RRFW Riverwire – The ARK River Needs Your Comments NOW
November 7, 2017
The Arkansas River is the nation’s most popular river destination, including Browns Canyon, the Numbers, Royal Gorge, and the flatwater section through the town of Salida, Colorado.
One hundred fifty two miles of the Arkansas (called the Ark) are managed by the State of Colorado’s Division of Parks and Wildlife in the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA). The State is revising the AHRA Management Plan for only the second time in the history of Ark river running.
There has only been one river management plan on the Ark, implemented in 2001. Comments on the new plan for river paddling on the Ark are being taken through November 10.
Do-it-yourself river recreation has been averaging roughly 25,000 paddlers a year for the last twenty five years. Commercial paddlers over the same time period went from 180,000 boaters in the early 1990s to a high of 312,000 in 2000. Commercial use has decreased since 2000 down to 250,000 paddlers in 2014. Over the last fifteen years, river health has improved and adverse impacts have decreased.
The new plan proposes an allocation and permit system for do-it-yourself river recreation, even while commercial use has decreased and do-it-yourself use has not changed over the last two decades.
Your comments are needed before close of business November 10, 2017. Please note you must comment on your own for your comments to count.
Tell AHRA managers:
1) Please ask for an extension of the comment period. 30 days out of 34 years is a mighty short time for the public to consider the past, review plans for the next 17 years of management for the Ark, and formulate comments.
2) Twenty five years of river use patterns show there is no need to permit or allocate do-it-yourself river recreationists.
3) If river recreation impacts are to be limited, cap commercial use at the present 250,000 users.
4) In the Granite to the Numbers section, do not reduce do it yourself boating capacities (as outlined in the Proposed Action).
5) In the Numbers to Railroad Bridge section, the AHRA must conduct additional research on boating capacities before reducing the do-it-yourself river recreation capacities (as outlined in the Proposed Action).
6) In the Fisherman’s Bridge to Stone Bridge section, increase do-it-yourself river recreation capacities in Section 2b to be equal to or greater than commercial capacities.
To post your comments to AHRA, go to the following web portal:
Copy your comments to the following critical representatives (even if you live out of state): They are unaware of this draft plan.
• Bob Broscheid Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife [email protected]
• Colorado Parks and Wildlife Board Member Carrie Besnette Hauser [email protected]
• If you live in Colorado, e-mail a copy of your comments to your Colorado General Assembly Representative here: Find My Legislator | Colorado General Assembly
For additional information:
You can review the Draft plan here:
You can see American Whitewater’s Alert on this plan here:
The Arkansas River Private Boaters Coalition Alert on this plan is here:
2017 Ark Mgmt Plan