I have intentions of communicating my thoughts in a post now the meeting has taken palce, but I haven't had time yet. Stay tuned for a more in-depth post.
But, in reply to climbermale:
I stand behind my actions and words and I am not going to apologize for having an opposing opinion on this.
Also, just to clarify, my original post was "Rock REMOVAL Permit Issued." I was and am strongly opposed to that. A lot has changed since then.
When this first surfaced, there were two issues I had: 1-that the permit was issued without public comment, 2-that a rock was going to be removed and would therefore drastically change a great rapid. Well, we fixed the problem with #1 by getting the permit revoked and getting the public aware and involve. I am proud to have been a part of that. And #2 is no longer the issue. There is no longer a proposal to remove the rock, just to move it. So, I am forming a new opinion. I've previously commented that I think the Longs have been great stewards of the river and I have never questioned their commitment to safety and running a top-notch rafting company. I'm sorry the Longs had to endure some backlash from the community, but people get heated over things like this (rightfully so) and I don't think it's my fault.
But, I suppose you wish I'd have never said anything?
I still disagree with the idea of moving the rock.
I think mistakes were made when the rapid was modified after the 2001 slide. That set a precedent. Now, since the rapid had a bulldozer in it, the Longs and their supporters want to act upon the precedent set in 2001 and fix the mistake. Well, one of my biggest problems with this from day 1 had been precedent. And that remains a big factor in my opposition. Two wrongs don't make a right.
If turning a rock or making a channel deeper saves a life then it is worth it.
I couldn't disagree with you more about making rivers safer for the sake of saving a life in the future. The way you state your argument makes it sound like you think we should remove any obstacle if it kills somebody. This sport is dangerous. Undercut rocks exists in many many places. Other features capable of killing exist everywhere.
I HAVE lost a friend in the river. Last year. Maybe you read about it.
Death on the Murtaugh
I was devastated and it affects me to this day. But I don't want Hooker Ledge modified to save a life in the future.
I hate signs that tell me rafting or rapids are dangerous. I like running rivers without knowing exactly whats around each corner. We can't put signs up at every obstacle. I'm not 100% opposed to signage on the staircase run, but I wish people who aren't willing to take the risk of the rapid as it is would run another stretch. Signage is better than moving the rock, but I think there are other or additional opportunities to raise awareness of the hazard. Places like the buzz, I think, are great for this type of information. If someone wants to know how to run staircase, come ask other river runners. I think that awareness of this NEW obstacle will be greatly increased by the event and conversations of the past weeks.
Any road-side rapid is "man-altered." I hope people with your opinion stay away from the north fork payette, lochsa, or any of the great road-side rivers I frequent. Keep your rock-moving, obstacle-crushing, thrill-hating, canal-creating butt away from my rivers. I don't want anymore class II rapids.