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The Bureau of Land Management, Monticello Field Office has released a Draft Business Plan for the San Juan River for public comment and review. The draft plan proposes to increase river recreation fees to better cover operational costs, which have risen substantially since the last time fees were raised in 2001, and proposes to modify the river’s permit lottery season to improve permitting efficiency and customer service. The proposed fee increase and lottery changes would begin with the 2014 river season. The press release and draft plan can be found on the Monticello Field Office homepage: Monticello.

The public comment period ends on January 25, 2013.

Silas Sparks
Recreation Assistant
Bureau of Land Management
Monticello Field Office
 

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Thank you so much Silas for providing us with this information and the opportunity to review it. The San Juan is one of the most pristine trips available to 4-Corners floaters, and I believe every effort should be taken to keep it that way.

I am on board with the proposed fee increases. They are not unreasonable. One particular quote from the draft business plan stood out to me:

"There is currently no fee to apply. In 2011, 90% or 3,695 applications were submitted for launches during the peak user demand season of April 15th through July 15th."
 

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I too have no problems with the increased fees.

I thought these stats from the document were very interesting:

Non-commercial permits for the high-use river season (April through October) are initially distributed through a lottery that occurs the first week of February. Successful applicants receive a launch reservation, which they must confirm and pay for within 30 days of their launch date to obtain a river permit. Each year the Monticello Field Office receives approximately 4,200 noncommercial applications for the permit lottery. There is currently no fee to apply. In 2011, 90% or 3,695 applications were submitted for launches during the peak user demand season of April 15th through July 15th. Of the applications submitted for April 15th through July 15th, 12% were successfully drawn. Applications submitted for launch dates outside of April 15th through July 15th, had a 75% success rate. Unsuccessful applicants, as well as applicants who apply for a permit following the lottery, can then obtain available and cancelled permits through advance phone reservations. In 2011, the majority of private river users (62%) obtained their permit through post-lottery phone reservations and cancellations, rather than the lottery.

The vast majority of private use is regional. In 2011, 86% of private permits were issued to trip leaders from the four corners states (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico). 46% of private permits were issued to trip leaders who reside in Colorado. 25% of private permits were issued to trip leaders from the communities of Durango, CO (15%) and Flagstaff, AZ (10%). Less than 1% were issued to local (San Juan County, UT) or international boaters. The visitor origin of all private river runners is likely more widespread than that of the permitted trip leaders, as many trip leaders bring visiting family and friends from beyond the region.
 

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Same story! Commercial use accounts for 29% of user days yet revenue form commercial last year was 17.9% of total!
 

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Fee increase and application fee OK with me. Like that the application and fee can be submitted online. Haven't been in a while...heard it was difficult to reserve a shuttle. Always used Valle's, but looks like only from SI to MH now. Any scoop on this or other shuttle companys? Despite the cost, done with doing shuttles...
 

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Thank you for posting this on here. That is huge and a great example of you/BLM reaching out to the user community. I wish it was this way across the board for BLM.
 
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