Grand Canyon Open For Rafters Tomorrow! - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-11-2013   #1
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Grand Canyon Open For Rafters Tomorrow!

RRFW Riverwire - River Runners OK To Launch Tomorrow!
October 11, 2013

As the government shutdown grinds on, a breakthrough has opened up Grand Canyon National Park!

The road to the launch ramp for the start of downstream river trips through Grand Canyon was closed on October 1 at its junction with Highway 89A at Marble Canyon, AZ. A backlog of public river runners immediately formed at the concrete road barriers. River runners from around the world had come to Northern Arizona to experience Grand Canyon’s unique wilderness river experience. With camping supplies and food for twenty one to twenty five days, the river runners set up camp in an adjacent dirt parking lot they call “Dirt Eddy.”

As the shutdown continued, many river runners packed up and tried to run other rivers or simply went home, only to be replaced by the next groups of river runners ready to launch. Since the closing of the road on October 1, sixteen do-it-yourself river trips have been barred from launching, and five concessions guided trips have been unable to launch as well.

After a firestorm of bad press and many calls to government officials around the country, on Monday October 7, Grand Canyon National Park announced an “Accommodation Plan” for river runners unable to launch, available to river runners who decide to take advantage of the plan up to three days after the Government reopens. The plan includes a refund of the $100 per person fee charged to public river runners, and a reschedule option allowing the trip leader to apply for a trip in the next three years. The NPS noted the requested dates may not be available, but that a date close to the requested launch date should be.

The Accommodation Plan may be seen here:

https://rrfw.org/river-permit-accomodation-plan

On Wednesday October 9, the Obama Administration discussed allowing states impacted by the closure of the National Park Service to pay for the Parks to stay open as it became clear the closure of the National Parks was causing serious harm to park visitors, leaving employees without income, and demolishing the economies of communities adjacent to the Parks.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert struck a deal with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel on October 10, and Utah wired the Department of Interior $1.67 million, or $166,572 a day to re-open eight National Parks within the State for ten days only. One of those parks opened was Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which manages Lee’s Ferry and the Lee’s Ferry Road. The concrete barriers were removed Friday morning, October 11, and access to the Ferry was resumed at noon local time.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Interior officials and Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona finally resulted in a deal late today. Under the terms of the agreement, Arizona will donate funds to the National Park Service for the sole purpose of enabling National Park Service employees to re-open and manage Grand Canyon National Park. The agreement funds the park for a period of seven days, running from October 12 through October 18 at the donated amount of $651,000.
River trips rigging this afternoon will be allowed to launch tomorrow, Saturday October 12.

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Old 10-11-2013   #2
 
briandburns's Avatar
 
Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Martin View Post
RRFW Riverwire - River Runners OK To Launch Tomorrow!
Thanks for all your efforts on this, Tom.
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Old 10-12-2013   #3
 
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So..From what I'm gathering here, The ramp might be shut down again on the 21st if the govt is still in a pissing match with itself correct?
This is particularly frustrating as my launch date is the 22nd. Did the rangers allow boats to launch from Lees Ferry on the 1st if they were already rigged and ready to go?
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Old 10-12-2013   #4
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Hey h20bro, check out the details amigo. Grand Canyon is only funded through Oct 18. That "should" mean folks who rig on the 18th "should" be able to go downriver on the 19th. On Sept 30, we at RRFW asked both Glen Canyon National Rec Folks and Grand Canyon folks to let the Oct 1 trip's (there were three of them) launch, and they agreed. Will Glen and Grand do that again on Oct 19?I hope so... but your trip is right now out in a big unknown. We are still encouraging folks to contact their House and Senate reps and ask for funding for the Government to operate. Hope this helps, yours, tom
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Old 10-12-2013   #5
 
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"Utah Governor Gary Herbert struck a deal with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel on October 10, and Utah wired the Department of Interior $1.67 million, or $166,572 a day to re-open eight National Parks within the State for ten days only. One of those parks opened was Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, which manages Lee’s Ferry and the Lee’s Ferry Road."
So access to Lees ferry is controlled by Utah, but being allowed to launch is controlled by AZ? So is access for 7(AZ) or 10(UT) days? So you will be able to access the ramp at lees till the 21st but wont be able to launch after the 18th? Sorry for all the questions. I realize this wont help my trip anyway, just confused as to who controls what based on this first post.
Thanks for your time Tom, Folks.
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Old 10-12-2013   #6
 
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Bozeman, Montana
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What a joke!
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Old 10-12-2013   #7
 
Tom Martin's Avatar
 
Flagstaff, Arizona
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Hi H20bro, yes, a UT park (Glen Canyon National Rec Area) and an AZ park (Grand Canyon) share resources (staff) at Lee's Ferry. When Lee's is closed. both parks are impacted. If Lee's is open but launches into Grand Canyon are closed, downstream travel into Grand Canyon stops. Yes, you have it right, access to the 21st, launch through the 18th. Hope this helps, yours, tom
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Old 10-12-2013   #8
 
Rainy Northwest, Washington
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great news

I am absolutely stoked that folks are able to launch again. A friend of mine has a permit for today. A long -time boater, the Grand has been on his bucket list, and due to a medical condition this could be his only shot. Damned happy for him, even though I couldn't make it on his trip.
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Old 10-12-2013   #9
 
welch, Oklahoma
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we need to fire congress
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Old 10-12-2013   #10
 
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Thanks Tom.
Stoked for all that are getting to go down. Hope I'm among them.
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