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Discussion Starter #1
Just got the details:

Monday, November 8, 2004
Denver, Colorado
Arapahoe Community College Cafeteria
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton

Once again, the NPS is not fairly addressing the issue. Here is a link to info on the proposed plan:

There is no reasonable justification for the NPS varying treatment of those who choose to go privately rather than commercially. I strongly urge everyone who has an interest in this to read the Executive Summary and then show up and let the Park Service know there is only one fair and right way to allocate permits - by putting everyone on the same list, commercial and private alike.

192 Posts
Copied from some River Runners for Wilderness emails:

CRMP Public meetings will be held at the following cities from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm:
Monday, November 8, 2004
Denver, Colorado
Arapahoe Community College Cafeteria
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton

Release date: November 6, 2004

Colorado boaters and river lovers headed to the Denver CRMP meeting on Monday, Nov. 8th are needed for a press conference at 3:30pm. River Runners for Wilderness, with the Denver offices of The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, is holding a press conference highlighting this opportunity for wilderness lovers to weigh in on Grand Canyon National Park’s Draft Colorado River Management Plan.

Please wear your blue “A Human-Powered Wilderness, Not a Motorized Theme Park” t-shirts for maximum visual impact. If you don’t have one, we have a few to give out before the conference. We have plenty in children’s sizes and welcome their participation, particularly since they can enjoy for their lifetimes, a Colorado River free of motors.

If you can arrive at the park’s open house at Arapahoe Community College, 5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, and meet at the Main Building – West College Drive entrance, reply to this email with the number of folks attending. This alert is being emailed to those we can identify as Colorado residents. For more information, contact Jo Johnson at 303-443-1806 for more information or [email protected]. Thanks for helping to spread the word about this important event…see you there!

RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. Membership is FREE! Send your e-mail address to [email protected] and we'll add you to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail list. To join, visit our website at and click on the “membership” link. RRFW is a project of Living Rivers. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Super Moderator
4,173 Posts
Thanks Jimbo.

Here's the link to the original post that's got some things in it for folks:

I'd hoped that the GCPBA could help guide folks with commenting but what's below is the best I've seen from them. Personally I think that since the settlement against the NPS that got the whole process restarted was supposed to arrange for private boaters to have fair and equitable access here's my take on it:

A fair allocation would split the number of user days 50-50, and until commercial guides can levitate and don't have to pee into the river, they have an impact on the resource and should be counted. The commercial and private launches should be evenly distributed across the seasons too (that will never fly). Make the commercial passengers register on a list along with the private boaters, let commercial and private boaters pick their groups and companies.

The system isn't fair if privates get fewer user days, have to take some of our trips in freezing weather where we don't see sunshine for 3 weeks, and have to wait years longer than commercial passengers to get a launch, or at least will need to have our name on a list a year in advance to go with a set group with no substitutions. The NPS alternative that would have privates scooting through in 14 or 16 days is not enough time.


gcpba Newswire - Draft EIS reading List
November 4, 2005

In order to make informed comments on The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Colorado River Management Plan, the public needs to read it or trust somebody who has. In these days of political spin it's probably best to read it yourself. The DEIS, found at at is big but don't be discouraged. You can read parts of it and learn a lot. Here's a short recommended reading list from the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association.

Executive summary, pp. iii-xx
Elements common to all alternatives, pp. xii, 23-32
Noncommercial permit distribution methods (and other common elements), pp. 98-102
Alternative summaries on p. 36 and 53
Alternative H, pp. 51, 52
Environmentally Preferred Alternatives, pp. 86-98
Wait List Transition Options, p. 663-665
Repeat Users data, pp. 657, 658
Weighted lottery details, p. 651
Camp site restrictions by party size, pp. 236

Do you want a better understanding of the numbers? Why do planners prefer Alternative H and Alternative 4? Do you wonder how the Wait List will be affected? If so, you should read the whole document. Once you understand the science and research involved, and see the restrictions and limits of planning, you might have a better appreciation of the innovative ideas contained in the DEIS. The ideas of GCPBA and other public commenters are included in very great measure.

Agree with the DEIS or not, it's good to be informed. GCPBA is working hard to hammer out ways to make the suggested alternatives even better. Please join us in the effort.

Written for the NEWSWIRE by David Yeamans, Board Member of GCPBA


Super Moderator
4,173 Posts
gcpba NEWSWIRE - Nov. 7, 2004

GCPBA Board Reviews Plan and Comments
On Proposals

The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association (GCPBA) board of
directors have established organizational stances regarding the Draft
Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Colorado River Management
Plan (CRMP). The CRMP and DEIS was developed by Grand Canyon National
Park (GCNP) planners.


1 supports a modified Alternative H

2 identifies the need for additional launches for noncommercial
boaters, above the number proposed in alternative H, to achieve a 50/50
split of launches.

3 supports multiple path access system for noncommercial
boaters, rather than just one avenue

4 proposes additional diversified trip opportunities, such as
small 1 or 2 boat trips

5 agrees with the reasonable incentives proposed to entice wait
list members to move off of the list. GCPBA does NOT support the
requirement for those staying on the list to identify all trip members.

6 does not support the adjustable allocation plan

Board Members, John Bachrach, Willie Odem, Dave Yeamans, Larry
Larusso, Dave Knutson, Bob Harris, Marty Wilson, Richard Martin and R J
Stephenson, and moderator Dave Esposito spent two long days in
Flagstaff during the last weekend in October. The all-volunteer board
worked through the 800 plus page document and critically examined the
eight Lees Ferry launch Alternatives.

Richard Martin, GCPBA President, noted that, "Our goal is for all to
obtain, on an equal and timely basis, the opportunity to experience a
float trip through the Grand Canyon while protecting the resource.
This goal has been used as a filter for every decision we made, every
modification to the plan we propose, everything we do."

The board agreed to accept NPS scientific basis for developing and
evaluating alternatives for the CRMP. The broad principles expressed in
GCNP-preferred Alternative H, namely expanded total river use, a cap on
commercial user-days at the existing level, and a greatly increased
number of noncommercial launches were accepted as well.

"GCNP planners have obviously worked long and hard," said Willie Odem,
GCPBA President Elect for 2005. "There are lots of good proposals in
this plan for private boaters. They should be commended for those
progressive ideas. However, there are still some needs that we need to
address for private boaters and we will do that."

Not all elements of alternative H are perfect and GCPBA will suggest
modifications, perhaps drawn from other alternatives, for an improved
final plan. For example, improvements should include an equal number of
launches for noncommercial and commercial boaters.

Several alternatives were rejected based on the low share of launches
and/or user-days available to the noncommercial boater. Other
alternatives did not make the cut due to a trip length of only 14 days.
Any GCPBA supported plan must provide parity of total allocation
measured in launches and approximated by user-days. A plan must assure
increased and adequate allocation to the noncommercial sector.
Alternative H is a big step in that direction.

Park planners should consider how to increase the total of
non-commercial launches within the framework of their proposal. The
GCPBA Board would recommend the NPS consider increasing launch
opportunities by extending the commercial season in order to spread
their launches, thereby making room for additional noncommercial summer

Other measures could be taken to equalize launches. For example,
additional launches might be found by assigning most of the commercial
March and April launches to the noncommercial sector "in exchange for"
continued allowed commercial motor use in September. Also, unused
commercial launches, if any, could be reassigned to the non-commercial
sector in two ways. In the short term an individual, unused launch
could be redirected to non-commercial use. In the long term,
consistently unused launch dates could be reassigned, e.g. if the
commercial sector never or rarely used their October launches, and data
show that non-commercial demand is still not satisfied, the October
launches could be permanently reassigned to non-commercial use.

As a part of bringing self-guided launches into better balance
with commercial numbers, GCPBA thinks the GCNP should expand their
concept of smaller trip opportunities. We propose an additional
category, that being one or two boat trips with a maximum of four to
six participants.

A core issue, subject to much research by GCPBA, is how to
provide an effective system to distribute launch permits. The
commercial trip option offers a wide variety of trips. That helps to
make use of nearly 100% of commercial allocation. GCPBA thinks an
expansion of trip variety (as previously described above) could help
non-commercial boaters fill the potential of Alternative H's proposed
allocation. GCPBA endorses ideas that enable private boaters to use
the entire noncommercial allocation.

Looking at the details, GCPBA knows that Grand Canyon trips can
require a great deal of advanced planning for some and a short time for
others. A new system for distributing permits should accommodate a wide
range of needs. The proposed access system could be a better one if it
incorporated several pathways to securing a trip permit instead of
being just limited to one method, such as a weighted lottery. Trip
hopefuls could select the method that suited their needs best, and be
not be limited to only one choice. In a multiple path access system
participants could join the lottery OR make a reservation OR stand by
for a cancellation OR remain on a waiting list. No one could not
participate in more than one path at a time.

Another one of the bothersome details that goes unanswered in the
proposals is how the park would distribute permits to it's proposed
small trip category. That's not explained in the DEIS. A separate
lottery and tracking system might be required. Separated lotteries
might give the park an insight into demand for various types of trips,
as well for the popularity of various dates. This would apply to the
proposed 1 or 2 boat category as well.

GCPBA supports the GCNP thought that some number of people per trip
should be identified when applying for a permit for the purpose of
reducing "casual, speculative" applications. We support the concept of
multiple trip leaders or multiple permit holders. We agree that this
will decrease cancellation of trips.

Board members also considered NPS proposals regarding transition from
the existing wait list access system to a new system. The transition
must provide a balance to ensure fair treatment for people on the
current, dead-ended wait list while extinguish the existing wait list
in a reasonable time. We applaud the list of incentives provided to
entice people off the list. They seem fair. However, the requirement
for applicants remaining on the list to identify all members of their
trip immediately seems extremely unfair. It will be difficult to sign
boaters up for a trip that may happen well into the future or at some
yet unspecified date. Reducing the percentage of launches going to
waiting list participants seems a questionable incentive as well, as
these are the boaters who have been waiting the longest.

GCPBA does not support the concept of adjustable allocation. The idea
was explored and researched by GCPBA two years ago and rejected. While
the concept has its positive features, GCPBA feels that it would be at
best unwieldy and at worst completely unfair and arbitrary to manage.
Due to the apples vs. oranges systems for access used by commercial and
noncommercial sectors, it would be extremely difficult to identify
factors that all could agree upon to enable adjustment. A nonadjustable
50/50 split of access enhances a sense of allocation fairness more,
would be less controversial and easier to administer.

In regards to NPS proposed limitations on individual trip
participation, whatever final plan is established, GCPBA is working to
ensure that the GCNP is not allowed to determine which people may
participate in any particular noncommercial trip. We do we agree, all
participants must share equally in the cost. Among other things this
means that no person may be remunerated for participation in a
non-commercial river trip.

The final plan must sound fair regarding allocation of total use and
method of access to river trips if the plan is to be accepted by
boaters in the river running community.

GCPBA is an advocate and a voice for the noncommercial river runner in
Grand Canyon, and was critically involved in forcing the National Park
Service to initiate development of the required the ten-year plan.
GCPBA is preparing additional responses to the DEIS during the public
comment period that ends on January 7, 2005.

GCPBA board members will be in attendance at each CRMP at each of the
seven upcoming CRMP meetings. GCPBA will have hospitality suites open
at each meeting, except Las Vegas, starting one hour before the
meetings begin. So, stop by, we'd like to talk "CRMP" with you.

For GCPBA: Dave Yeamans, R J Stephenson, Richard Martin

Super Moderator
4,173 Posts
Here are the points from RRFW - a more wilderness-oriented group that has a hardline "no motors" stance:


Release Date: November 7, 2004

Colorado River Management Plan

Talking Points

Please comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the
Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP) in Grand Canyon National Park. You can
comment until January 7, 2005. Read the plan using (free) Adobe Reader 6 on
the Park's website at, or through the River Runners
for Wilderness website's CRMP page at <> .
You can submit multiple comments by fax, mail, email, and directly to Park
staff at seven meetings scheduled in Phoenix, Denver, Flagstaff, San
Francisco, Las Vegas, the Washington DC area and Salt Lake City. Denver's
will be Monday, November 8th at 5900 S. Santa Fe Dr. at Arapahoe Community
College Cafeteria. The Salt Lake meeting will be held Wednesday, November

RRFW quickly gave the preferred Alternative H an "F" for continuing the
decades-long discrimination against do-it-yourself public boaters seeking a
wilderness river trip in favor of motorized tour concessionaires. Chief
among its problems is that Alternative H fails to offer even a passing
reference to beginning a phase out of commercial helicopter exchanges and
concessions operators' motor trips. This step is critical for compliance
with the Park's requirement to manage the river for wilderness character.

River Runners for Wilderness is primarily concerned with 4 aspects of the

1) The preservation of wilderness character for the Colorado River in
Grand Canyon National Park

2) The distribution of limited access to the Colorado River in the

3) The need for, and appropriateness of, river concessions services

4) The need for a broad range of recreational services

Your participation is VITAL. Numbers do count and a high volume of comments
in favor of adopting fair wilderness management methods will have an impact.
The Park prefers personalized comments addressing their specific statements
in the Plan. Indications are that general and vague remarks will be
disregarded or "marginalized".

Please use the talking points below and weigh in during the remainder of the
90 day period. Come to one of the Park's open houses, ask questions and
challenge the answers you get. Sign up your friends, family and fellow
boaters as RRFW members-its free-to be part of the largest non-commercial
boater constituency specifically dedicated to wilderness river running.

What You Might Write In Your Comments

"I support a modified Alternative C with the following changes:

* Preserve wilderness character as a resource. Inexplicably, none of
the alternatives identifies this crucial element as a resource in Grand
Canyon, even though NPS policy directs the Park to do so.
* Safeguard wilderness preservation through the elimination of motors.
There must be a motor phase out plan that provides a smooth transition to a
motor free river within 10 years.
* A modified Alternative C should not allocate or discriminate between
user groups. The Park must implement a common pool permit process.
* Equalize the summertime launches between groups and apply the same
group size equally to all types of trips. Alternative C must achieve trips
that are more consistent with wilderness character management of the
Colorado River.
* The Park must ensure all river travelers compete together, equally,
in the same way for trip launches.
* The Park must maintain present noncommercial trip lengths in all

"There are some good components of Alternative H that I like. They are:

* The preferred Alternative H is a step in the right direction because
all river runners, not just noncommercial boaters, must sign up with the NPS
to measure the public's interest and demand for river running in Grand
* The preferred Alternative H is taking a step in the right direction
by reducing commercial oar trips and eliminating commercial motor trips in
* Alternative H awards noncommercial boaters a much bigger allocation
than ever before, although still far below demand, and I support this

"I reject the Park's preferred Alternative H which continues motorized tour
boats and helicopters in wilderness Grand Canyon because:

* This alternative still does not count staff. All alternatives must
count concessions crew as part of the use numbers since all people impact
the resource.
* The CRMP assumes greater future demand for concessions services,
even though concessions services have not been able to sell their seats for
the last three years. The Park must explore at least one alternative that
allows more noncommercial river trip participants than commercial river trip
* The Park's preferred alternative is defective in that there is no
justification to retain the imbalance in the actual number of river
travelers by user group during the summer season. I support a modified
Alternative C which equalizes the summertime launches and group sizes.
* This alternative should not allow motorboat support for paddle
trips. The addition of a motorized boat to support an otherwise all human
powered trip is not necessary and this practice should be eliminated.
* Alternative H does not address and follow the Park's minimum tool
analysis for a proposed wilderness. This and all the other alternatives must
be evaluated for their compliance to "minimum tool" practices (maintain and
manage the corridor using the least intrusive wilderness methods possible to
complete the task).

"In addition, these defects, which apply to all alternatives, are
inappropriate and should be rejected:

* The CRMP must include analysis for all alternatives that justifies
concessions services as necessary and appropriate as a foundation under any
of the alternatives, taking into consideration concessions services have
been unable to fill their allocation in the last three years.

* Even though comments were solicited on what range of outfitting
services should be available to the public, and the topic was further
explored in one of the stakeholder meetings, the Park has not examined in
this document variations on the current very restrictive offering of
outfitted services. This is a gross omission and a missed opportunity. The
Park must analyze a variety of support options, including providing
outfitted guests the opportunity to participate more in their trips, and
allowing self-outfitted river runners to hire consultants for their trips.

* None of the CRMP alternatives have fall-back plans to accommodate
continued drought in the Colorado River Basin. The Park must include an
analysis of how the alternatives will accommodate a low flow
run-of-the-river condition, precluding the operation of large motorized

* In spite of the agency's requirement to eliminate this
non-conforming use, the Park Service's preferred alternative perpetuates
powerboat use for the next 15 to 20 years. There must be a firm expiration
date of not longer than 10 years, explicitly stated in this plan. This
allows flexibility to revisit the plan and solve management problems that
appear in the future."

Your Voice Counts!

Please speak out to preserve wilderness character river trips, equitable
wilderness access, with a wide array of wilderness suitable necessary and
appropriate commercial services. Your opinions are important. If you would
like to share your comments with us at River Runners for Wilderness,
[email protected], we'd love to see a hard copy of your comments.

498 Posts
Was disapointed in local boater turn out. Is this not an area of concern for boaters anymore? Your thoughts would be appreciated. sj
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