Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Download from CROA/UGO Conference in Grand Junction
Info forwarded from Tubby over at the UtahRafters list.
On Behalf Of Tubby
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2012 11:17 AM
Subject: [utahrafters] CROA/UGA meetings debriefing from Herm Hoops
Lots of good info here for Plateau boaters. A big thanks to Herm for the synopsis.
Some Information From recent CROA/UGO Conference in Grand Junction, Colorado
by Herm Hoops
I was not able to attend the Westwater or Cataract sessions. Grand County is proposing to have BLM charge river runners a road user fee to maintain the roads to Westwater & Cisco. The last I heard it was a pretty lame proposal with few controls. The road to Potash will have long closures in May for a movie being filmed. You might want to check with Canyonlands ahead of time to see what delays you can expect. Canyonlands also increased its private permit fee significantly this year. Lake Powell is up near Mille Craig Bend. It is expected to lower some and then rise back as the season goes on. While there is little snow in the Uintah Mountains and around the Yampa headwaters, there is snow in the Wind River Range. Fontanelle and Flaming Gorge Reservoirs are nearly full.
Dinosaur National Monument:
- The river use at Dinosaur was around 10,000 last year with about a 50/50 split between private and commercial trips. The Monument manages private permits to maximize use and commercial trips to minimize use. Of course having no one to answer phones on Fridays and around holidays causes a lot of cancelled permits for all to go unused.
- You can't collect firewood in Lodore at any time, you can collect firewood on the Yampa, and below the confluence (in low use season). Over the eons driftwood piles have become a part of the river ecosystem. The dams have nearly stopped the replenishment of driftwood. In the early 1980's I remember a mile long driftwood pile near the Echo Park boatramp... it is nearly gone now. Use good judgment and bring along firewood on your trip, if you collect where permitted use small amounts.
- The $10 entrance fee will be collected at the Quarry this year
- Vernal, with the dedicated background push by Dinosaur will begin a recycling program this April for plastic, aluminum, glass and paper. It will be at the old Middle School in Vernal. The local trade school will use the recycling as a training experience.
- Make sure your river bleach for cleaning dishes, etc. is fresh. Bleach in Nalgene bottles deteriorates quickly and is ineffective.
- There is a change in play permits. One group/day can now take out at Lodore after 2 p.m. The same holds true for the Yampa if you run from Cross Mountain or the Little Snake to Deerlodge. You must get a free permit from the Monument. This came about around 10 years ago when the Brown's Park NWR tried to close the river through the refuge for boating. Dinosaur supported his actions by saying there were no additional user days available on Dinosaur's rivers - even thought they had allowed this and below Split Mountain for years. You can also get a Play permit to kayak up from Split Mountain to the first riffle. Thank you Dinosaur, it's not the best but it is a start in the right direction!
- Stand up paddleboats and pack rafts will now be permitted in Dinosaur at established put-ins.
- Rehab work at Ponderosa, Tepee, and Big Joe (Starvation) will include tent pads, water bars on trails and other intrusions to control erosion!
- $90,000 of Monument collected concession outfitter franchise fees will be going to hire experts to study and quantify the direct river flows necessary to maintain recreational boating. Another $30,000 will go to revegetate, with native plants, around the new lower Quarry Visitor Center. Although the funds are supposed to go to river related needs (boat ramps, boat ramp toilets, groover dump, etc.) well.... you figure it out!
- There will be new, unfamiliar seasonals at Deerlodge and Echo Park this year. The two former river rangers and Lodore ranger will be back.
- In 2011 there was a multiple car clouting at Split Mountain. Additional patrols and surveillance will be instituted in 2012.
- Last year's seasonal river rangers have been converted to career-seasonal, which provides them with some minimal benefits and job security. Two new river rangers will be added this year.
- This fall desolation canyon will change its fee to recreation.gov instead of issuing the permits locally. It will be on the model of the Salmon River. All permits, including Ute tribal permits (ha!) Will be issued, linked to that site, including rental of the screen houses at Sand Wash. Good luck!!!
- Dogs, except certified service dogs are no longer permitted in Desolation Canyon.
- The permit system for overnight camping will be instituted this year, and the camping fee will be phased in 2013. There are 35 campsites (including 7 new ones) and you MUST register and stay in the assigned campsite only. In addition you will be required to camp in an identified space, usually be less than 150 feet of the sign post.
- Camping permits for Friday and Saturday nights will be issued through the Grand Junction BLM office on a first come - first served basis, 60 days in advance (to allow for coordination with a Westwater permit... Ha! Remember they don't accept calls or other stuff after noon on Friday!
- Self-issued camping permits for Sunday through Thursday night will be issued at the Loma launch site. You MUST sign up THE DAY of your launch.
- There will be increased patrol and enforcement starting this year. If this doesn't work additional restrictions (and complications) will occur.
-National Parks and Conservation Association has a great booklet out: "National Parks of the Colorado River Basin" which addresses water concerns.
-The water withdrawal for the proposed nuclear power plant in green river has been approved. While the process winds toward the Federal approval there will be court challenges. Stay tunes and sharpen your pencil
-The Million project to withdraw water from Flaming Gorge for Denver is not being reapplied as a power generating proposal. Sharpen your pencil.
-Last year a withdrawal of 25 cfs at Ouray was approved to be piped 40 miles north to replace irrigation water lost to the Ute Tribe in a legal proceeding.
-The withdrawal for Desert Land Entry along Hastings Road to Swaseys continues to increase. Some of the water is piped to Crescent Junction for the Moab Uranium Tailings Superfund Disposal Site.
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