Improper use of Private Preseason permit in Dino? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-11-2018   #1
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 51
Improper use of Private Preseason permit in Dino?

So while sitting at echo park this week, we were rolled up upon a group from NOLS, We launched on the yampa with preseason date. They launched the same date from lodore and then had a launch next week for the yampa.
I was hot and bothered by the situation. I was irritated cause it didn’t seem to be a legit private group and more like a bunch of NOLS employees putting in for private trip but then running their own NOLS program. They said they were doing a guide training. Having looked into NOLS courses and seeing that they sometimes cost thousands of dollars , it didn’t savvy with the fact that they may have been using a private permit. That dog don’t hunt.
But I wanted to ask y’all , who know more about the system then me, does NOLS have a dinosaur permit? Did they trade user days with a actual permit holding company and swap and pay concessioner fees? Is there anything that can be done to prevent this if it was improper use of a permit. It just irked me to not see another group of private boaters out there doing the preseason and seeing a Very successful outfit use it as a “training “ cause maybe 23 of their employees clicked the dates.

Admittedly I don’t know the full story

I need some input to see if I’m being churlish about this or whether I’m right in my tantrum.

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Old 05-11-2018   #2
quinoa's Avatar
Ute City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 76
National Outdoor Leadership School is is a legit and respected institution. I doubt that they where doing anything unethical or illegal. Especially with permits in a National Monument. Why were you irked that the permit wasn't being used by a group of private boaters? Our National Monuments are there for all to enjoy. That's my 2cents.
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Old 05-12-2018   #3
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 269
One thing to consider when determining private vs. commercial is a liability insurance policy. Commercial operators have some type of liability insurance and usually require passengers to sign a waiver. If there had been some type of mishap on that trip would NOLS' insurance policy pick up the bill? If yes, it starts to look more like a commercial trip and not a private trip.
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Old 05-12-2018   #4
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,778
How do you know they were on a private permit? Did you ask one of them?
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Old 05-12-2018   #5
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 904
On my first Dinosaur trip we were also hanging out at Echo Park when a NOLS trip pulled in. I got to meet none other than Roy Romer! As we were trying to photo document the moment, his wife Bea stepped in and offered to take pix of us with him, which she never did, she faked taking all of them.

That was a real reason to be annoyed by a NOLS trip.
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Old 05-12-2018   #6
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 269
Here's a question concerning private vs. commercial permits - what about non-profits? I crossed paths with a Partners group a few years on a Deso trip. The purpose of Partners is to mentor and help at risk kids grow and succeed. Partners is definitely not a commercial operation but solicits funds and donations. The boats and probably all the gear belonged to Partners. I'm not sure if the boatmen were compensated but I'm sure the kids were not paying for the trip. I know that the BLM in Price try to get people on the river if possible. I hope non-profits like Partners are exceptions to the regular permit rules.
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Old 05-12-2018   #7
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 66
NOLS has had a commercial permit at DINO for like 30 years. It would be perfectly legitimate for them to conduct pre-season guide training. They would not be using any private permit allocation to do that. If you want up-to-date info from the source, call the river office at the park.
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Old 05-12-2018   #8
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 51
Domar Dave
Boom, there it is, the info I needed to correct my misplaced consternation, thank you for the beta , didn’t mean to throw no shade on any company or anything like that
just got to get more educated on this stuff thanks for all the input buzzards , you’re an expansive resource of education and experience
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Old 05-12-2018   #9
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 413
Outfitters usually use some of their user days for training trips, i believe, but it really doesn't matter. If 20 employees of a permitted outfitter choose to get together and run a private trip it, is not misuse of a private permit. Guides are people just like you and they have the right to go on private river trips if they draw a permit. Misuse occurs when someone profits off the permit. If the employees pulled a permit and then charged people more than the cost of the trip to go, that is misuse.

I've seen a few trips that I thought were true "pirate" operations, but I think they are rare. However, when I went back to college as an adult, it did catch my eye that college outdoor programs seem to regularly be using private permits. The school that I went to would advertise a raft trip around campus at prices 2 to 3 times what shared expense trips usually cost. After getting to know a couple of students involved with the outdoor program, they confirmed to me that work study employees of the outdoor program were paid to be on the trips and called themselves "guides".

I'm all for at-risk youth, wounded warriors, and the like going on river trips, but I don't think that 501c3 tax exempt status should be a ticket to pay yourself or your friends to take passengers on a private permit.
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Old 05-13-2018   #10
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8
NOLS had a bunch of permits when I worked for them.

Deso gray
San Juan
Green below Jensen

To guide in UT you needed one familiarization rub on the river. Like many operations these were done in the spring.
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