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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
BLM seeking comments on 15 commercial recreation permit applications in Eagle, Grand and Summit counties


The Bureau of Land Management Kremmling Field Office is seeking public comment regarding ten new commercial special recreation permit applications and five SRP modifications for the Upper Colorado River Corridor and surrounding areas within Grand, Eagle and Summit counties.


The BLM accepted permit applications for specific niches from June 1 to December 31, 2014. The BLM ranks permit applications using specific criteria, including type and quality of customer service, experience, business plan and overall quality of the application. New permit applications under consideration are:


• Trout Trickers (float fishing)
• Fly Fishing Outfitters (float fishing)
• Fish on Colorado (float fishing)
• Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides (float fishing and rafting)
• Mo Henry’s (float fishing)
• Soft Side Up (stand-up paddle)
• East Grand School District (rafting)
• SportAid, dba Lifelines (rafting)
• Renaissance (rafting)
• Above and Beyond (rafting)


Permit modifications under consideration are:


• Arkansas Valley Adventures (shuttle of rental equipment)
• Gore Range Expeditions, dba Stand Up Paddle (shuttle of rental equipment)
• Adventures in Whitewater (shuttle service and stand-up paddle/kayak)
• Blue Quill (float fishing)
• Devil’s Thumb (float fishing and rafting)


The BLM issues commercial SRPs to provide recreation businesses the opportunity to operate on BLM lands, to implement recreation management decisions and to ensure a fair return to the public for commercial use of public lands. To help with its evaluation of these permit applications, the BLM is seeking public comments regarding the applicants’ safety history, conflicts with applicants or their employees while operating on public lands, natural resource protection or any other information that would be useful to the agency as it considers the applications.


For more information on each applicant’s specific niche, please check the Kremmling Field Office’s website atBLM Colorado | Kremmling Field Office | Recreation. To provide comment on the applications, contact Hannah Schechter at 970-724-3008. Please provide comments by March 14, 2015.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
 

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None of the BLM's business! Who owns what? the .Gov or the people?
 

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I'm all for new small business but 10 apps for one season and one county. Those rivers are already really busy. What happens when they give ten recreational permits a year out for twenty years you won't be able to float the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Scoping and comment periods:
The BLM holds external scoping periods before conducting NEPA actions in order to identify issues the public would like addressed in the action. The BLM often holds comment periods at later points in the NEPA process to allow members of the public to provide input on proposed actions.

The length of scoping is determined based on the size or scale of a proposed action. Since SRP analysis is part of a routine NEPA action, we determined a 15-day scoping period would be sufficient. The Kremmling Field Office Manager has extended the scoping period for one week (period ends March 21st).

Estimated User Days:
Permit applicants have applied for the number of user days below. Because we have not completed analysis on the permit applications yet, we cannot yet say exactly how many user days would be added.

Estimated User Days (not including guides)
Float fishing (Pumphouse to State Bridge)
Blue Quill 100
Trout Trickers, LLC. 150
Fly Fishing Outfitters 500
Fish On Colorado 100
Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides 100
Mo Henry’s 100
Float boating (Pumphouse to State Bridge)
SportAid International, Inc. dba Lifelifes 200
East Grand School District 200
Above and Beyond 4x4 1000
Stand Up Paddleboarding
Soft Side Up 100
Shuttling
Arkansas Valley Adventures Unlimited
Gore Range Expeditions dba Stand Up Paddle Unlimited
Adventures in Whitewater Unlimited


Permit Locations:
All these rafting and fishing permit applications are for the Upper Colorado from Pumphouse to State Bridge. The shuttling companies are from Confluence Recreation Site (of the Blue and Colorado) to State Bridge Boat Access. Adventures in Whitewater is also applying for shuttling on the Lower Blue River from Green Mountain Dam to the BLM Confluence Recreation Site (BLM is doing a separate NEPA document for that Blue River shuttle since it was not covered in the 2012 Programmatic EA that covered rafting, fishing, and shuttling on the Colorado River.)

New Permits granted:
We received a total of seven permit modifications and have sent two permit modification denials already. We received a total of eleven new permit applications and have already sent three permit application denials. These denials were based on BLM Kremmling not issuing new wade fishing permits, poor application quality, and outfitters being on probation with other agencies. The outfitters that are listed in the press release had their application approved (all materials requested were submitted, high quality application, and no current issues with other agencies). If we receive substantial comments about these outfitters, additional checks may happen. If there are additional issues with any of these outfitters, the Kremmling Field Office may deny their permit. Kremmling has not made any decisions on how many permits, if any, will be issued for the 2015 season. Scoping comments and further analysis will determine the number.

Facility Upgrades:
Commercial Outfitters pay 3% of gross revenue plus $1.25 per person if they launch/take out at Pumphouse, Radium or State Bridge. These fees are added to the private user fees of $5/vehicle. Over the past ten years major improvements have been made with user fees (both commercial and private) at both Pumphouse and Radium Recreation Sites. Some of these improvements at Pumphouse have been: boat slide at Launch 2, widening of Launch 3, parking improvements, firewood sheds (firewood will be sold at both Pumphouse and Radium campgrounds in 2015), shade structure, 8 new campsites, etc. Improvements at Radium are the new boat launch which includes toilets, ADA sidewalks, shade structures and lots of parking.

Please see below for fee collections for 2013 (We are still waiting for the final charts for 2014 from the BLM Northwest District Budget Office).

BLM 2013 Fee Collection at Pumphouse, Radium, and State Bridge Recreation Sites
$183,671

Fees collected from Commercial boaters (Pumphouse and Radium) $106,860
Fees collected from Commercial boaters (State Bridge) $7946
Fees collected from Private boaters (Pumphouse and Radium) $61,194
Fees collected from Private boaters (State Bridge) $7,671


Campsites:
Commercial trips (from Pumphouse to State Bridge) can conduct overnight trips (if the outfitter has overnight trips in their operating and business plan) and camp in any site on the first-come, first-served basis. Currently, we have 200-500 commercial users per year camp at the dispersed campsites along the river. Around 90% of our commercial outfitters conduct day-use only floatboating and fishing trips. Additionally, we do have companies reserve the group sites at both Pumphouse and Radium Recreation Sites. Any group can reserve these campsites by calling the Kremmling Field Office.
 

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Thank you for posting Hannah.

One question. Does the stretch in question have established carrying capacities, and if so, how many days last season were those capacities exceeded? Seems like that many additional user days will add significant congestion to an already crowded stretch of river. Is there a public forum where you solicit input from stakeholders, or is the entire scoping process done via the internet? Thanks for any info.
 

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Bump

Hey folks,

Tomorrow's the last day to comment on the outfitters applying for permits. Please remember that:

Comments are requested "regarding the applicants’ safety history, conflicts with applicants or their employees while operating on public lands, natural resource protection or any other information that would be useful to the agency as it considers the applications."

Your comments should be directed to Hannah Schechter at the BLM Kremmling Field Office. Putting up a post here on MountainBuzz should not be considered a valid comment.

My understanding is that this solicitation for comments is a preliminary step in granting permits for additional river use and that there will be later opportunities to comment, hopefully with more information provided on what the impacts will be to the Upper Colorado.

Thanks!

-Andy
 
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