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Old 09-01-2012   #51
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 520
Originally Posted by mkashzg View Post
I will be happily launching on the 6th on a one boat motor trip with a group from Florida that range in age from 50 to 70+. The company I work for does motor, oar and kayak trips and I am fortunate enough to get to do all 3 although I live in CO and work in the software industry and don't do a full summer schedule. When my brother started working for said company and started running motors in the early 90's I thought he had sold out but it turns out that if you are working down there for 5+ months a year it is a very comfortable way to travel not to mention that the economics are much better with that ratio of guides to clients. Most all of our guides do both oar and motor trips each season and have a good perspective of both groups.

Yes you could say that I am selling out but I can just say you are jealous that I am doing 4 trips down the ditch this year and getting paid well for it. I have only been guiding part time now for the last 10 years and only have about 35 trips but consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to be down there every year on any craft they want to send me on.

If you are worried about the environment we only typically use about 50 gallons of gas from Lee's Ferry to Pearce Ferry and that is also twined up on the run out from the helicopter pad. That is about 3 gallons per person for the week and allot less than they would use at home for the said week. One of our jobs as a guide is to educate the public on the outdoors and how to preserve the environment. The last time I checked I think roughly 75% of the people that see the Grand do it from a motor rig meaning we are educating the masses and hopefully making a difference as otherwise many of these people would never come down and become activists to the environment whether it is for the Grand or their neighborhood park. Yes motor rigs are a pain in the ass to get on and off but so is a toilet.

My .02 cents... Rant all you want, there will be no reponse as none is needed.

See ya on the river!
Well put old friend!

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Old 09-01-2012   #52
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
My thoughts on wilderness

I often find it interesting that the discussion of wilderness revolves solely around the topic of motorized vs. non-motorized travel. To me this misses the point of what wilderness offers me. When I venture into wild places I look to challenge myself, work hard, look within, be scared, feel rejuvenated, test my limits and spend time with good people. To me it is a deep rooted sense of being human.

As for the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, it can certainly provide that experience to me at certain times throughout the year. Same goes for the side canyons down there. On the few trips I've done down there both hiking and rafting, I've experienced the things listed above, and I have also experienced the busy crowds that detract from the place.

I don't care if motors are used or not. To me the wilderness values of the place are diminished with large groups of people, trash, habituated critters, social trailing, footprints on the beach and other signs that I am not alone. To me a drunken night of Bocce with the neighboring camp is not wilderness. At the same time, feeling the adrenaline the next day of scouting a big rapid or exploring a lesser known canyon is.

As the debate continues, does eliminating motors from a place truly change the wilderness? Would a formal Congressional designation enhance the human experience? Something tells me it would come with additional management requirements of the NPS, and potentially more red tape for river runners and backcountry users.

One more question is would designation help maintain and preserve the amazing natural qualities that the Grand Canyon is famous for?


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Old 09-02-2012   #53
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Greater tri cities metro area, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 794
Originally Posted by montuckyhuck View Post
Uh oh, ya got me pal! I already said I was a hypocrite on that one. I bust my ass dawn to dusk trying to live as self sufficient and sustainable lifestyle as possible. I just reread my post and I didn't see where I said you need to feel the same way, or do what I do. I don't like motor sports, can I please be aloud to feel that way?
You absolutely can... the only difference is that someone who is asking to have a type of recreation removed because they don't like it, is essentially asking that someone else's form of fun be removed, but that theirs should be left for them to enjoy.

Without trying to be TOO dickish... does it not make sense to you that this is pretty fukn selfish?

As to what I feel is most important... it doesn't matter, because I'm not trying to shut anyone out of anywhere. I'm perfectly willing to live & let live. I may bitch about all the citiots who drive by my home each weekend to escape the slums they live in, but I'm not asking that they be restricted from coming up & enjoying the areas that I call home, or that I prefer to enjoy with less people.

I'm not a fan of the hordes, nor am I a fan of stinking motor boats on the river, but I simply understand that just because I sacrifice to live where I live & do the sports I do in the way I do them, doesn't mean that someone else has chosen to make the same choices. People have fun in different ways.
Discover Denver, stay there!
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Old 09-02-2012   #54
kikii875's Avatar
Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
What they don't know, and are being sold, is that getting in and out of big motorized tour boats is really hard, and as the studies have shown, 9 out of 10 folks who have done both trips choose the oar trip over the motor trip.
Ten out of ten people that didn't feel comfortable in a row boat or preferred a motor boat didn't participate in that study because they didn't go on a row trip. The results are flawed.
I will have to catch up on this conversation in 11 days or so. I am off to overpopulate and to bring noise polution to the canyon.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 09-03-2012   #55
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Hi Kiki, not sure how you can flaw a study when you poll folks who went on both types of trips and then picked one over the other.

The bottom line here is the Colorado River in Grand Canyon lacks wilderness protection and is motorized due to political gerrymandering in 1980.

To Rich Phillps, the Wilderness Act allows for historic motorized access to private in-holdings. There are no private in-holdings in Grand Canyon.

The bottom line is the Wilderness Act itself speaks to how the river should be managed. Yes, we lost in court, but the issues that drove us there are far from settled.

Best to you all, tom
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Old 09-03-2012   #56
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Hi Tom,

Limited time for response, as I'm headed for more distant places for a few weeks, where there are very few electrons flying around.

Folks can look at - 1964 Wilderness Act and can see how Section 4 of the Wilderness Act (which has been has been held to apply to the Department of Interior as well as Agriculture) says,

"...Within wilderness areas designated by this Act the use of aircraft or motorboats, where these uses have already become established, may be permitted to continue subject to such restrictions as the Secretary of Agriculture deems desirable."

Nothing about inholdings there.

Actually, the piece of documentation I like to think about when I ponder RRFW's position is Judge Campbell's Federal court ruling, where he described the logical result of RRFW's position.

"Plaintiffs contend that this cumulative analysis should have caused the Park Service to eliminate sounds from motorized river traffic. But if a cumulative analysis were to result in the elimination of all sounds that can be eliminated by the Park Service in this case, all sounds other than aircraft overflights, which are not within the jurisdiction of the Park Service then all human activity in the Park would be eliminated."

Now I'm pretty sure that isn't the kind of result most folks will support RRFW in achieving.

Gotta go.

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Old 09-03-2012   #57
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Flagstaff, Arizona
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 817
Hi Rich, have fun where ever you go.

The intent of the act was to allow preexisting access to private inholdings, not allow commercial interests to profit with motorized use in an area with wilderness character. By Campbell's logic, there should be NO wilderness areas.

The NPS knew this in the 1970's when they first tried to deal with the wilderness question. Nothing has changes since. Wilderness character for the river, and now with ever increasing threats to the backcountry of the Park, continues to degrade.

All the best, tom
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Old 09-03-2012   #58
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 377
Personally I have nothing against the motor trips. I have done one oar trip, and five years later we chartered a private motor trip. Both trips were nearly 3 weeks long, but on the motor trip, we got to surf some awesome waves all day long and then motor to camp. The oar trip was in October and was a bit more private as we were not passes as often. No big deal there. On both trips, the motor rigs were barely audible as they passed and then they were gone. Those two trips were pretty awesome for me, and I bet the people on the shorter week long trips also had a great time. I would not support a motor ban
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Old 09-03-2012   #59
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silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 85
Well correct me if i am wrong, but if you don't want to see motor rigs get a low use permit. Whats the problem?
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Old 09-03-2012   #60
Aspen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
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Originally Posted by bluebtr View Post
Well correct me if i am wrong, but if you don't want to see motor rigs get a low use permit. Whats the problem?
Kind of like folks who get all butthurt when they have to interact with mtn bikes or dirt bikes on legal mtn and dirtbike trails. There are other places to go if those activities are really offensive. Or different times in the case of the GC.

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