Bailey Access Issues: Please read - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-13-2010   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,107
Bailey Access Issues: Please read

Note to bailey paddlers. The farmers union property that paddlers put in on was sold to Rawhide flyfishers, and is now managed by Freestone Aquatics. I contacted Clint from Freestone Aquatics about the upcoming bailey release in aug and spoke to him about access issues. Clint said he hadn't had any formal discussions with the boating community about using the access, but that he is fine with the put-in arrangement continuing. He noted that they built a new fence at the put in road with a little space left at the river so boaters could walk around vs. climbing over the fence. Nice. He also noted that they financed the construction of a kayak launch at McGraw park behind the ATF store in Bailey (steps and a launch rock). Thanks!

Clint told me that he's had many good interactions with the boating community, and he was a nice, open, friendly guy to talk to. He did have a couple of points he wanted to reiterate to the boating community. First off... he noted that he is OK with the current put in arrangement as long as boaters act responsibly. As in the past, blocking the driveway, urinating on the ground (vs. the river), leaving trash etc. will ensure quick removal of our access on their property. He noted a few examples of bad behavior that he has witnessed. He wasn't too upset about it, but it won't take much to screw up access here. Please be courteous, park respectfully to allow access to the road, don't piss on the ground (go in the river or at the takeout), and make sure trash (whether its yours or not) is not on the ground when you leave.

Another discussion topic was that landowners around 4 falls have a pretty bad impression of kayakers. I met one of the guys a few years ago and he seemed fairly mellow. Clint noted that one of the landowners ran into boaters and said that the boater got confrontational and belligerent when told that he was on private property. Clint noted that all it takes is one bad apple to sour land owners on kayakers. Please be respectful of private property owners around 4 falls. Don't urinate on the banks, please do it in the river. Don't drop any trash. If you run into landowners, please be courteous and non-confrontational. Explain to them that you want to scout or portage a difficult set of drops and that paddlers need to quickly scout rapids for logs that could be fatal if in the wrong place. Tell them you will be quick, and will be along the way as quickly as possible. Confrontations won't do anything good for the boating community.

This isn't new, its the same story it has been for years, but I thought it was a good time to bring it up before the Bailey release. Its also good for the newer bailey boaters to hear about these issues.

Also, they did some riverbed work to improve fish habitat in the flatwater paddle in. Haven't seen it yet, but clint said he didn't think it would be an issue for kayakers.

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Old 07-13-2010   #2
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
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Thanks for all you have done.

It is necessary to maintain favorable relationships and access for any river, especially this one. Bailey is one of the best runs anywhere. I hope the August 14 event crowds experience it without incidents and with great enjoyment for all. Let's all exercise especially great respect and kindness to landowners and fisherman there, please.

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
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Old 07-13-2010   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,634

Thanks from all boaters for representing us to Denver Water and the rest of the water management community. Someone correct me if I'm wrong but to my knowledge this is the first recreational release on the Front Range. Nice going! Hopefully our friends that control the tunnel will realize the benefits boaters bring to the area and this could become more routine!

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 07-14-2010   #4
Mad Scientist/Creeker
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Ian - you're the man! Getting this release is a huge step towards securing future releases on numerous stretches across the State and what better place to start than Bailey. For more info on the release go here American Whitewater - Releases Scheduled for the North Fork South Platte (CO)
Evan Stafford
Cub boater: "What do the spiders mean?" Old fart boater: "Trust your intuition." CRCII
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Old 07-14-2010   #5
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Geologist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
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Strong work with everything Ian.

When running Bailey: always grab at least one piece of trash and stuff it in your PFD/Drytop/Boat and escort it out of the canyon. Excellent river karma is instantly granted and has always ensured perfect lines for the day to anyone who does it. You don't believe me? Try it!
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Old 07-14-2010   #6
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
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An Idea

I hunt. On several farms that I have been granted access, I always give small christmas gifts to say thanks. It's turned access from an issue to a friendship over time. For those of you that frequent this stretch, if you find out the details on the land owner, that good will could be huge?
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Old 07-14-2010   #7
the fort, Colorado
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minor suggestion here: as both a fly-fisherman and a boater, i try to give a wide berth to fly fishermen when i'm in my kayak. nothing puts fish down quicker than something zooming over their head, and that's the surefire to ruin a fly-fisherman's otherwise good day. so the next time you boat bailey, maybe give a little extra room to the folks that probably pay a lot of money to fish that water, whether they're on a guide trip or not.
By the waterside I will lay my head.
Listen to the river sing sweet songs to rock my soul.
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Old 07-14-2010   #8
Denver, Colorado
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Good suggestions for clean up, giving fisherman a wide berth, and forging good will with the land owners.

Andy, not sure about historical rec releases, but this is the first time denver water has done this on the south platte water delivery system. My intention is to make this an annual thing, assuming this one goes off well.

Thanks for the props guys. I've got some ideas in the work for future releases as well. The bailey deal is the culmunation of about 3 years of talking to water folks, figuring out the delivery systems, being told "No" about 1000 times, and finally getting a plan that denver water bought in to. I've been working the big T and big south as well, but have not had any success there yet. I'll keep on trying. There are a lot of opportunities in colorado for releases...
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Old 07-14-2010   #9
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Boulder, Colorado
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Originally Posted by jonny water View Post
When running Bailey: always grab at least one piece of trash and stuff it in your PFD/Drytop/Boat and escort it out of the canyon. Excellent river karma is instantly granted and has always ensured perfect lines for the day to anyone who does it. You don't believe me? Try it!
That's funny, I have the same tradition. That eddy below the first fall in 4 falls always has lots of trash in it, so each time I grab a piece and put in my boat. I don't really believe in karma, but I don't like trash in the rivers.

I agree that the property owners around Bailey have been great to boaters. Being sensitive to the property at the put-in and 4 Falls is especially important. I always portage the first fall in 4 falls. Once we saw some people fishing in the normal put-in eddy. We waved and put-in downstream so as not to disturb them. I think some small considerations go a long ways to good relations. I'd be happy to pitch in some money for some kind of annual gift as well.
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Old 07-16-2010   #10
Join Date: May 2005
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Thank you for all your hard work in ensuring that this remains one of the best late season paddling spots in the state.
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