd be there to hassel us after the letter mark sent. there was also a group at deerlodge with a motor bass boat get up behing their "camper", dont know if they were putting in there but there wasnt a soul around to stop them after we launched.
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