RRFW Riverwire – ASK CONGRESS FOR A GRAND PERMIT - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 06-15-2006   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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RRFW Riverwire – ASK CONGRESS FOR A GRAND PERMIT

RRFW Riverwire – ASK CONGRESS FOR A GRAND PERMIT

June 15, 2006



River Runners For Wilderness is notifying all non-commercial river runners who are going through Grand Canyon National Park’s Phase 2 transition, that your elected representative may be able to help you in getting a permit. RRFW has set up a special page at www.rrfw.org. Click on the “Waiting List Transition” link to help you compile both a briefing statement of the facts, and a draft letter that your congressman can use as a template to write Grand Canyon National Park on your behalf.



Here’s what you will need to do, in addition to filling out and sending in all the paperwork the Park requires of you:



Arrange a visit with your elected representative or one of their staff who deals with National Parks issues. Tell them you’d like to speak with them about a problem you are having in obtaining a rafting permit, and let them know you will explain the details when you meet.



At the meeting, explain that you have been waiting for years for a permit to float the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, and that you would appreciate the congressman’s help obtaining a launch date for a non-commercial river trip in the Park.



Tell your congressman that Grand Canyon National Park’s new river management plan is doing away with the waiting list (where you had a reasonable expectation of receiving a launch date) and will land you in a lottery you may never win.



Let your elected representative know that in the next stage, Phase 2, you are supposed to join up with other permit holders resulting in a smaller trip size for your friends and family, and that you do not want to raft Grand Canyon with unknown people for a trip that requires a great deal of coordination and cooperation to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the entire group.



Inform your congressman that the Park is scheduling rafting dates between now and 2012.



Let your elected representative know that over 600 hundred launch dates per year, beginning in 2008, are “reserved” for the park’s river concessioners to market and sell to commercial customers, even though not one of these trips is booked as of yet.



Then, and this is important, make sure that your representative knows that the Stage 2 transition instructions noted that the “National Park Service will monitor [the progress of current waitlist members] and may apply adaptive management measures to ensure that their wait times do not increase excessively beyond what they would have waited under the old waitlist and allocation system.”



Finally, ask for assistance with obtaining a launch date through Phase 2 adaptive management so that your group may enjoy one of the primary resources of Grand Canyon National Park which has been preserved for the people of the United States.



For more information on how to compose a briefing statement and present a rough draft of a letter for your congressman to send to the park, see: http://www.rrfw.org/letters.php. Or from our home page at www.rrfw.org, click the “Waiting List Transition” link.





River Runners For Wilderness has challenged the legality of the new plan on different grounds, including inequitable access by the public, non-commercial users, but until those legal issues are resolved, the Park Service is implementing its transitional permitting from the waitlist. So, for the time being, RRFW would like to help waitlisted applicants increase their chances of obtaining a permit to float the Colorado. Good luck in obtaining a permit, the RRFW Team.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness.
Sign up your friends! Send an e-mail address to [email protected] and we'll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.
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Old 06-16-2006   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I'm confused by this. Where is the real info that Congress can help you get a permit? The only thing that indicates this, even slightly, is the part that says the NPS can use adaptive management. Talking to your representative can in theory get you help on all sorts of issues, but it sure isn't likely or worth the work for most of them. This really sounds like a sneaky way to apply pressure to the NPS in order to further RRFW's agenda, in the guise of "helping you get a permit."

Now, I have no problem with RRFW's agenda, but this honestly seems fairly misleading, unless someone can provide me with more info.
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Old 06-16-2006   #3
 
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Durango, Colorado
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I agree. Something doesn't seem right with this approach. Why can't we all play by the rules set up by the NPS so everyone has somewhat fair shot at a permit based on their criteria, then contact your congressmen about the unfair system (private vs. commercial) so private boaters can get more launches. Seems like by doing this, you are basically applying for at "Fast Pass" around all the other ligitimate private boaters who have been on the list a long time.

PS - I am in no man's land regarding the Grand. I didn't get on the waiting list and now I have a Powerball's chance to get a permit during the transition. Anybody have extra room on a permit? ha ha
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Old 06-16-2006   #4
 
Denver, Colorado
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Whine to your congressman to bypass (ie fuck over) other private boaters for the next launch date. Classy.
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Old 06-16-2006   #5
 
Golden, Colorado
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It wouldn't work either. You need to have at least $100,000 in your pocket to contribute to your congressman's re-election fund before your even likely to get their attention. Of course once you do get their attention, you can probably get as many Grand permits as you want!
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Old 06-16-2006   #6
 
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well, the idea that this post seems to be promoting is that it is difficult to get "us" to complain to our rep's about the system. so, instead, why not appeal to our self-interest, make us think we're doing this to get a permit faster than the next guy? when really, their goal is just to get us to complain about the number of commercial v. non-commercial permits available...

I don't like being manipulated.
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Old 06-16-2006   #7
 
Duhrango
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I agree with Ben. Grease their palms by campaign contributions and you can get your permit. It's magic.
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Old 06-16-2006   #8
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Thanks for your notes. We at RRFW heard about a number of boaters visiting their reps, and thought, why not. It's what the concessionaires did in 1980, go to their congressional reps, that is. Seems only right that the non-commercial river runners should not be limited in using that tool as well. River runners going to their congressmen asking for help is a great way to educate congress to the issue, and might help in getting a permit as well! Good luck with the lottery (yeah...Riiighttt). Yours, tom
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Old 06-17-2006   #9
 
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Englewood, Colorado
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Sorry but I gotta call this out. If RRFW wants boaters to contact their representatives about the waitlist, they should just say that. This looks to me like a way to get some political momentum built in order to add pressure on the NPS to settle the suit filed by RRFW. That is manipulation. Just say what you would like for people to do.

"...may apply adaptive management measures to ensure that their wait times do not increase excessively beyond what they would have waited under the old waitlist and allocation system."

The incredible breadth of this statement, while it does technically give the NPS latitude to change policy, makes it so remote as to not even be worth talking about. Do you think that the NPS doesn't know that? Do you think that they won't find out that RRFW has solicited boaters to talk to their representatives about this and see it as an attempt to force a settlement of the suit? That will make them really kindly-disposed towards private boaters who push on them. Mark my words, even if any pressure develops, they will ride it out and wait for the RRFW suit to go away. Their pockets are much deeper, and they know that they have the upper hand should it go to court.

p.s. No, I'm not trying to manipulate for my own agenda because I have a low number - I already went two years ago (14 years on the list). And I'm not blowing smoke about the lawsuit, either. I practice law and the chances of this suit doing anything it was intended for are next to zero - courts are almost completely deferential to actions of an administrative agency like the NPS. The standard to get them to overturn is very, very, very high. Wish it wasn't so, I think the new arrangement, while better, still is inequitable, and I have no love for the NPS folks who run the show, but those are the facts.

Flame away, I'm going to Westwater.
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Old 06-17-2006   #10
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Hi Caspian, no flame intended my friend, as we agree the system is in grave need of repair. This is about getting a permit, something that's easy to do on Westwater, but next to imposible for Grand Canyon. Be safe boating out there by the by. Yours, tom
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