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Old 05-30-2014   #31
FrankC's Avatar
Golden, CO
Paddling Since: 1856
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by Jahve View Post
As far as it being man made it was before and folks died in the old man made structure... No one has been killed by the "AHRA" hole yet.
Great name for the hole. Maybe call it the "A" Hole for short.

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Old 05-30-2014   #32
Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 10
My two cents as a former local, raft guide, and now hydraulic engineer,
My family lived below Silver Bullet on river left for 10 years and I guided for Jahve (whats up!). I work as a River Engineer now and I haven't seen the modifications nor do I know the whole story yet, however, from professional experience, the short story is that designing and modeling any modification in a river to meet multiple objectives over a large range of flows can be complex and difficult with lots of uncertainty, hence the multiple fixes that have happened and the large amount of cost. I can also understand the liability if someone were to get seriously hurt (the lawyers always win).

I think it is important for boaters to get the message across to AHRA in some way that isn't unsafe (let's try to avoid a Cliven Bundy parade) to improve the situation in the future. I hope somebody has spoke up to AHRA to get their designer and construction crew out there to collect field data (photos, water surface elevations, velocities, etc.) to hopefully amend the stickiness of the problem after runoff without too much additional work. Shouldn't have to be another $400k.


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Old 05-30-2014   #33
Paddling Since: 96
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Originally Posted by nathanfey View Post
Representatives from AW and Colorado Whitewater, and several local interests, will be discussing this issue with AHRA staff this afternoon. Stay tuned for more information.
Awesome! Thanks for the info Nathan.
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Old 05-30-2014   #34
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 121
I have related this story on this forum before....

I believe it was 1995...big water year for most of the west but, ID was raging. My friend and I arrive at the murtaugh (Snake) put-in for a quick "let's see what it's like" run. Flow was well over 20,000+ and we found a deputy had been stationed there who told us the sheriff declared the river "unsafe" and thus closed for all river travel. He threatened to ticket or arrest us if we tried to enter. Of course, we made an alternate put-in and enjoyed a big wave..big water...mostly "washed out" experience.

My paddling partner, Bill, was a writer for the Magic Valley newspaper and the next issue he wrote a scathing and sarcastic article. In essence, he acknowledged that although he thought it proper that the sheriff issue warnings....he ought not to be using law enforcement &/or threat of confinement to close the river and determining the river "safe" vs "not safe" as accidents happen at all water levels. Tongue in cheek, I recall that he encouraged anyone injured following the river re-opening by the promptly sue that agency as a result of it being declared "safe." Deputies gone, river "re-opened" the following day.

I dont know the situation over there or agencies involved, and have never seen that river feature. Circumstances & players sound different too. I am mainly just posting this to relate a fond memory and would really like a high water year to go by, everyone enjoy it, and live to paddle another year.

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Old 05-30-2014   #35
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
I agree AHRA shouldn't be able to close this stretch. I also think this rapid should be approached with extreme caution right now and a "protest float" is probably not a good idea. It's great to hear in this post how many people have run it with very little problems, but reality is the Boat Chute is pretty full-on at these levels and the protracted swim resulting in fucking up the hole could be disastrous. Maybe AHRA needs to post signs, similar to Frog Rock, preceding the rapid...

I was there a few days ago training some rookies and was shocked at how violent and channelized Silver Bullet was. The hole move is super precise and still a huge hit, and I can't stress enough how terrible the half-mile swim would likely be for most people. The eddy and portage are also not too great, and the eddy to re-launch recircs pretty strongly back into the hole. Mad props to the Buf. Joe's boat with the perfect line that still broke the guide's paddle in half. Our four boats decided to portage, it took forever, and after seeing this notice I am especially happy with our decision at the time to suck up our pride and actually walk the thing. I think that since this one rapid is on an otherwise pretty tame stretch, extreme caution and fair warning to need be implemented in the very least.
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Old 05-30-2014   #36
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, Colorado
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Today's meeting of AHRA, American Whitewater, Colorado Whitewater, CTF, and local outfitter representatives was helpful for all involved. Stay tuned for the next post/Press Release on this issue. There's more to the story, and I think everyone will be pleased with the information that is forthcoming.
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Old 05-30-2014   #37
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Thank you for everything Nathan.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 05-30-2014   #38
Breckenridge, 80424
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Apr 2014
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AHRA does not have the authority to close River

AHRA does not have the authority to close this section of river. A river that is phsically navigable in rafts, kayaks, and canoes is navigable for commerce clause purposes under FEDERAL LAW. THEY CANNOT BE CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC UNDER ERRONEOUS NOTIONS ABOUT STATE LAW. AHRA can only close the river when there is a search and rescue situation or a natural disaster. THIS IS NEITHER THIS IS ENGINEERING GONE BAD WAY BAD.
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Old 05-31-2014   #39
The next zone, .
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Not sure when the press release will get out but here is my take.

I have talked with more than a handful of boaters, many business folks here in BV, as well as others who are rightfully angry and seriously questioning the AHRA's decision not only to close the section but also question why it is necessary to put a big red ugly sign every 20 feet around every BV put in that reads THE RIVER IS CLOSED when in reality it is not. Since it is Saturday and since a lot of these questions are spinning into rumors I thought a update was needed before the press release gets out.

I was kindly asked to be part of the discussion yesterday with Nathan and 7-8 others including the private boater CTF reps yesterday about the closure.

This is my take - there was a lot of talk of the state statute and the short of it is that AHRA as well as their lawyer's feel that they do have the authority to close the river - so it will stay closed but only to rafters.

Under the statute kayaks and canoes are exempted from the statute and the AHRA said they would not be detaining or ticketing kayaks or canoes who run this section as they can not under the statute close the river to these 2 types of craft. The exemption is very clear and again the AHRA agreed that kayaks or canoes can run the section anytime you want but the AHRA advises that no one run the section.

The AHRA also explicitly said or made it very very clear in the meeting that they made the decision to close the section only after the firm that designed and built the feature came up to the boat chute, looked at what they had designed then built, and officially advised that the river be closed to all forms of boaters. Since the AHRA put so much emphasis on this in the meeting I thought is was worthy of mention.

So the river is not "closed" and I would doubt after the discussion that even if you run it in a raft you will get detained but who knows.

The AHRA had to get out the word that they royally screwed up the fix and dont want someone to die or get hurt as the firm that built it as is worried about liability.

Thats it so the river is not closed in any shape way or form to kayaks/canoes but if you are a private rafter it is. That is what the press release will inform the public of when ever the AHRA gets it out. For Commercial rafting this section will be looked at the same way as a high water advisory and this section will be avoided until the flows come down.

Thanks to Nathan for pushing the issue yesterday and for clarification from the lawyers as well as AHRA reps on the call as it was interesting to listen to the discussion about river closures and the opinions of why both the firm that built the feature and the AHRA felt it necessary in this situation. Also thanks to all of you on the buzz who gave your opinion.
"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 05-31-2014   #40
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Posts: 4,207
I too was invited to take part in the conference call, but unfortunately was unable. I would like to thank the AHRA for reaching out to private boaters and inviting several of us to be involved in the discussion.

Thanks for getting this updated information out there Jahvea. As you stated, the timing is critical with a busy high water weekend on tap.

Also a very big thank you to Nathan and AW for stepping up to represent the private boating community so quickly.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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arkansas, arkansas river, ark

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