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From time to time, a question comes up about what GCPBA and its Board really do. And as we move into a new year, with new initiatives, it’s appropriate to answer that question for members and constituents throughout the river community.

GCPBA was organized for the purpose of representing the interests of private Grand Canyon boaters. Repeated surveys of the membership and the Board over the years have identified a single unifying interest for the organization – access. And while a number of important secondary areas are also part of the picture, GCPBA has concentrated on expanding access to the Grand Canyon for private boaters.

Doing that in today’s complex regulatory and organizational environment – and doing it effectively – involves far more than just designing a letterhead and throwing up a web site and listserv. The Board engages in a wide range of activities, among which are the following:

* Participating in the analysis of, and response to, major documents such as the Colorado River Management Plan.

* Reviewing a wide range of other documents originating with the Park and other agencies, looking for relevance to private boaters, and drafting and submitting responses as needed.

* Monitoring and responding to web site and listserv inquiries about GC boating and GCPBA.

* Traveling to meetings with the Park Service and other agencies and organizations, such as the Overflights group.

* Corresponding with other agencies and organizations, by phone, mail, and I nternet.

* Managing and coordinating activities such as the annual Auction, the Store, and the web site.

* Administering a membership roster and bookkeeping system for the organization.

* Advocating for specific programs that benefit boaters, such as the Park’s proposed shade pavilion at Lees Ferry.

* Developing fund-raising initiatives to support organizational goals.

* Participating in joint discussions with other interested organizations, such as the GCROA, GCRRA, American Whitewater, and the Hualapai Tribe.

* Publishing the Waiting List, our occasional journal and other materials for the benefit of our members and the general boating public.

* Developing environmental conservation strategies like the propane campfire and funding studies on the effectiveness of river dish washing systems.

GCPBA’s Board serves without compensation. Most individual Board members provide phone, postage, and other services to the organizations without reimbursement. Some members have never even requested reimbursement for their GCPBA-related travel.

The Board represents a wide range of river-runners, and the Board itself is composed of folks with widely varying interests and views. So a major, ongoing task is to find consensus on issues as they arise, and determining the most effective means of addressing them. That results in a need for ongoing communication and coordination.

Finally, the Board continually seeks feedback from members and interested constituents in the river community. We do that through the GCPBA web site email links, the Yahoogroups GCPBA listserv, monitoring other listservs and bulletin boards, and direct membership surveys.

The GCPBA Board is dedicated to serving its membership and the GC boating community at large. Help us keep making access possible while protecting the resource by joining if you are not a member, by perhaps giving a gift membership from our store if you are, and by providing us with the feedback we need to stay in touch with the needs of the private GC boating community.

Rich Phillips

Join Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association at click on "Join", and support active, ongoing private boater representation on Grand Canyon issues
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