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Old 02-05-2015   #1
FatmanZ's Avatar
NOCO, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1990
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Posts: 582
Browns Canyon Lottery on

When Browns Canyon is approved for National Monument status, how long will it be until we're applying for permits on

Before I get flamed for posting the question, note this isn't a troll and I'm not advocating against the status. Rather I'm trying to better understand the long term implications.

I think many or perhaps most would agree that during the peak summer months Browns Canyon is overcrowded and over-used, and the increase in use vs negative effects on the river corridor is not sustainable in the long run. There has to be a tipping or breaking point at which time one or more involved agencies will need to implement a lottery based use system to decrease the use and abuse.

When that day comes, what will be the results? Will we apply for permits on Will it be as restrictive as GC and Gates, with one float per year? Will it be as difficult to get permits as is the Middle Fork (average of 3%-4% chance)? Will the application be as expensive as GC and Gates, or less expensive? Will the available permits be equally split between private and commercial? Will cancellations be easily available?

Are there any other viable long term options other than moving to a lottery based permit system?

If answers to the questions above available elsewhere, kindly point me in the general direction and I'll continue doing homework.

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Old 02-05-2015   #2
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BZN, Montana
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Private boating is/will be trampled on browns just like in the grand. Private concessionaires will be provided better access and drastically more influence in decision making.

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Old 02-05-2015   #3
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Sorry, but... hahahaha

I guess you could call that a flame...
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Old 02-05-2015   #4
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
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im confused.... I thought it was not going to have an effect on private boaters... if anything they should dramatically reduce the number of commercial trips... that's the majority of the traffic in my eyes...

Phil or Logan or others, please shed some light...
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Old 02-05-2015   #5
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Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
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It already is heavily rationed with the max being 360 commercial boats in a day. The numbers of private boaters on the river are relatively quite small. Many days during the height of the season one can see in excess of 200 commercial boats and hardly a dozen privates. There are exceptions, but that is only true a couple of days a year. Days when there are more privates than commercial the over-all numbers are so small it's not even busy.

The only real over crowding issue I see is for overnight trips and camp sites. But again, even that only gets anywhere near capacity one or two days a season. And the vast majority of those are commercial or the occasional yahoo who posts up at the same camp for multiple nights in a row. Such as July 4th weekend.

Don't get me wrong, Browns Canyon can sure become a crowded scene at times, but those overly crowded times are not really all that frequent when you look at the entirety of the boatable season. Also, I do not see the user numbers significantly increasing anyway. 2014 was up for commercial numbers from the year before, but (like the Recession) we aren't were we were a decade ago.
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Old 02-06-2015   #6
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Rivervibe is absolutely right. Browns Canyon is a state park. There are officials and organizations who negotiate permit and rationing numbers for the commercials. There has not been any increased use of the canyon....if you find it too crowded stop floating it on Saturday afternoons...

In order to initiate a lottery system there would be a long, drawn out period of public scoping before anything would be done, and park managers are strongly against this.
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 02-06-2015   #7
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Another BIG factor is that the river corridor is not even included in the proposed Monument...only the uplands. In fact there is a 50' buffer around the railroad tracks/Union Pacific property. So even though it has been made clear that management of the lands included in the monument would remain under the same jurisdiction as now, that doesn't matter because the river won't be part of it...
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 02-06-2015   #8
Carbondale, Colorado
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thanks logan... makes me feel much better....
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Old 02-06-2015   #9
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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I heard that they're putting in a slot machine at Fish Bridge. You put in $7 and pull the lever. If you get all cherries it spits out a Browns permit. If not you have to run Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Seems like the best lottery system for a day run...
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Old 02-06-2015   #10
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C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
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It's only a matter of time till they put a permit system in place. It's all about how many boats go down the river each day. In the past, as most of you know, private boaters have exceeded that number a couple of times with big threats of implementing a permit system. The low water year of 2002 helped to keep the number of private boats a day down, and break the rhythm of usage. The numbers have slowly been coming back up to the level that it could put the permit system into place.

One of the hopes of this monument designation is to bring more people into the area and boost the local economy. This is what will eventually bring the private boater numbers back up to the trigger point of "having to" implement a permit system to control the number of boats allowed in Browns Canyon on any given day.

I can see the point on both sides of the argument for making it a National Monument.....but I'm still not convinced it's a good thing for private boaters and is no guarantee that a permit system is far in the future. It may be closer than you think.

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browns, browns canyon

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