Browns Canyon National Monument Proposal - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 03-28-2013   #1
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Browns Canyon National Monument Proposal

Mark Udall, who chairs the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee, unveiled draft legislation today to create the Browns Canyon National Monument, covering 22,000 acres between Salida and Buena Vista in Chaffee County. AW has been active in supporting and helping shape the proposal which includes 10,500 acres of new wilderness and seeks to protect the most popular rafting destination in the country...

Read More...American Whitewater - Browns Canyon Of Arkansas River National Monument Proposal Released

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Old 03-28-2013   #2
 
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I realize that a National Monument is not the same as National Park, but they are administered by the same folks, and that each park has different regulations regarding paddling, but with the Rio Grande designation and now this, I need to ask: Do we really want the Park Service Administering our rivers? Examples:

1) Black Canyon- entrance fee, no fires, permit required- not so bad.
2) Cataract Canyon- being shaken down by gun toting rangers for no good reason (my personal experience).
3) Zion- stupid and counterproductive flow restriction.
4) Grand Canyon- took decades to make the permit system more reasonable for private boaters.
5) Yellowstone- stay out kayakers!
6) Yosemite- ditto.

So- my questions is- are we blindly supporting these designations because they say they will protect rivers, when what we will really recieve in return is management by people who are ill-informed and incompetent?

Not an attack- just a question, discuss.
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Old 03-28-2013   #3
 
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Agree w/ JMack.

The more layers of administrative beaurocracy we add to the management of our public lands, the less accessable they become...

-More regulations on use
-Addition of new (unnecessary) infrastructure and services
-Increased user fees
-Increased use of permitting to restrict access or increase revenue

The most egregious examples are Monuments that have been "promoted" to National parks,

but there are many examples of USFS/BLM public lands that have been "improved" much to the detriment of the resource and the users.


I am all for certain resource protections (that are in line with existing use patterns), but in my experience, increased layers of "oversight" have nothing but negative consequences.
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Old 03-28-2013   #4
 
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The big benefit to National Monument status is that the land is "withdrawn" from being public lands from a resource standpoint. So the land is no longer subject to mining, drilling, logging claims, etc. There are a number of environmental protections that come with this designation that don't exist in FS or BLM land. This is the benefit.

Is this benefit enough to justify the additional costs/accessibility issues that may come up? That's your call.
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Old 03-28-2013   #5
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JMack,
The Browns Canyon National Monument and Wilderness will NOT be managed by the Park Service - BLM, AHRA, and USFS will comanage the unit as they do currently.

Under the draft, no changes to permitting, user-days, or specific recreational facilities is proposed. All of those changes will be decided as part of the AHRA Management Plan, with significant opportunities for public input.

The discussion draft released by Udall does not protect the river or streamflows - there was significant pressure to carve out the bed and banks of the Ark, as well as the Railroad easement out of the NM boundaries - so this isn't a comprehensive river protection proposal as drafted. The intent is to preserve the landscape, and support jobs and the local economy. I'm interested in buzz'rds thoughts on the Monument Boundaries...

You refer to some good examples where the NPS has made management decisions that are not ideal for boaters or are inconsistent with NPS Policies. As you note for the Grand Canyon, getting changes in federal management takes time - an exhausting amount of time. But were working on it:
- Yosemite: American Whitewater - Project - Yosemite Whitewater (CA)
- Yellowstone: American Whitewater - Project - Yellowstone and Grand Teton
- Zion: American Whitewater - Help Evaluate Flows in the Virgin River and Zion National Park - UT

I would emphasize that the draft proposal released by Sen. Udall today, is a discussion draft intended to solicit specific feedback on the idea from stakeholders, such as paddlers. Take a look at the draft bill and let Udall (or me) know what works and what doesnt in the current draft. This is a good opportunity to ensure that our interests in the Ark stay intact, and for us to give the resource managers the benefit of our knowledge.




Quote:
Originally Posted by jmack View Post
I realize that a National Monument is not the same as National Park, but they are administered by the same folks, and that each park has different regulations regarding paddling, but with the Rio Grande designation and now this, I need to ask: Do we really want the Park Service Administering our rivers? Examples:

1) Black Canyon- entrance fee, no fires, permit required- not so bad.
2) Cataract Canyon- being shaken down by gun toting rangers for no good reason (my personal experience).
3) Zion- stupid and counterproductive flow restriction.
4) Grand Canyon- took decades to make the permit system more reasonable for private boaters.
5) Yellowstone- stay out kayakers!
6) Yosemite- ditto.

So- my questions is- are we blindly supporting these designations because they say they will protect rivers, when what we will really recieve in return is management by people who are ill-informed and incompetent?

Not an attack- just a question, discuss.
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Old 03-28-2013   #6
 
Boise, Idaho
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The only truism out there is that our public lands will not be managed as they were last decade and before. Management policies have to change; if they stay in federal control they will become more fragmented, use-defined and yes, access will be lost for certain uses in certain areas.

The flip side to this is the state assumes control and/or ownership. Sagebrush rebellion part deux is happening. Western states are looking for any way to "take back" public lands. No one that isn't a complete selfish moron wants this.




Quote:
Originally Posted by fella View Post
Agree w/ JMack.

The more layers of administrative beaurocracy we add to the management of our public lands, the less accessable they become...

-More regulations on use
-Addition of new (unnecessary) infrastructure and services
-Increased user fees
-Increased use of permitting to restrict access or increase revenue

The most egregious examples are Monuments that have been "promoted" to National parks,

but there are many examples of USFS/BLM public lands that have been "improved" much to the detriment of the resource and the users.


I am all for certain resource protections (that are in line with existing use patterns), but in my experience, increased layers of "oversight" have nothing but negative consequences.
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Old 03-28-2013   #7
 
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I am very happy with the monument boundaries. I have had significant concerns about potential closure of a handful of mountain bike trails that are located up near CR 182. Some of which are used by Elk Mountain Ranch. I had sent several letters to Udall and spoke with both local business owners and local FS rangers. Udall had committed to not closing any existing access and I am glad he stood by this. The trails in question are not currently part of the Fourmile Travel Management Plan, but are signed open to mountain bikes by government issue carsonite posts.

Overall, I am pleased. With the commitment of the AHRA to never make Browns a privately permitted stretch I see nothing but benefits.
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Old 03-28-2013   #8
 
Idaho, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmack View Post
I realize that a National Monument is not the same as National Park, but they are administered by the same folks, and that each park has different regulations regarding paddling, but with the Rio Grande designation and now this, I need to ask: Do we really want the Park Service Administering our rivers? Examples:

1) Black Canyon- entrance fee, no fires, permit required- not so bad.
2) Cataract Canyon- being shaken down by gun toting rangers for no good reason (my personal experience).
3) Zion- stupid and counterproductive flow restriction.
4) Grand Canyon- took decades to make the permit system more reasonable for private boaters.
5) Yellowstone- stay out kayakers!
6) Yosemite- ditto.

So- my questions is- are we blindly supporting these designations because they say they will protect rivers, when what we will really recieve in return is management by people who are ill-informed and incompetent?

Not an attack- just a question, discuss.


You can most likely forget about ever bringing your dog along in there. What happened to the sequestration? I thought the dept of interior had to cut back on expenses?
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Old 03-29-2013   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billfish View Post
You can most likely forget about ever bringing your dog along in there. What happened to the sequestration? I thought the dept of interior had to cut back on expenses?
why do people assume things like you won't be able to bring your dog because it's now going to be a monument? It is still going to be managed by the AHRA with oversight by the BLM. There are no proposed changes to the river corridor or the way state parks passes are issued. Without a lottery type permit system and a ranger station at the launch there will not be any way to enforce such regulations..... and the AHRA has committed to not changing these types of things.

If you want to actually express how important it is to you for the AHRA to stand behind their commitments, then I suggest trying to attend April's Citizen's Task Force Meeting in Salida. This is when they will begin a review of the last 10 years of the Arkansas River Travel Management Plan and begin to propose potential changes. Another good way to stay involved and express your concerns is to attend one of Udall's 2 upcoming public input meetings:

"Please review the proposed map and bill to the right and send me your comments using the form below.

You can also come to one of my public meetings:

• Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon. Noah’s Ark Whitewater Rafting Company, 23910 U.S. Highway 285 in Nathrop

• Saturday, May 18, 2013, on the Front Range, time and location TBA."

Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado
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Old 03-30-2013   #10
 
Idaho, Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmyers View Post
why do people assume things like you won't be able to bring your dog because it's now going to be a monument? It is still going to be managed by the AHRA with oversight by the BLM. There are no proposed changes to the river corridor or the way state parks passes are issued. Without a lottery type permit system and a ranger station at the launch there will not be any way to enforce such regulations..... and the AHRA has committed to not changing these types of things.

If you want to actually express how important it is to you for the AHRA to stand behind their commitments, then I suggest trying to attend April's Citizen's Task Force Meeting in Salida. This is when they will begin a review of the last 10 years of the Arkansas River Travel Management Plan and begin to propose potential changes. Another good way to stay involved and express your concerns is to attend one of Udall's 2 upcoming public input meetings:

"Please review the proposed map and bill to the right and send me your comments using the form below.

You can also come to one of my public meetings:

• Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 10 a.m. to noon. Noah’s Ark Whitewater Rafting Company, 23910 U.S. Highway 285 in Nathrop

• Saturday, May 18, 2013, on the Front Range, time and location TBA."

Mark Udall | U.S. Senator for Colorado
I know nothing about Browns Canyon but I posted that comment because I have spent many years living within the boundries of a national park that started as a national monument. And I raise labradors.

I suspect that monument staus will be a good thing for the canyon and the local economy. You do want more boaters and visitors, don't you? No pets may be a good thing too, I don't know because I don't use the area and most likely will not in the future.

But that said, I am not one that you will ever convince that the dept of interior will assume oversight of an area without adding rules, regulations and restrictions. It may not be tomorrow or the next day but it will happen. Again, maybe it will be a good thing. They may ask for public input but they will do as they see fit in the end. It justifies their being.
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