Desolation Canyon Ute Land Closure - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-04-2018   #1
 
Riverwild's Avatar
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Desolation Canyon Ute Land Closure

I recently read some interesting changes posted from Herm Hoops on the Utah Rafter facebook group page. I didn't see anything here so I thought I would post. The most significant changes seemed to me to be no more camping on the left side of Deso and a new ramp and much improved facilities at Hite, Marina.
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File Type: pdf 2018 Ute Tribe Land Closure in Desolation.pdf (100.6 KB, 167 views)

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Old 12-04-2018   #2
 
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That is very informative.


...and also really difficult to read.
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Old 12-04-2018   #3
 
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I meant to post this one as well, much easier to read.
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File Type: pdf 2019 Boating Public Info & Changes.pdf (267.7 KB, 221 views)
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Old 12-05-2018   #4
 
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Those changes to Desolation are a real bummer, some of the best campsites in the canyon are on river left. Unfortunately it's the same situation everywhere. A few disrespectful individuals ruin it for everyone else.....

- "The entire Ute reservation on river left of Desolation/Gray Canyons is closed to ALL use. That includes camping and hiking. The reasons given for this closure includes two private river trips removing elk and deer antlers from the reservation, illegal (nonpayment or permit) camping and hiking, damage to structures, theft of artifacts. No option for relief of this restriction was given by Ute Fish and Game.
{Desolation Canyon from above Sand Wash to Swasey’s Rapid has been designated by the U.S. Supreme Court as non-navigable. The United States retains title to beds of all federally non-navigable inland waters when the state within which they lie is admitted to the Union. In Utah that basically means if a river has been determined to be Navigable then the Utah State Sovereign Lands (Utah Division of Natural Resources; Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands) has management oversight on that part of the bed of the river from its centerline to the ordinary high-water mark (OHWM) on the Utah shore, unless it is in a dedicated land (National Park or Monument, Indian Reservation, etc.)."-
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Old 12-05-2018   #5
 
Live Oak, Florida
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closure

That sucks for sure. It'll be harder to find a decent spot on river right now.



We were out there this summer, and the most disrespectful group we came across was two boats of Ute rangers. When a bear started ambling down river, they shot AT it. It was still hundreds of feet from them, and hadn't even noticed them. A warning shot is one thing, but they were firing toward it. AND, they were firing through brush, up river. Any group that came down stream would have been in danger. Fortunately, they were the last group that came down that afternoon, but it was early enough that another group could have passed. They continued firing in its direction until it swam across the river. They fired a couple more shots at it even when it was on BLM land. That chased it right through our camp and towards a commercial trip a bit down river. Then they blared their music (god awful thrash metal) all night. I get that maybe that was to prevent the bear coming back, but it made for a terrible night. They also had an enormous fire in the middle of the fire ban. Do as we say, not as we do, I guess.



We broke camp before them. I was shocked by how messy their camp was. They certainly weren't practicing leave-no-trace.



Those rangers aside though, there's no excuse for the private groups that felt it was ok to remove artifacts, deface property, or violate the rules in general. If the rangers made contact with those groups, then they shouldn't be allowed to get Deso permits in the future.



That's my .02
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Old 12-05-2018   #6
 
Jenks, Oklahoma
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I have been blessed to run Deso Gray three times. Every time we had great camps on BLM land. Bottom line, if the Ute Tribe does not want probably good income from non Tribal members from camp / hike fees - let them find income some where else. On the other hand actions as described above by Ute Tribal Police should get them a fine and time in jail - if Ute Tribal Elders were informed, my bet is they would discipline bad actors. Same for non tribal members doing similar things on either side of the river.

My opinion, wild land areas especially in the climate in the South West take decades if ever to recover from trash or messing with tree growth or even disturbing the soil. If people who get to float these SW Rivers do not take care of the land, floating them is going to get more difficult with more rules.

I recently enjoyed a late season float on The Green thru Canyon lands. We camped on sand bars. Very comfortable for us and my guess is our tracks will get washed away by spring flows.
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Old 12-06-2018   #7
 
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As said above, the land must be taken care of. Overuse of river right now that left is closed? LNT principles are essential now, more than ever.
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Old 12-06-2018   #8
 
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It's quite possible that the Utes decided they could make more money by arresting trespassers on their land.
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Old 12-06-2018   #9
 
Bailey, Colorado
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Once the rafting season starts again, the Ute tribe may change their minds and issue camping permits. I've seen this several times before.


Bottom line is do not disrespect their lands, not matter what.
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Old 12-06-2018   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tomcat2 View Post
As said above, the land must be taken care of. Overuse of river right now that left is closed? LNT principles are essential now, more than ever.
I've been down Deso a bunch of times and I've never once stayed at a camp on the left side of the river. I think that is pretty typical of most trips so the right side camps get most of the use and seem to hold up fine. Most people don't wanna pay extra and go through the trouble of getting the Ute Permit.

I haven't made it down Deso in the last few years (too many other awesome trips to go on that don't have bugs and flatwater) so maybe that has changed. I'm not too worried about the few extra groups that would have used the left side camps once or twice during their trip.

At least for me...this makes basically no difference to any trip down there I would go on. Honestly, it seems the tribe does way more damage to the river corridor then river users with all the cattle grazing that goes on over there. Did a layover at a camp that I can't remember the name and while we were there a heard of cattle was literally tearing up the area across the river. Big dust clouds and lots of noise.

They are entitled to use the land as they want, but its kind of hypocritical to be have a problem with river runners when I see that kinda stuff going on over there.
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