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The BLM proposes to designate campsites, establish a reservation system for designated campsites, and provide equitable allocation of commercial use along the Gunnison River corridor as it flows through the D-E NCA. Public scoping will begin today and input can be provided through ePlanning at: https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2016450/510

Public scoping period will be open until December 15, 2021
 

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What are your all's thoughts on this?
My thoughts in short are:

If they implement a reservation system, it will be run by wreck.gov. All of the sudden people who normally wouldn't want to boat this section, or who were previously unaware of it, will be applying for the permits, increasing use and decreasing permits available to those that have historically boated it as a nice weekend local trip. Much like Ruby horse thief, it'll be damn near impossible to get a campsite on a section of river that doesn't see much use at all, until they start to actively manage it.

By designating the use 50/50, commercial and private, commercial use which hardly exists there at all if any, will blossom and lead to hardened sites, and a bunch of allocation that could be used by privates, all of the sudden being used by commercials, or at very least reserved for commercials whether they use it or not

I have many other objections to this, from both the river management standpoint, and the private boater standpoint, The least of which is the fees charged will need to support the additional personnel salaries and requirements needed to manage the river...

Hopefully, if they get enough comments in the negative towards actively managing the river, and enough substantive comments that aren't in favor of hardened sites, it will force an EIS, instead of an EA.

YMMV...
 

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This is a stretch of river that could definitely use efforts to reign in overuse, however I think there are some major points that must be addressed and considered to avoid the new issues created by permitting. Thought I'd share these thoughts here for a constructive dialog since a more unified front in terms of comments mean they will actually carry more weight.

1) Enforcement: In this transition towards permitting and a fee structure, BLM must allocate some of this revenue to actual enforcement as well as infrastructure. As rules and reservations are simply not effective, if an enforcement effort in also absent. This appears a large reason why many BLM-manage public lands elsewhere have suffered and been degraded over the pandemic, as there either seems to be no appetite to follow existing land management mandates at an administrative level or there exist inadequate staffing to do so.

2) Fairness: To ensure equal opportunity for the public to enjoy this portion of the river, commercial operators should receive 1/3 of allocated camping sites but never more than 50% to avoid further commodification of this natural resource. These should also be limited to sites of a certain size and perhaps specific locations to avoid noise problems associated with groups of a larger footprint. This also prevents issues with creating bottlenecks for preferred campsite or competition between users classes that inflame tensions, as well as potential problems where public reservations are cancelled then diverted to commercial usage. This allocation should also probably depend on season, possibly with low use times (fall, winter) not requiring reservations weekdays and also possibly removing the commercial allocation altogether then since outfitters don't usually run year round anyhow.

3) Impact: Requiring responsible management of human waste (no wag bags!) and camp fires as well as a robust reporting system to penalize those who leave significant impact to the detriment of other users. Frankly, I've hiked through this D-E area plenty and have lost count of the amount of turd piles and trash I've seen in riparian areas proximal to heavily trafficked river camps. This is both a disgusting hazard to public health and degrades the environment. While having pit toilets or Porti-Potties may be helpful at popular put-ins and take-outs, trash cans should not be present because they can quickly become overwhelmed by bad actors and create nuisance with wildlife.

4) Scheduling: Given this is a relatively short stretch of river, the reservations system needs to be more stringent to ensure equal opportunity for the public to secure them. The Rec.gov Ruby-Horsethief system, for example, appears ill conceived, prone to abuse, and is currently gamed by opportunists ( :poop: ) who use the cancellation/refund policies and convoluted block scheduling to their shrewd benefit which often results in sites that are unoccupied or under utilized. Therefore a NO REFUNDS policy should be required, and those with reservations that don't actually use them or allow a site to be wasted by last-minute cancellation should be penalized further by revoking access to the system for a period of say 90 days.
 

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This is the guy who is hijacking our rivers for his own use. All his points lead to enabling his use of the river vs. traditional users.

Wreck.gov favors elite rich people vs. traditional users. Side doors to get reservations and reserving when they ' might ' want to go because the money means much less to them vs. traditional users. Just like toll roads. It's just another way for them to get around everyone else to the front of the line.

BLM facilitates it to empire build. Create a somewhat plausible problem, solve it by building your empire. Pendley is still alive and well in GJ and actively commandeering all possible land he can get. Look for the area, and all other areas to get much more ' controlled ' in the near future. Only for recreational; users, though. Mining, Forestry and Petroleum industries can continue on.

I'm selling my kayak as in the near future I don't believe I will get on a river unless I have an ' in ' with the controlling elite. It will just become another memory of when we had liberty and freedom.
 

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This is the guy who is hijacking our rivers for his own use. All his points lead to enabling his use of the river vs. traditional users.

Wreck.gov favors elite rich people vs. traditional users. Side doors to get reservations and reserving when they ' might ' want to go because the money means much less to them vs. traditional users. Just like toll roads. It's just another way for them to get around everyone else to the front of the line.

BLM facilitates it to empire build. Create a somewhat plausible problem, solve it by building your empire. Pendley is still alive and well in GJ and actively commandeering all possible land he can get. Look for the area, and all other areas to get much more ' controlled ' in the near future. Only for recreational; users, though. Mining, Forestry and Petroleum industries can continue on.

I'm selling my kayak as in the near future I don't believe I will get on a river unless I have an ' in ' with the controlling elite. It will just become another memory of when we had liberty and freedom.
Features of a dying empire. The decline is terminal
 

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Sonnet to Liberty
by Oscar Wilde

Not that I love thy children, whose dull eyes
See nothing save their own unlovely woe,
Whose minds know nothing, nothing care to know,—
But that the roar of thy Democracies,
Thy reigns of Terror, thy great Anarchies,
Mirror my wildest passions like the sea,—
And give my rage a brother——! Liberty!
For this sake only do thy dissonant cries
Delight my discreet soul, else might all kings
By bloody knout or treacherous cannonades
Rob nations of their rights inviolate
And I remain unmoved—and yet, and yet,
These Christs that die upon the barricades,
God knows it I am with them, in some things.
 

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Frankly, I've hiked through this D-E area plenty and have lost count of the amount of turd piles and trash I've seen in riparian areas proximal to heavily trafficked river camps. This is both a disgusting hazard to public health and degrades the environment.
This is the 'problem' with traditional users. I understand the 'loss of freedom' a permit system brings, but I am frankly sick and tired of traditional users that trash our public spaces. There is no defense of this behavior. I also understand the few bad apples ruin it for everyone, but how can you prevent this behavior without a permit system?
 

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Thanks for the heads up on this. Speaking also of RHT, does anyone know if there is a plan to rectify the current reservation issues/ abuse of the reservation system? A new thread may be needed for THAT discussion....
Nothing that I've heard of, the managing agencies think wreck.gov works just fine...{not really, but that's the party line they are told to repeat}

Troy Schnurr retired, he was kind of sorta to trying to work on it I heard, but didn't have much confidence that anything would ever get done.

Wreck.gov was quite literally pushed on the managing agencies, and after having dealt with it for a year or two, the managers either love it or hate it, but being a private for-profit enterprise and not a branch of the government, as long as it kinda sort of works, nobody is willing to put forth the time trouble or effort to try and affect a change.

It would truly take at least 60% of the managing agencies or more, to threaten to stop using it in my opinion before anything would happen. Highly unlikely that would happen, but that's just my opinion and was $7.50 and my opinion you can get a cup of coffee at Starbucks
 

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It would truly take at least 60% of the managing agencies or more, to threaten to stop using it in my opinion before anything would happen.
Or you might be able to force a change with directed activism. As with most things, this boils down to money. In the past, in many areas, private business has always carried the fiscal load while the public reaped the benefits. What if we advocated for a permit system that would only charge permit fees from commercial users and the private users would be free?
 

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Or you might be able to force a change with directed activism. What if we advocated for a permit system that would only charge permit fees from commercial users and the private users would be free?
For one thing, the commercial outfitters are a lot stronger and have a lot louder voice than you may think. They contribute a shit pot of money to the managing agencies that they never see from private permits. If private voters paid anywhere near what the commercial outfitters pay, your permit would be in the hundreds of dollars..

Besides, you're looking at bucking an agency that is nationwide and heavily endorsed by the federal government
 

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Thanks for the heads up on this. Speaking also of RHT, does anyone know if there is a plan to rectify the current reservation issues/ abuse of the reservation system? A new thread may be needed for THAT discussion....
I've heard that people jack with the RTH permits, but how so? Do you mean they buy one and never use it? IS there something going on with cancelations? I'd appreciate knowing what problems people are referring to.
 

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You may as well be pissing into the wind, if think absurdly extreme positions will result in any positive change here. Have they ever? To me, they only serve to distract and dilute constructive conversations. The brass tacks is that BLM is going this direction, as are almost all boatable rivers to stem to problems associated with the Tragedy of the Commons. So grow up and get with the program...this is a golden opportunity to speak up and have a voice. Reasoned comments with examples and thoughtful insight might actually be considered, whereas moronic fist-shaking and bemoaning ethereal or intractable issues with "society" will only get ignored. So if you want to surrender this chance to make meaningful comments by rather suggesting things that are unrealistic dare say delusional, that's your sad and selfish business. But for the rest of us living here in reality, where there exists a massive challenge managing public resources that can only support so many users, let's not just hand over another stretch of river to Rec.gov without our honest input and feedback.

This is not a thread about rehashing problems of RHT either, nor about providing a better blueprint to further scam an imperfect system. It's about coalescing evidence and experience to support assertions as a possible vehicle for change; because the inevitability of the Free-Rider Problem has brought this issue to a head and wistful nostalgia only serves to poison the discussion.
 

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I don't think anyone can dispute that there will not be more turds in the river if commercial river trips begin on the lower Gunnison.

I gotta admit I love the idea of a loudmouth, outspoken Californian taking a big gulp of water and trying to avoid thinking about my butt along with all the collective butts draining from all the cesspools ( water treatment plants ) upstream being in it. Maybe the ammonia and nitrites are gone, but the butt remains :)

Every one downstream from a city can enjoy that little thought.
 

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I’m for and against the permit on this section in one breath of air. How will they enforce backpackers camping at the mouth of Dominguez? The wont know about the river permit system. Also I can mention this section to people who have boated quite a bit and they have never heard of it. The access sucks and most people will boat it once and go back to RHT, permit fees won’t change the access as what’s there is set in stone because of the railroad. I think the 50/50 allocation is bs. High use should be identified and not just “labor to memorial”
 
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