Public Comment Needed For Upper Ark! - Page 5 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-28-2016   #41
 
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Action Alert

Rob White (AHRA park manager) is looking for input from anyone who ran Numbers during Paddlefest this year. Apparently he has been given some information that it was crowded to the point of diminishing the experience and as part of the management plan revision they are considering lowering the private boater capacity from 350 per day to 150 per day.

Please send him an email at rob.white@state.co.us and let him know what your experience was like and that you hopefully are opposed to lowering private boater capacities.

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Old 07-28-2016   #42
 
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That's interesting, Logan. I have some questions:

1) was there a boat count that day to determine what the actual number of boaters was (perhaps it was 500?)

2) if the experience was diminished, what is the basis of setting a new limit at less than half (43%) of the current limit?

3) If this was an exceedence that happened during one particular weekend, is there a possibility that an allowance can be made for Paddlefest weekend in the future. Or could AHRA personnel or the boating community can be educated or other provisions be made to either mitigate crowding or to make people aware of the conditions so they can plan for it and adjust their expectations accordingly?

4) Will commercial operators be impacted by any reduction in capacity?

Thanks for the effort you're putting into this,

-AH
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Old 07-28-2016   #43
 
Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
That's interesting, Logan. I have some questions:

1) was there a boat count that day to determine what the actual number of boaters was (perhaps it was 500?)

2) if the experience was diminished, what is the basis of setting a new limit at less than half (43%) of the current limit?

3) If this was an exceedence that happened during one particular weekend, is there a possibility that an allowance can be made for Paddlefest weekend in the future. Or could AHRA personnel or the boating community can be educated or other provisions be made to either mitigate crowding or to make people aware of the conditions so they can plan for it and adjust their expectations accordingly?

4) Will commercial operators be impacted by any reduction in capacity?

Thanks for the effort you're putting into this,

-AH
From what I understand there were 150 private boaters the day of the numbers race. I'm not sure how they counted or if they estimated.

Can we vote to get rid of the AHRA instead? If any traffic needs to be limited it's commercial traffic. They're responsible for 90% of river fatalities, and the customers don't have any connection to the river like private boaters do therefore they don't care about it. This obviously won't happen because of $$$.

What exactly does the AHRA do besides clear river hazards (which private boaters do a fine job of everywhere else) and impose restrictions?
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Old 07-28-2016   #44
 
Bisters, Oregon
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How would they limit private boaters without a permit system? The 350-150 numbers seem arbitrary without physically restricting people at the various put-ins. Data collected from the whitewaterphotography website? I don't like the smell of this...
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Old 07-28-2016   #45
 
Bisters, Oregon
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What exactly does the AHRA do besides clear river hazards (which private boaters do a fine job of everywhere else) and impose restrictions?[/QUOTE]

The only officials Ive encountered on the river waved us over to their catarafts in the section above Royal Gorge. They wanted to let us know that they lost track of not 1, not 2, but 3 throw ropes that were stuck on logs and such and and out in the current. Awesome, thanks for that...
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Old 07-28-2016   #46
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
That's interesting, Logan. I have some questions:

1) was there a boat count that day to determine what the actual number of boaters was (perhaps it was 500?)

2) if the experience was diminished, what is the basis of setting a new limit at less than half (43%) of the current limit?

3) If this was an exceedence that happened during one particular weekend, is there a possibility that an allowance can be made for Paddlefest weekend in the future. Or could AHRA personnel or the boating community can be educated or other provisions be made to either mitigate crowding or to make people aware of the conditions so they can plan for it and adjust their expectations accordingly?

4) Will commercial operators be impacted by any reduction in capacity?

Thanks for the effort you're putting into this,

-AH
1) There was boat count I think every day of Memorial Day (Paddlefest) weekend. They actually have bean counters with a piece of paper physically compiling a list of who they see. Generally at the commercial put-in or take-out. 150 is the number I heard as well. It's the highest single day boat count ever in Numbers.

2) My belief is that if Rob thinks the experience is diminishing for the majority of the users that the AHRA needs to lower the acceptable boat count so that down the road they can somehow implement restrictions so that use doesn't continue to grow. They are in the process of revising the capacities for every stretch, and I assume he doesn't think it's that big of a deal since the capacity is currently so much higher than use.

3) Yes. They do this for Fibark, but I don't think they do it for any stretch of the Ark at Paddlefest except the BV park. Mitigating use by recommending alternate stretches and access points is what they usually do to reduce congestion.

4) This proposed change will only affect private boaters, it will in no way affect the number of commercial rafts allowed to float in any given day. There has been some talk of reducing commercial congestion through attrition and retiring of permits....but I'm not sure they have initiated that.

I personally ran safety for the Numbers race and sat in an eddy for like 3+ hours. I saw a lot of traffic come by, more than I have ever seen on that stretch, but everyone was happy and smiling. I definitely think that reducing private capacities is counter productive to what I believe the purpose of the State Park is. It should be managed to allow maximum access for private boaters, and if some commercial companies can turn a profit at the same time... that's great.
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Old 07-28-2016   #47
Misspellingintothefuture!
 
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It makes sense to keep the number of boaters on some rivers low, it is awesome to be on a wilderness run, and see no one, or almost no one, for day's.
We have wilderness rivers that are permitted to keep numbers down. The Arkansas is far from a wilderness run, we have a set of railroad tracks following almost the entire way, several highways do almost the same thing. There are multiple pieces of history along it's banks from more recent times, like old cabins, and sharp rail road track ends. Plenty of towns.

I say let people run some white water, and have a place to go when they can't pull a permit. It is not that hard to avoid crowds on the river, if you are not a moron. I used to be able to walk from raft to raft on big horn, but I could still have the place nearly to myself after guiding for the day, just put on later, evenings are really nice floating.
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Old 07-28-2016   #48
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Oh, by the way, all those boats were fellow commercial trips.
I think if commercial and private boater competition really got to bad on the Ark, a more reasonable solution could be to limit the number of private launches during busy day time hours, but not limit numbers for week day and evenings.
To me this would be an extreme measure, I think we can work things out on our own without more government intervention.
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Old 07-29-2016   #49
 
BV, CO
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Thanks for that info, Logan, and thanks for all you do that makes it possible for you to have that info.

I'd like to contribute a couple things re: AHRA. I don't think they are perfect, in part because some people I respect have complaints and concerns but my experience is we are darn lucky to have them. The Ark is an amazing river. It sees a lot of use. It will continue to see a lot of use. We need an organization to manage our use, plan for the future and protect the river. From where I sit, which is the seat of a kayak a hundred days a year, these are the good guys. Referring to them as, "the man", may feel good but misses the point that "they" are us. I know a lot of people in the organization from the front office to quite a few rangers and my experience is that they too love this rio and are conscientious in their efforts.

Carry on.
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