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From the GCPBA email list:

-AH
-----Original Message-----
From: On Behalf Of Rich
Sent: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 1:25 PM
To:
Subject: [gcpba] Secondary Lottery This Week - A Message From the Park

A lottery has just opened for 23 launch dates in 2011. The lottery will accept applications through 12:00 noon MST on Thursday, January 13th, and be run shortly thereafter. The available dates include:

Standard Sized Trips (1-16 people):
Jan 2011: 19, 27, 28
Feb 2011: 10, 15, 16, 26
Mar 2011: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 13, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27, 29
Apr 2011: 15
Sep 2011: 1
Dec 2011: 23

Small Sized Trips: (1-8 people):
Apr 2011: 6

Winners will be required to pay their $400 trip deposits by noon on Friday, 1/14/2011. If you apply, please log back into the system the evening of January 13th to check the status of your request.

You can find a listing of available launch dates at Grand Canyon National Park - Available Noncommercial River Launch Dates (U.S. National Park Service).

***** The 2012 Main Lottery *****
Applications for calendar year 2012 launch dates will be accepted through the lottery website from February 1 through noon on February 23rd. The actual drawing will take place by the end of February.

If you are interested in obtaining a launch but would rather not receive email announcements, please update the email preferences you listed in your profile. To do this, just login and click on Edit Contact Information. If you need any assistance, please ask. We are happy to help.

Sincerely,
Steve Sullivan
 

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Just a little bitch and moan - but isn't it a bit ridiculous that the park charges the full $25 fee if you are only applying for one date? I mean, I have no interest in trying to put together a trip in 2 months, so I am not going to apply for the early dates (and, if I won one of those, it would destroy my chances of getting a better date in the 2011 lottery). I'll still suck it up and pay the money for the chance - but hearing the amount of money the park is making off of this lottery compared to the number of people who actually win a permit each year makes me a bit ill.
 

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Emmielou- maybe this thought will help settle your stomach:
In a down economy what is one of the first things cut from a state budget?
Before they hack the education system, infrastructure, or lobbyists, they take it from the recreation funds.

What is one of the first things that a republican majority will look at to help balance national budgets?
Money that goes to the park system.

If the park has worked out a way to come up with a little windfall that allows them to be less reliant on the whims of 'beneficent' legislators, I wouldn't begrudge them that. Besides, the operating budget of a park that covers that much land, regulates that many different types of recreational pursuits and gives so many thousands of people an experience with wilderness that will change their lives (always for the better) forever, has a truly massive overhead cost.

So unless you truly relish the thought of unregulated GC access and scooping all the redneck poop that would entail, meanwhile running behind mortality trips and cleaning that mess as well... just pay the damn lottery fee.
 

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Fees too much.

The GC lottery is the most expensive so yes 25 dollars is ridiculous and the 400 they charge if you win is also ridiculous. Why can all the other river lotteries do it for much less? Also keep in mind the amount of money the NP service makes from the commercial motorized cattle boats...not exactly sure what services the NP provides for the money. Seems to me that most other rivers like the Middle Fork are better managed as well by the forest service imho even BLM does a better job.

Just a little bitch and moan - but isn't it a bit ridiculous that the park charges the full $25 fee if you are only applying for one date? I mean, I have no interest in trying to put together a trip in 2 months, so I am not going to apply for the early dates (and, if I won one of those, it would destroy my chances of getting a better date in the 2011 lottery). I'll still suck it up and pay the money for the chance - but hearing the amount of money the park is making off of this lottery compared to the number of people who actually win a permit each year makes me a bit ill.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Bitching and Moaning

No one likes putting up the $25 entry fee - and as for how ridiculous it is, we're talking about a full $10 higher than the yearly sacrifice for a chance at a 4 or 5 day Lodore trip, and 4 times the cost of a 6 day Middle Fork trip. As for getting dinged for $400 the day your number's picked, its a pretty good way for the NPS to make folks are serious about the chance to go. Even if several people put in for the lottery, tripcosting the total entry fees comes out to peanuts by the time you get to Diamond or Pearce.

The NPS puts a ton of effort into managing the river, yet the total number of user days is only about a couple of percent of the annual park visitation. Private boaters are the ones who put lot of pressure on the NPS to make sure all the launches get used. If you flake out, the NPS is the one scrambling to fill your launch at the last minute. If you apply, you better have your act together to plan and do the trip.

If you look at the costs of managing a stretch of river versus what they bring in from user fees, the fees don't come close to paying for the management. We've been getting a great deal for a long time and I don't see it going on with the austerity measures coming down the pike so we can keep subsidizing oil companies and agribusiness, you better get accustomed to higher user fees everywhere you go play.

If you're too cheap to pay the lottery entry fees, remember the San Juan's free to apply for.

-AH
 

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As for the $400, that goes against the amount you pay for your participants. What I was just wondering about was a solo trip...Do you still put up $400 when there are no other people going?

I'm going with a friend who got the Feb16th date. Another guy I know got the Feb26th date, but didn't take it and is coming with us now. That Feb26th is the sweetest date-its like a spring trip with winter dates-the 25 day trip. I hate that they took away the 30 day option.
 

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Just a little bitch and moan - but isn't it a bit ridiculous that the park charges the full $25 fee if you are only applying for one date? I mean, I have no interest in trying to put together a trip in 2 months, so I am not going to apply for the early dates (and, if I won one of those, it would destroy my chances of getting a better date in the 2011 lottery). I'll still suck it up and pay the money for the chance - but hearing the amount of money the park is making off of this lottery compared to the number of people who actually win a permit each year makes me a bit ill.
It's free if you already submitted an application for this year. Should have planned ahead. . .
 

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If I thought the grand was better managed, I would be less annoyed by the fee. I am curious to know how much of the thousands of dollars charged by commercial companies for their trips actually goes to the park and river management. At the same time, I agree with use fees and think its better than waiting for congress to apportion more money for national parks.

That being said, paid the fee, didn't win, sucked it up, applied for 2012. Andy's point is on target - we pay an extra $10 for the lottery for one river that puts most of its user days towards commercial use. It's not unreasonable, just annoying.
 

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Em- I wouldn't say that "most" of the user days are commercial. At 103K non-commercial user days vs 114K commercial user days, that's not really that huge a difference- only 5% separate the numbers.

I'm not saying that I don't think there are still things that should change about the Grand and the way it's run (motors in a wilderness area is anathema), I'm just saying that we should give this plan more of a chance- get the waitlist folks all off and all our launch dates available before you complain too much. I think by the time the waitlist is gone, and we get some of the people down the grand who will only go once or twice in a lifetime, we'll see significant changes in how many people are applying and going, and we may be allowed to go more than once a year. I mean, really, how many people are capable and available to spend that much time away from work and on the river??

I'm also being realistic- we're never going to eliminate commercial outfitters or get them to give up summer launch dates, or get them to stop using motors. It's like Blago said, commercial launches are an "effing valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
 

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Em- I wouldn't say that "most" of the user days are commercial. At 103K non-commercial user days vs 114K commercial user days, that's not really that huge a difference- only 5% separate the numbers.

I'm not saying that I don't think there are still things that should change about the Grand and the way it's run (motors in a wilderness area is anathema), I'm just saying that we should give this plan more of a chance- get the waitlist folks all off and all our launch dates available before you complain too much. I think by the time the waitlist is gone, and we get some of the people down the grand who will only go once or twice in a lifetime, we'll see significant changes in how many people are applying and going, and we may be allowed to go more than once a year. I mean, really, how many people are capable and available to spend that much time away from work and on the river??

I'm also being realistic- we're never going to eliminate commercial outfitters or get them to give up summer launch dates, or get them to stop using motors. It's like Blago said, commercial launches are an "effing valuable thing, you just don't give it away for nothing."
Bingo. There will be issues like allowing repeat trips for winter boaters, reducing overflights, and others. Motors aren't going away and its going to be tough to get more allocation from the commercials.

The motors debate's flared up over on the GCPBA list for the last few days and here's an interesting post Dave Luinstra made regarding commercials and their motors:

Those of us with the time and equipment represent a minor percentage of the people in the country.

The National Park and the Colorado River belong to the citizens of this nation.
Everyone should have the privilege of seeing the Grand Canyon and Colorado
River. This means some people need shorter trips and more support than us.

Ask my mother and her sister about their Grand Canyon trip, at the age of 70 and 68, on a motorized commercial trip, you will need have several hours to listen their experience. Truly their trip of a life time.

I hope many more seniors have Grand Canyon memories to share with everyone who will listen.

The biggest threat to the Grand Canyon is 15 miles upstream of Lees Ferry.
While I'm not a fan of motors, one thing to bear in mind is that according to modeling done for the 2006 CRMP and folks' anecdotal experience, when a commercial motor trip overtakes you, they're part of your experience for about 15 - 20 minutes before you have the river to yourself again. When a commercial oar trip overtakes you (and they WILL overtake you because they're professional rowers on a tighter timeframe than most privates), they can be part of your experience for a couple of hours and actually diminish the solitude and wilderness experience.

-AH
 
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