Staircase Rock Removal Permit Issued, help STOP this! - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 09-30-2010   #1
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Staircase Rock Removal Permit Issued, help STOP this!

A permit has been issued by the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources to Tom Long of Cascade Raft & Kayak - an outfitter on the Paytte. We need public input on this. There has not been any public input yet, so here is a good place to start. And spread the word.

I'm extremely opposed this. One person should not get to decide to make river stream modifications. Staircase is a great rapid - probably my favorite class IV in Idaho. I ran it 20 times just this year. Opening the left channel will make it dangerously close to a class III - we already have plenty of class III's on the Payette. Nobody should be able to craft their own rapids. I think the stated reason for obtaining the permit is that this is a public safety hazard. There is a clean line down the center of the rapid that completely avoids the rock in jeopardy. I rarely run the left entry in staircase, but even when I do, I've never had trouble navigation around this feature.

We (the boating public) need to take a stand. This could set a horrible precedent. What's next? The rock that forms "seymour hole" in slalom? Then onto the NF Payette- making it just a steep canal?

Speak up, spread the word.

http://www.idwr.idaho.gov

Cascade Raft & Kayak
Cascade Raft and Kayak - Idaho's premier whitewater rafting

I think the immediate need is to convince the outfitter to not proceed. The permit is already issued, so I'm not sure how far we can get without legal action with Dept of Water Resources. However, I think it may help to voice your concerns with them so that this type of recreational river modification permit is not obtained in the future without public comment.

FYI - this is a cross-post from idahowhitewater : Idaho Whitewater

--Josh McDannel

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Old 09-30-2010   #2
 
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Out of curiosity, which rock is the 'rock in question'?
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Old 09-30-2010   #3
 
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I'm waiting for some better pictures from a friend, but it's the one with the boat wrapped. Notice the highway around the rock to river-right. That's where the run is.




if these pictures aren't included, you can view them here: Black Mirror - Josh McDannel: Rivers, Code, Cards, and Deep Thoughts - Photo Gallery - Staircase
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Old 09-30-2010   #4
 
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Come on all you Coloradoans, we need help! With a smallish private boating community, we need voices to make a big impression on these people.

I don't know about Colorado, but Idaho doesn't have a state NEPA law, there is no environmental review requirement for such things. Hence, it is easy for the highway on the Lochsa to become the future "high and wide" trucking corridor, and other things to just slip through without notice.

If you like to boat in Idaho, let your voice be heard. We don't need this to be a precedent. Didn't we stop blasting rivers 40 years ago???? Now we just have cranes to pluck shit out.
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Old 09-30-2010   #5
 
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Laura's right. The precedent that this could set scares me as much as the idea of my favorite rapid being ruined.
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Old 09-30-2010   #6
 
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Yeah, I saw a Cascade raft get highsided on that rock this year. The switched on guides had no problem avoiding it to the left or right...
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Old 09-30-2010   #7
 
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Here are some pics of the rock

Proper line
http://i794.photobucket.com/albums/y...b/DSCF1088.jpg

Not so proper line (about to get flipped)
http://i794.photobucket.com/albums/y...b/DSCF1083.jpg
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Old 09-30-2010   #8
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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You may want to take this up with the US Army Corps of Engineers Walla Walla District as well. Regardless of the state, USACE has primacy over navigable waters of the US and therefore any disturbance to the soil or substrate should require a Corps permit.
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Old 09-30-2010   #9
 
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I sent Cascade Raft an email suggesting they should hire better guides.
Let's flood them with emails and calls to let them know they DO NOT have the support of the boating community.

Also curious about the liability issue of a commercial company moving rocks???

...but if we are going to start rearranging rocks, there is that one rock in
Jacob's Ladder that scares the crap out of me....

Richard

Cascade Raft 800-292-7238
email on contact page www.cascaderaft.com
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Old 09-30-2010   #10
 
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I'm not convinced the contact form is work. It was broken in firefox (earlier today at least). Tom Long is the owner, Tren Long is his son. I think tom's email is [email protected], tren's is [email protected]
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