Please comment on Yellowstone and Grand Teton River Access - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-29-2013   #1
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
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Please comment on Yellowstone and Grand Teton River Access

From AW:
American Whitewater - Parks Ask For Comments On Paddling Prohibitions

Earlier this month, the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service published their draft management plan for 5 newly designated Wild and Scenic rivers in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In a misguided 3-page legal argument they dismissed any consideration of allowing paddling on the rivers except where it is currently allowed. They aim to maintain paddling bans on the following rivers:
Thankfully for all of us who care about rivers and their responsible enjoyment, excluding paddling from this analysis is against the Park Service’s own binding policies. In fact, their full suite of legal arguments simply doesn’t hold water. American Whitewater will be filing comments highlighting their errors, and requesting a fair hard look at allowing the public to float these Wild and Scenic rivers.
Importantly, the agencies propose many strict monitoring and capacity limits that will protect the rivers from harm or overuse with or without visitors being allowed to paddle. The exclusion of paddling from analysis was not intended or needed to protect the environment or enjoyment of the rivers.
These agencies need to hear from you about why you would like to take a canoe, kayak, or pack raft trip down these Wild and Scenic Rivers. If you think you ought to be able to float these rivers, please consider attending one of two public meetings June 4th and 5th, 2013, or submit written comments. Personal comments are best, reflecting the value of paddling to you as a means of directly experiencing National Parks and natural wonders. Comments are due by June 30, 2013.

The sunshine walked beside her
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Old 05-29-2013   #2
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at my house, Montana
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Good grief. Protecting the rivers in national parks always seems a bit to me like telling you to stay off the grass at disneyland. This statement is intentionally ridiculous, as protecting all rivers is important, but the park's approach and lack of consistency is even more ridiculous IMO.
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 05-31-2013   #3
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Having skimmed some other parts of the report, it gets even more ridiculous. The parks preferred alternative seems to be to increase the number of fisherman user days from the current peak usage on all of the rivers and streams. In order to handle this increase, they want to build more river access improvements, to lessen the impact on the river corridor.

How is allowing more people to fish, and subsequently trample the river banks, in line with protecting the river resources? Especially given that the primary reason that they want to uphold the kayaking/rafting ban is because, according to them, kayaking and rafting isn't cohesive with Wild and Scenic values.

One of the reasons listed is that seeing river craft on a river automatically makes the river less scenic. I mean, not all of us have the best looking gear, but fisherman dress really goofy, and I'm not bitching at them for ruining my view of the forest.

Remember a few years ago when the YNP stated that one of the major concerns was that, if they allowed river runners, then MORE people would stop to look at the rivers, and thus it would create traffic jams? So which is it? Are kayakers not allowed because everyone will want to watch us, and thus we'll be responsible for traffic congestion? Or, are we just ugly to look at when you are fishing?

I'm entering the YLA draft this season.
Kyle McCutchen
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Old 05-31-2013   #4
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
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Atta way Kyle. I submitted a 3000 word essay to them I doubt anything will come of it..
I told them straight up people do it already so they might as well make it legal if they want any say on what's going on..

Btw guys the black canyon of the Yellowstone is worth it.. It's good! Like really good! Best run in the area and it makes gore seem like filter plant. Never seen big fluffy good granite gorge whitewater around here like what's in those walls! And ill probably never again side surf a big hole in the dark and stare up at the full moon with that much anticipation and excitement again.. At least I hope I don't get the morning beat down next time..

YLA for life
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