I was on Westwater this weekend too. The ranger was LE, and for someone who was thrown into ranger duty, did a reasonably good job checking out the parties launching. After hearing rumors of a rush on the Canyon and wondering if it was going to be a madhouse, I was relieved to hear that someone was there keeping an eye on things.
If there is a ranger there, but no office, is it still possible to add people to our permitted trip? Or is the initial number set in stone?
Permit additions & changes have to come through the office, the office is closed , therefore it seems logical that you are stuck with the number on your permit. My group was asked how many we had, and it looked like he did a count on another group as they were launching. While that wouldn't have stopped anyone from launching with a larger group than the permit listed, it would have been very easy to identify the permit holder and impose penalties once the the shutdown is over.
We put a dozen rolls of toilet paper, bleach spray, and a brush on our tripcost and one of the Buzz's finest did a stellar job on cleaning up the toilets. Please pass it on by restocking them and having someone in your trip do a cleanup job.
Don't forget to water the cottonwoods at your campsite and others while the rangers aren't coming by to pump water into the barrels that drip irrigate them. Think of the shade they'll give us in a few years. There's one at ULD that's about 10 feet tall already but some others looked pretty sad.
Have good trips,