RRFW Riverwire Yet Another Grand Canyon Lottery Started - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 06-17-2007   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
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RRFW Riverwire Yet Another Grand Canyon Lottery Started

RRFW Riverwire Yet Another Grand Canyon Lottery Started
June 17, 2007

Only days after finishing a 2007 Follow-up Lottery that had over 250 applications for ten self guided river permits launching later this year, Grand Canyon National Park has started a Follow Up Lottery for 2008. Of the 31 self-guided permits offered for the calendar year 2008, twenty five are in the winter months of January and February and also December.

This lottery began Friday, June 15, 2008, and will only take applications for five days, closing at noon on June 20th.

The trips offered include two launch dates which are for half size groups (1 to 8
people) on July 5, 2008 and August 6, 2008. The remaining 29 trips are for standard size groups (1 to 16 people) and include January 6th, 9th, 11th, 13th, 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 24th, 25th, 26th, 30th, February 4th, 12th, 20th, 21st, March 2008: 11th, 12th, 27th, October 23rd, and December 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 24th, 26th, 27th, 30th, 31st. All of these launch dates are in 2008.

Interested individuals must have set up a profile with Grand Canyon National Park to be able to apply for the lottery.

River Runners for Wilderness (www.rrfw.org) continues to offer free lottery assistance through email and a phone hotline for the complicated 25 page sign-up and lottery application process.

The RRFW telephone assistance Help-line is available at (92 8- 856-9065, throughout this lottery on a first-come first-serve basis.

Lottery applicants can refer to the RRFW online lottery tutorial, available for download as an Adobe PDF file of 9.5MB by clicking on the Lottery Primer link at: http://www.rrfw.org/lottery.php.

Additionally, lottery information is available at the free Rafting Grand Canyon WIKI at: http://www.rrfw.org/RaftingGrandCanyon/Main_Page.

Discussion of the Grand Canyon lottery and winning strategies may be found at The Rafting Grand Canyon Yahoo group at Rafting_Grand_Canyon : Rafting Grand Canyon.

River Runner for Wilderness offers these services at no charge supported entirely through your generous donations at: http://www.rrfw.org/store.php.

The Grand Canyon River Permits Office also offers help at 1-800-959-9164 or by email at [email protected].

The NPS has made little effort to inform the river running community about these lotteries. Individuals who have set up a profile on the NPS web site are e-mailed directly by the NPS shortly before the beginning of each lottery. Grand Canyon National Park does not issue lottery press releases or otherwise notify the broader river running community. Since river runners who have not set up a profile have no way of knowing of an impending lottery, River Runners for Wilderness encourages all interested boaters to set up a profile in order to be on the Parks email list.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to [email protected] and we'll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.

Join RRFWs listserver to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. Its as easy as sending a blank e-mail to [email protected].

Check out RRFWs Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on DIY Grand Canyon rafting info Main Page - Rafting Grand Canyon.

Check out new items and donate at the RRFW Store! RRFW is a non-profit project of Living Rivers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Old 06-17-2007   #2
Abron Cabron
 
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Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
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what's with shoving all the private trips into the winter months? that doesn't seem too fair... if you want to pay the big bucks to be a commercial customer you get all the warm weather, but if you want to work your butt off to do your own trip you get shafted with a winter launch??? not that i wouldn't jump on any grand opportnity at all, but thats ski season!!!!
or maybe thats the point.... all of us riverfolks jones to do it so bad we'll take whatever scrappy dates are left on the floor after the commercial giants gorge on the calender .... (so to speak)
(little disclaimer :: this is just my opinion, and im not all that involved at all, so there is lots i may not know @ the complications of beauracracy, but WTF!!!)
PS thanks for the info RRFW!
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Old 06-17-2007   #3
 
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your question is a good one

Hey Abron, you are not alone in your observation. RRFW has taken Grand Canyon National Park to court to seek an answer to your question "what's with shoving all the private trips into the winter months?"

You can check out the claims in the litigation at

http://www.rrfw.org/article.php?file=20070525.Document.Summary_Judgeme nt

yours, Tom
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Old 06-17-2007   #4
 
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Hi Folks,

I usually leave the more "political" GC posts alone, because this isn't a board that focuses on that issue. However, a brief attempt at balance.

The Colorado River Management Plan (which RRFW's lawsuit seeks to nullify -- dig deep and look at the relief they seek) doubled the number of private launches each year. Yes, some are in the winter, but many more are in highly desirable shoulder and summer seasons than was the case before.

Also, the transition system from the waiting list to the new system means that right now less than half of the full launch calendar is available for the lottery. In three more years, 503 launches will be available -- instead of 200 or so in this year's main lottery. And the other approximately 300 current launches represent many people who might instead have waited decades for their trip under the waiting list.

It's really a niche issue compared to the other gains in private boaters obtained in the CRMP, but Tom asserts that few people are interested in winter launches. First of all, winter launches were not available at all until the CRMP was implemented. Interestingly, I note that the June 7th RRFW Riverwire, stated, "Statistics on the just completed 2008 lottery released by Grand Canyon National Park show that for December, 2008, there were 64 attempts to win the 29 full sized trip dates offered." Seems that at least twice as many people were interested in those so-called undesirable launches as there were dates available.

Private boaters didn't get an unqualified win in the CRMP. GCPBA didn't get everything it wanted. The outfitters certainly didn't. And no doubt the Park didn't either. There were compromises on all sides, because the CRMP was crafted to meet the needs of a multi-faceted boating community as well as a bureaucracy. But the reality is that more people are getting on the river -- every season. And that's a notable improvement over the old waiting list.

Don't want to start a war with Tom here. So for more info on this issue, take a look at gcpba.org and also, you can post questions and get answers from another perspective at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages

FWIW

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association. click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater representation on Grand Canyon issues. And follow GC issues on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages
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Old 06-17-2007   #5
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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GCPBA, where "Private means Commercial"

Hi Rich, a brief attempt at balance?

The RRFW lawsuit, which the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association (GCPBA) sees fit to attempt to stop, seeks to get clarity on Abron's question. Why should self guided paddlers except 13% of the summertime accessa and a motorized commercialized wilderness?

Let's be clear. Your position as a board member of GCPBA requires that you must support the new CRMP for the next ten years, even if the GCPBA members do not. This is due to a secret agreement your board chose to enter into with the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Trade Association. An agreement, by the way, that was kept from the GCPBA membership for over a year and half until two of us discovered it and brought it forward to the membership. You can see the agreement here:

http://www.gcpba.org/content/view/50/28/

Balance? How about including the complete facts from the riverwire you cite. Here's the entire story:

"Statistics on the just completed 2008 lottery released by Grand Canyon National Park show that for December, 2008, there were 64 attempts to win the 29 full sized trip dates offered. Five of the December dates had no applications at all.

"This is in stark contrast with June, 2008, which offered 8 standard trips and 8 half sized trips. Here, there were 1,771 attempts to win one of the 8 standard trips, and 270 tries seeking the 8 half sized trips.

You left this second bit out Rich.

As Adron points out, along with the data above, self guided river runners want to boat in the summer, not the winter. The majority of new trips are in the winter. The GCPBA wants that to remain the way it is for at least the next decade and is actively attempting to block a legal attempt to change this.

There are over 4,000 permit applications still outstanding after the phase three transition. Over 2000 applicants compete for 200 permits now. The GCPBA would have us believe that in 2011, the 4000 waiting list backlog will be gone, and permits will abound.

Even the NPS admits that while the permit mechanism has changed, the wait to win the lottery will still be the same, taking over a decade, if then. Abron points out he can book a commercial trip today. The GCPBA supports this imbalance.

The imbalanced allocation of access and lack of resource protection ARE the issues the CRMP attempted to dodge. The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, where "Private means Commercial", would have us believe all's well on the Colorado River. Don't be fooled.

The NPS's preferred alternative would have gotten more self guided river runners on the river without the GCPBA secret deal. The NPS preferred alternative would have started to look at real demand. The GCPBA cave-in blocked the NPS from collecting this critical data which would have started us on the road to real allocation reform.

I encourage all interested river runners to check out this link:

http://www.rrfw.org/article.php?file=20060305.RRFW_Riverwire.Groups_Cr ippled_By_Agreement

which spells out why Rich is forced to say the things he does.

The Truth is worth a lot, Rich, and it's too bad GCPBA seeks to destroy the resource of Grand Canyon and balanced access to same. yours, Tom

Tom Martin, Co-Director
River Runners For Wilderness
Moderator, Rafting Grand Canyon WIKI and [email protected]
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Old 06-18-2007   #6
 
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Hi Tom,

There's plenty to say in response, but like I've said, I'm not going to fuss with you and clutter up this board. Inquiring minds will figure things out by going to the links we both cite and making their own decisions. The rest of the folks here just want to boat....

Have a good one.

Rich Phillips
VP, GCPBA

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at http://www.gcpba.org. click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater representation on Grand Canyon issues. And follow GC issues on http://groups.yahoo.com/group/gcpba/messages
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Old 06-18-2007   #7
 
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Quote:
First of all, winter launches were not available at all until the CRMP was implemented.
Is this true? I thought you use to be able to get a 30 day permit in the winter?
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Old 06-18-2007   #8
 
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Winter Trips

Hi Dan, Rich is most likely trying to say there are "more" winter trips now then there were in the past. Yes, you used to be able to get a 30 day permit to Diamond Creek in the winter. Now it's 25 days max. If you look at the lottery the NPS is running right now, they are trying to lotto away 25 dates in Jan, Feb and Dec of 08.

yours, Tom

Tom Martin, Co-Director
River Runners For Wilderness
River Runners for Wilderness - Protecting the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon and Its Tributaries
Moderator, Rafting Grand Canyon WIKI and [email protected]
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Old 06-18-2007   #9
 
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Well if they increase launches, the days come from somewhere, and the shortened trips are part of where that comes from, right?

Tom, how many fewer private boaters would get down the Canyon if motors were completely banned, as RRFW advocates? I'm no expert but common sense would seem to indicate that if you take motors out of the picture, the number of people on the river has to drop because trips will take longer, consuming more user-days and then the number of people waiting skyrockets...putting us back to where we were on the waiting list - or more likely, far worse.

The only equitable solution is the One Big List idea where privates and commercials all wait on the same list, but we all know the politics aren't going to permit that.
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Old 06-18-2007   #10
 
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Quote:
Well if they increase launches, the days come from somewhere, and the shortened trips are part of where that comes from, right?
Why do they have to come from somewhere?? It use to be easy to get a winter permit if I remember right. Rich's post says "winter launches were not available at all until the CRMP was implemented"

I'm confused.
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