Public Comment Needed For Upper Ark! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-07-2016   #1
 
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Public Comment Needed For Upper Ark!

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area seeks comment on Management Plan revision

SALIDA, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service are seeking public input on the management plan revision for recreation use along the Arkansas River. The Arkansas River Headwaters Area Management Plan provides a framework for managing numerous and often conflicting recreation activities along the 152-mile river corridor. The public scoping period starts on Jan. 11 and ends on Feb. 12, 2016.

The Arkansas River is the most commercially rafted river in the United States, drawing nearly 240,000 (1) commercial boaters and resulting in an economic impact of more than 60 million dollars (2). The Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area is also popular for camping, wildlife watching, gold panning and numerous other river-related recreation activities, including its Gold Medal Trout Fishery.

“It is important for the public to engage in the Arkansas River Headwaters Area Management Plan because it provides a long-term framework for recreation decisions on the river,” said Rob White, CPW Park Manager. “Many of the complex natural resource issues we deal with have long-term consequences. This planning effort enables the AHRA partnership to develop a lasting framework for recreation management decisions.”

CPW, BLM, and USFS are inviting the public to a series of meetings to help guide the AHRA partnership as they develop the AHRA Management Plan. The open-house meetings will run from 5:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. and will feature an introduction at 6 p.m. The meetings will also feature a focus-group style station to help the AHRA partnership understand why you value current recreation opportunities on the river. The meeting schedule is:

Buena Vista (Jan. 25, 5:45-8 p.m., Buena Vista Community Center, 715 E. Main St)

Canon City (Jan. 26, 5:45-8 p.m., Harrison Elementary/Middle School, 485 N. Cottonwood Ave)

Colorado Springs (Jan. 27, 5:45-8 p.m., CPW Southeast Regional Office, 4255 Sinton Rd)

Denver (Jan. 28, 5:45-8 p.m., REI Flagship Store, 1416 Platte St, Denver)


Based on public comments received during the scoping period, the AHRA partnership will develop a series of alternatives, which will be available for public review. Once those alternatives are revised based on public feedback, a draft environmental assessment will be published for public input (estimated Fall 2016). A final plan is expected to be signed in early 2017.

The current AHRA Management Plan can be found here: Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Publications

For more information please contact AHRA at 719-539-7289 or to submit a comment visit the AHRA website at: Colorado Parks & Wildlife - Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment -- including your personal identifying information -- may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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Old 01-07-2016   #2
 
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Here is the website where you can comment if you are unable to attend a meeting:

Colorado Parks & Wildlife - AHRA Plan Revision

and there is some background information on what got the process to this point in this thread:

Arkansas River Management Plan Revision.
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Old 01-11-2016   #3
 
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Bump.

It's important as private boaters that we speak up in this process. Let the AHRA know what you want to see happen with the state park over the next 20 years. A big point we should all make is to stress how important it is that they maintain the Upper Arkansas as a freely open river to private boaters. No permits! The day that they will have to make a decision regarding this issue on section 3 (Salida East to Rincon) is quickly drawing near. Make your voice heard!
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Old 01-11-2016   #4
 
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As a private boater on the Arkansas, I have to ask at what point does more "management" have a diminishing return?

If we see permits on Browns Canyon or the lower sections, we will just end with more users on the Numbers and Royal Gorge. So families with Class III equipment and skills will be running Class !V.

I would like to see the new put-in above #1 in the Numbers built.
But then the Numbers turns into a shitshow like Browns.

I would like to see the dam below Granite cleaned up, but then we would have much more traffic on Pine Creek.

Would love to see the bridge below #1 raised, but that helps out a handful of boaters, only at extreme high water.

At some point more management means more problems!
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Old 01-11-2016   #5
 
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I'm going to try and make it to the C Springs one.
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Old 01-12-2016   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
As a private boater on the Arkansas, I have to ask at what point does more "management" have a diminishing return?

If we see permits on Browns Canyon or the lower sections, we will just end with more users on the Numbers and Royal Gorge. So families with Class III equipment and skills will be running Class !V.

I would like to see the new put-in above #1 in the Numbers built.
But then the Numbers turns into a shitshow like Browns.

I would like to see the dam below Granite cleaned up, but then we would have much more traffic on Pine Creek.

Would love to see the bridge below #1 raised, but that helps out a handful of boaters, only at extreme high water.

At some point more management means more problems!
I agree about permits. Initiating a permit program on one section only displaces those users to another section and eventually leads to permitting of the entire river. Although current managers have absolutely no desire to see this happen, they won't be running the state park forever...

The new Numbers launch and campground is slated for the ground breaking this year.

Not sure what ever happened about cleaning up Granite Dam. Last I heard they had received matching funds from the state to clean it up, but this was several years ago...

Haven't heard any talk of raising the old Scott's bridge.

I agree about the negatives of increased regulation and think it's important to maintain things in their current state without new rules or price increases. Please take the time to fill out the comment form on the link provided above. The more private boaters that speak up, the better. You better believe commercial and fishermen will be vocal about what they want to see.
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Old 01-12-2016   #7
 
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Thanks for keeping us informed, as you said the other users are going to be vocal so we as private boaters need to be as well.

I have the denver date on my calendar and will be attending.
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Old 01-14-2016   #8
 
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Correction

The address for the Canon City meeting was wrong. The location is:

Canon City (Jan. 26, 5:45-8 p.m., Harrison Elementary/Middle School, 920 Field St.)
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Old 01-25-2016   #9
 
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Bump
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Old 01-26-2016   #10
 
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The meeting in BV last night went well. Thank you to everyone who attended.

Reminder:

The Canon City meeting is tonight, with Colorado Springs tomorrow and Denver Thursday.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also wanted to provide an update to the inquiry regarding the new launch at Numbers...

Sounds like the AHRA just submitted their proposed plan of action to the Forest Service which means they are now looking at a 2017 ground breaking. Latest from Rob White makes it sound like the site will be a bit smaller than first anticipated with 3 pull through camp sites, 3 tent sites, a new commercial launch about 1/2 mile downstream from the existing site and river access from the "campground". The current Numbers launch will be decommissioned and no longer available for use.
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