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What does it mean if you not only take your shopping cart in, but gather a few more that the lazy people with bad parents left in the middle of the parking lot blocking a bunch of parking spaces? Probably has something to do with my first job being a bag boy and having that be a part of my job. Our grocery stores have two sizes of cart, and people just randomly push them into the cart corral and I often feel compelled to pull them all out and sort them to make it easier for the poor kids, that are probably making $8 an hour, who have to come collect them. I could just be a really nice guy...or I might just be weird... probably both.

Anyways... being one of the guys who has never won a permit in a lottery ever... I still manage to get 60-70 days on the river every year. It seems that a lot of people feel that they need to win a lottery to do a trip... but if you have a little bit of flexibility, a bit of tolerance for differing personalities, and a good attitude... its not that hard to get on rivers. Self imposing needing to get a permit yourself or only going with certain people or sizes of groups is your deal and I don't think the entire permit system needs to change to fill those particular requirements.

Don't get me wrong...I REALLY don't like Rec.gov/Booz Allen Hamilton and how they are pushing permits applications to their entire site...seemingly to increase their profits. That permit application fee does zip, nada, zilch for the resource you are trying to use... I think there needs to be some kind of reckoning and restrictions on that. Not holding my breath for that to change, BAH seems to have most agencies over a barrel with the help of government bureaucrats and politicians.

I too would love to see the data on how that all works, specifically how many people are applying for their first ever river permit, if the cancellations match the increase in applications, and who is applying and then not accepting.

Damn...I really need to go hit the river to get over this.
Unless I'm missing something my friend, and I may be getting old and senile but doesn't Alan Hamilton own AIRE? How does that play into all of this, and for what it's worth I fear I'm seriously missing something here
 

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Booz Allen Hamilton is the current contract holder to run and administer rec dot gov.The Department of the Interior gave them $185 million dollars to revamp the site and gave them cart blanche to charge what they want for "fees" on top of that.

 

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Booz Allen Hamilton is the current contract holder to run and administer rec dot gov.The Department of the Interior gave them $185 million dollars to revamp the site and gave them cart blanche to charge what they want for "fees" on top of that.

I see, well there ya go, learned something new already !! Thanks EM
 

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Thanks, I think LOL..

First sentence : You know what’s great about Recreation.gov? It’s just so dang pretty

And clunky, un-intuitive, and just a PITA to use. I suppose I don't have a problem with paying 6 bucks, but enabling easy access to a centralized permit system to the masses has resulted (at least in part) to the unavailability of permits we've all managed to score in the years before Rec.gov.

I'm an old codger, resistant to change, but I generally seem to adopt things grudgingly at the end and deal with it. Rec.gov just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, over and over and over. What really chaps my ass, is there's a federal mandate that agencies use this system, even when it's not in their best interests.
 

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It seems that Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) has a significant financial incentive to increase the sheer number of permit applicants. I don’t know the specifics, but when they got the contract to run Rec.gov they touted a unique contractual agreement that is transaction fee based and that the gov't agencies pay nothing. So what used to be an expense for agencies running permit lotteries, is now free (to the agency). If we look at the 4 Rivers Permit Lotteries, the number of applicants has skyrocket since they rolled out the revamped Rec.gov in late 2018. Pre-2018 grow rates were more moderate.
2017: 29,527 lottery application​
2018: 30,204 lottery applications​
2019: 35.874 lottery applications​
2020: 43,214 lottery application​
2021: 56,311 lottery applications​
This trend looks great if you are BAH, but not so great for folks hoping to win the permit lottery. Seems they took strategic advantage of the fact that public land mgmt. agencies have been underfunded for years.
 

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Not in my house, we have lots of animals but I refuse to have anything that has to shit in the house. Years ago we tried to have cats for the hay barn, but the peregrine falcons and eagles kept eating them lol it got to the point where the humane society wouldn't give us any more cats... True story
 

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on helmets: I have seen people hit their heads on the rowing frame in a flip, so it's not only about hitting rocks
I had a spare oar from the side or maybe one up top come flying around and whack me in the head hard. Thought it was curtains, then realized had my helmet on and immediately went into "didn't hurt, didn't hurt", ha.
 

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I had a spare oar from the side or maybe one up top come flying around and whack me in the head hard. Thought it was curtains, then realized had my helmet on and immediately went into "didn't hurt, didn't hurt", ha.
Wearing a helmet seems to make oars go for the throat shot. I got throated clean out of the boat last season. I let that oar sit outside this winter to contemplate its future decisions.
 

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It seems that Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH) has a significant financial incentive to increase the sheer number of permit applicants. .....
This trend looks great if you are BAH, but not so great for folks hoping to win the permit lottery. Seems they took strategic advantage of the fact that public land mgmt. agencies have been underfunded for years.
Have you ever seen any sort of marketing by Booz to suggest Booz has pushed demand for river permits? No. It's real demand, and if there is anything pushing it it's users and guide services on social media, not Booz. River permits are a rec.gov flyspeck. 90,000 campsites all over the country. That's at least some money. But it's still a flyspeck. 18 million a year for ten years? Booz has annual revenue north of 6 billion. C'mon guys. An online reservation system is not the problem.

Also, helmets are smart. No lie, the helmet posts reminded me yesterday that I should get a couple more so that there's one for each of us in my family. And so I ordered two on sale.

you guys increased my helmet demand.
 

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Skunked: Middle, Main, Selway, San Juan, Lodore, Deso. Also everyone in my 7 person pool group got skunked.
Me too (just the Utah rivers). The river permit system is completely out of date and contributes to the scarcity mentality. You want to go on a river trip, so you don't just apply for the trip you want, you apply for EVERY trip. then, to be extra sure, you get everyone going on your trip to apply for every river. No wonder it's impossible for any of us to win a lottery.

The GC was the worst. It's still horrendous, but not the 20 year wait it used to be. I think the idea of weighting the lottery is going to have to happen on other rivers, too, and on any river where there's not the "Ultimate Life-List Experience" crap that's attached to the Grand, the policy might actually work.
 

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No yampa/Dino/san juan but hey got on Dino the last 3 years.
“If you don’t want to learn a new skill, don’t worry, the government will make sure you skip to the front of the line.”

I’ve boated with an almost-blind dude, lady in a full leg cast, many in their 70s, little kids. Where is this mythical public that “needs” outfitter service?
Us. The support of all those commercial guests is what stopped the dam building before it plugged every single western river from source to sea. Skills-for-access is absolutely the worst possible model for guaranteeing there will be rivers to run.

But I hate that I can't get permits, too!
 

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Maybe I'll see you there!

I have never won a permit in my life. I've gotten so used to rejection that it seemed stupid to check. Then... WOOHOO !!! Got Lodore !!! Happy dance !!!!

Let me tell you about my friend who, in a span of 7 years, scored TWO GC permits (one on his first try), a congruent Lodore/Deso (that's a nightmare shuttle), and TWO congruent MF/main Salmon trips. He's a good guy to know.

Clearly some of us pray to the wrong gods.
Seems like the permit systems need to be integrated so this kind of random nonsense doesn't happen.
 

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Thank you for your service. I’ve heard some very unfair comments from impractical idealists over the years about GCPBAs role in the CRMP negotiations. Actually it is stunning what was accomplished for private boaters in the face of entrenched money and power. Also infuriating that so much compromise was necessary. Emphasis on necessary. Some conveniently ignore that last part.

I still think it is criminal BS that anyone is allowed to sell guaranteed access to a river with high demand. I also know this is a practically useless thought in the real world.
Maybe the thing to do is limit advertising? You can sell your trips, but you can't advertise. Business is endlessly rapacious--there is never a point reached where they have enough, it's the nature of the beast, and why we need regulation. If they weren't adding to the hysteria by whipping people into a frenzy, there might not be so much demand?
 

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Have you ever seen any sort of marketing by Booz to suggest Booz has pushed demand for river permits? No. It's real demand, and if there is anything pushing it it's users and guide services on social media, not Booz. River permits are a rec.gov flyspeck. 90,000 campsites all over the country. That's at least some money. But it's still a flyspeck. 18 million a year for ten years? Booz has annual revenue north of 6 billion. C'mon guys. An online reservation system is not the problem.

you guys increased my helmet demand.
I think it’s more of the bar‘s too low now. In the past you had you do your research for each river system, understand the different regs, and time schedules. It was work and easy to screw up. You needed to be in to it. I fell off of the old Grand wait list after over 10 years for forgetting to re-up one January. It was on me. Nowadays, anyone can look at some web page, or an MB post (yes we’re completely complicit) and say, that looks cool and 15 minutes later have 6 or more lottery submissions.

Plus of course, anything outdoors is hot right now with the pandemic. Look at golf. Record number of public course rounds last year.
 

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Nothing drives me more nuts than seeing a commercial company with guests in helmets and the guide in a ball cap. Do as I say, not as I do. The guests want to be like the cool guide...even if the guide is wearing a nice WRSI and the guests are in a livery Protec, the guide (or private trip leader) should at least model the behavior they want their passengers to emulate.
I've taken a lot of newbies down the Lochsa. It's hard to come up with good fitting helmets for everyone, but many of my family friends are hockey players, so I just have them wear their hockey helmets on the rio.

You make a good point about PFD's. I don't think a V is necessary in Class 2 water...but where it's aerated or has strange seamy eddylines and the river is actively sucking things down, that flotation really is a good idea. I need to add some loaner type V's to my stock.
After several years of going down the Middle Fork Salmon and wearing my helmet for the class IV rapids this year I learned a hard lesson. Low water class III not wearing my helmet....been through this rapid several time and find myself having to go around a stuck raft. Long story short, spun, glanced a rock and I see my wife launching off the side of the boat, split second later the frame cracks me on the head, splits my head open and I bleeding like a stuck pig. I was lucky I didn't fracture my skull or was knocked unconscious. Wearing my bonnet from here on.
 
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