Non-permitted run options in case of Government shutdown? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-30-2015   #1
Springfield, Missouri
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Non-permitted run options in case of Government shutdown?

Evening, folks! I need ideas. I have a permit for an Oct 5, 2015 Lodore launch. Twelve rafters, coming from Missouri. Everything is planned, but it seems the Federal government may decide to turn off the water on October 1st. If that happens, what's a good week-long non-permitted run? Do I dare launch during a shutdown? I have 12 paddlers I really don't want to disappoint! Any ideas?

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Old 08-30-2015   #2
Crested Butte, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 11

i believe that 800 or 850 cfs is legally the lowest amount of water that the flaming gorge dam is allowed to release. in other words, there will always be at least 800 cfs on the green above the yampa. I've rafted from the spillway to split mountain on 850 cfs, and its still perfectly fine. the sandbars in browns park are semi-annoying but not a huge problem, and lower disaster and lower hells are bony but still plenty passable, even for bigger boats. everything else is no problemo. bring your fly rod.
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Old 08-31-2015   #3
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 904
You will be fine with October flows and will get the full Lodore experience, so just go. There is just not a lot of water anywhere in the west right now. Cataract is an easy permit, if you can score a mid week westwater permit you could go Loma to Moab, cancellations could be found for deso. Options remain in the PNW as well. So while there are alternatives, your Lodore permit in hand is definitely worth two in the bush, just embrace the low water and go enjoy the desert in the fall.

One benefit of dams is that they allow for us to recreate in times when otherwise it may not happen. For better or worse, just sayin.
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Old 08-31-2015   #4
Springfield, Missouri
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks for the responses guys, but I should have been more clear: I'm not worried about flows. I'm worried about driving two days to Lodore and being met by an armed ranger telling me I can't launch during a government shutdown. So do I just turn around and drive home? With a shutdown all National Parks and monuments will be closed. I'm looking for a place to get on the water for a few days that does not require a permit. Obviously, Lodore is our goal, but I need a backup plan.
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Old 08-31-2015   #5
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 338
ABC. its right there and not controlled access.
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Old 08-31-2015   #6
k2andcannoli's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 854
You could put in by Vermillion Creek and night float or wait for no one to be at the ranger station before floating past. Check if anybody is home in Echo Park before floating past and likewise at whatever that putin is called for the day section. Take out on down past Jensen to avoid attention.

When I lived in Rangely, I ventured in the monument during the last government shutdown. The main roads are shutdown but there are lots of dirt roads that access ranches and gas sites so the rangers cannot actually shut it off completely.

Legality is questionable but I feel it's my right to enjoy these places and whether the government is operational or not doesn't matter to me.
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Old 08-31-2015   #7
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Up shites creek, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 920
Dropping flow to its min is one thing, but where are you hearing of govt shutdown?

Add another vote to the run it below 1000cfs. As said above, dodge the sand bars and it should be a fun float.
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Old 08-31-2015   #8
cedar city, Utah
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,261
Several congressman have been talking about it for weeks. Several major news organization are weighing in on the odds as being as high as 60% though most believe the harm will outweigh the good for the political parties.

Its a good idea to be prepared as rafters. Might be time to start ringing some representatives lines and letting them know how this could affect citizens, businesses and local economies at large.

I believe Deso and San Juan were runnable during the last shutdown but you want to verify with the BLM. Lower Salmon? Fly fishing sections of the Snake are multi day in Idaho, but don't have rapids.
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Old 08-31-2015   #9
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 216
Grand Canyon

NOOOO!!! I launch on the Grand on October 5th, and it will be my first time rowing it! I have been working toward it and planning it for a very long time and everything finally fell perfectly into place and I started believing it's really going to happen.

Even if they let the permit holder reschedule the odds that my career will accommodate the required leave to join the rescheduled trip are very slim. I am signed up and approved for leave without pay, so I'm going to be out a lot of money in addition to my share of the rental fees, etc..

We need a mechanism for full congressional impeachment - if they can't do their basic job and fund the government, the government shouldn't shut down, congress should just be fired, and the previous budget extended until new elections occur. I am going to pretend this isn't happening, it's not worth the stress and anger I feel if I let myself think it's even a possibility...
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Old 08-31-2015   #10
Crested Butte, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 11
k2andcannoli's suggestion is quite risky from a legal standpoint. the long and the short is that it is not legal to do that. i was in the grand canyon for the last government shutdown. we launched from Lee's before the shutdown happened. several members of our party almost couldn't get into the park to join at phantom, semi-snuck in and ended up getting ticketed once at the river. a group that launched the day after us apparently did the same thing and got huge fines and banned from the park for 5 years. govt shutdowns closing access to parks doesn't make any sense to me, its completely stupid, but i do know that rationalizing your decision to illegally enter the park unfortunately won't keep the government off your back. my advice is to move forward with your current plans and hope for the best, and if the rangers turn you away at the Lodore ranger station you should still be able to float the ABC section.
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