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Old 02-21-2015   #1
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18
Yellowstone + Paddling = ????

As you may have heard, there was a bill introduced in Congress that would require Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks to study the feasibility of allowing paddling on certain stretches of river. There is a three year time frame for the study, so no one will be launching their boats anytime soon.....I am wondering what people think of the possibility of dipping your paddle in that sacred water. Yellowstone + Paddling = Heaven OR Yellowstone + Paddling = Hell.

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Old 02-21-2015   #2
Colorado, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 131
fuck them. Do it anyways.

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Old 02-21-2015   #3
windriver's Avatar
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 66
Heaven - and is long over due. The Greater Yellowstone region is full of public lands that many including myself would consider sacred. Paddling on rivers running through these lands has not denigrated the resources, but rather increased the stewardship an awareness of how special they are. A few years ago the Snake River was designated as a Wild and Scenic through efforts of conservation minded paddlers. Sure Alpine Canyon seems a little crowded at times, but I'd imagine Yellowstone waters would be managed differently.

Hikers, horseback riders, fisherman, etc. already utilize the trails adjacent to Yellowstone rivers - why not the occasional paddler? Paddling is arguably the lowest impact activity of the previous mentioned. I've spent a lot of time in the Yellowstone backcountry and have been slightly annoyed by rank horse poop next to my campsite, noisy hikers, and tangled piles of fishing line left behind. I'm sure a brightly colored kayak will annoy some photographers, or boisterous paddlers floating by somebodies campsite will draw ire at times. Overall, I think it's one more great way to enjoy our National Parks; with 3 years for the park managers to study how to manage it I think it can coexist with other recreation and conservation efforts already in place. .02
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Old 02-22-2015   #4
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18
Hey Beater Boater- plenty of people have disregarded the regulations and done some epic trips. For me it is a bit of a buzz kill to know that if there is a ranger around the next bend, they are going to confiscate my gear and kick me out of the park. Some are willing to take the risk....

Wind River- I agree, I have floated many backcountry rivers in the Greater Yellowstone and have never seen where floaters have degraded natural resources. But will that change when the masses arrive in Yellowstone for their permitted floating adventure?
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Old 02-22-2015   #5
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
There's a couple geyers I've been scoping out that could be awesome to ride in a kayak. Hope this thing goes through.
The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 02-22-2015   #6
Myka's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 98
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 65
Yellowstone is worth it regardless of legality status just saying...
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Old 02-22-2015   #7
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,911
While it would be great to have paddling in Yellowstone, it seems there was a recent similar bill that had paddling in Yellowstone but also included lots of environmentally disastrous things along with it. I don't remember the details but it was kind of like, "Hey we'll open up Yellowstone to paddlers, and also open up strip mining in Grand Teton Park!"

Does anyone know any details behind the bill the OP is talking about? Hopefully it's not something designed to pit one group of conservation/recreationalists against another, like the one I'm thinking of seemed to be.

As long as it doesn't come with nasty strings attached, that would be great.

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 02-22-2015   #8
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
I don't recall any bill that would open GTNP to strip mining.
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Old 02-22-2015   #9
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 18
Here is a link to the current bill:

Last time around the bill did get bundled with some pretty yucky stuff from other regions of the country (that's politics…) Maybe this time it can be judged on its merits alone.
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Old 02-22-2015   #10
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
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The bill Andy is referring to occurred because many proposed bills were rolled into a single bill. It put the Jellystone paddling proposal alongside massively expanding timber operations in currently protected areas and a few other things. The original bill was not drafted to include the other craziness but a congress bent on obstructionism killed the proposal.

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