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Old 11-08-2010   #1
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 25
Voice comments for Virgin River before Dec 6!

The Virgin River and headwaters have been granted Wild and Scenic status and the management plan is currently being developed. Please voice your opinion on it before December 6, see the link to submit comments at Zion National Park - Zion National Park Begins River Management Planning (U.S. National Park Service)
Try to use the buzzword "Outstandingly Remarkable Value" as it applies to boating or other values you see there, the resource will be managed around these ORVs.
Thanks, and please spread the word......

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Old 11-08-2010   #2
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
This is Crucial if you want to be able to run the Narrows in the Future. i just filled it in, it took 3.5 minutes.

Right here National Park Service - PEPC - ZION, Outstandingly Remarkable Values Statement - October 2010 -Submit Comments

Question 3 is key. You could just fill that in even. Here is what I wrote:

The permit system for kayaking should be revised to amend the 600 cfs within 24 hours maximum flow to issue a permit. With the natural hydrograph from the days warming and cooling, it can be 600 at night and only 200 during the day. 200 is a very minumum flow for the Virgin narrows. Kayaking was severely cut back this spring because it would get barely over 600 cfs the night before, even though it was 250 cfs that day. Setting minimum flows can often have a substantial negative side effect because individuals see it is below the recommended flow and assume it is "safe". The most effective thing the Park Service can do is educate the public with signage and literature as to the dangers of going down the river and the need to be properly equipped. The death of the two individuals this spring is possibly an example of a lack of education on the dangers of the canyon with water.

Please just take a couple minutes. It would be tragic to have to go Black Ops taking out at night to go down the Narrows.

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Old 11-11-2010   #3
JDHOG72's Avatar
Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 432
Can you give the cliff notes version of what the flow regulations are?
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Old 11-12-2010   #4
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
Clif Notes of Flow Rules:

If it has been over 600 cfs within 24 hours, they will not issue a permit.

That rules out over 50% of the days its runnable.

Check out the chart:

Every one of those days that it was over 600 they did not issue a permit. Even though it was perfectly runnable, they cut the already super limited flow window down with a bureaucratic window as well.

It is ridiculous as I have been on it at 200 and at 1,000 and it's not much different.

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Old 12-01-2010   #5
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
Bump. The website says the deadline has been extended to December 8. It also says it is down for maintanance but I was able to comment anyway.
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Old 12-02-2010   #6
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
1000 may not feel like much to a good boater, but from what I heard the 600cfs level came about from local boaters who are called upon to perform rescues in there. How are they going to get someone out of there who has lost their boat, and is possibly injured (and probably hypothermic)? Paddling a two person ducky in there is about the only way I can think of; then paddling out with a (possibly injured) passenger, and one paddler in a two person duck. I have not done the run yet. So I would like to ask those who have done it over 1000, would it be reasonable to paddle a two person duck down there, maybe with one paddler and one injured victim, at levels like 1000? Are there any heli landing sites at all?

In a discussion with a buddy, one of the rangers down there asked a buddy essentially "how can we tell if boaters are prepared to go in there"? Well, here is one way, that they can verify with their own permit records; without Westwater-style inspections:

1. Continue to allow first timers in the Narrows a permit at the <600cfs level (I could argue for 650 based on the AW run description).
2. If you've done it before (verifiable by the Parks own permit records), then you could get a permit up to say 1000cfs.
3. If everyone in your group has done it between 600-1000, and everyone is prepared (recommend drysuits, etc), then you could get a permit over 1000.

How else are they going to minimize rescues in there? Put yourself in the shoes of the guys who are called upon to go in there to do a rescue, and see what else you can think of. (packraft? 10 foot raft?)

In my comments to the NPS about the Virgin, I mentioned that I think the park should have a budget for removing riverwide logs from the Narrows. That has been the main danger I keep hearing about in there. They built a paved trail to the top of Angels Landing; as well as roads and facilities throughout the park; why not take out the most lethal danger to boaters in the Narrows, and avoid exposing rescuers to dangerous conditions, spending $$$ on helicopter rescues and so forth? The log removal work could be done at a time when it would least impact other hikers; such as in the late winter.

If those ideas make sense to you, feel free to include them in your comments.

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