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Oh shit I should have read the page. Tbh doesn’t sound too bad. Adding a few more camp sites and only weekend nights will require a permit. I’m not for the permit idea but it’s truly inevitable at this point. Until the tragedy of the commons is solved say good bye to freedom. I do think the 50/50 is too high though. The commercial trips already get ruby. My opinion is pick one. However I don’t make the rules 😂 at the end of the day I have summers off so I’ll enjoy my weekday trips. 🤙🏻
 

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How will they enforce backpackers camping at the mouth of Dominguez?
Backpackers would likely have an option to purchase a "walk in" camp on wreck.gov, OR be like Grand Canyon where one is obligated thru the rules to "share a camp" with another user group if need be. I've shared with backpackers a couple times over the years in GC, offering to feed them and take their trash for them. Never regretted doing this, and always welcomed the "new" folks into the group as it were for a night.
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.
Are you talking about feces, or calling commercial customers turds? As far as Feces, in my experience rangering at Westwater, we really don't see a lot of that. When they do camp, commercial outfitters are quite good at setting up groovers, and educating their peeps on how to use them, selecting locations that are conducive to the peep's modesty requirements. Commercial trips for the most part don't camp in Westwater canyon, with the notable exception of Holliday out of green river, that tend to turn WW into a 3 day overnight launching at RHT and taking out at Cisco, Commercials usually only lunch in a camp and float out the same day. The commercial guides set up a groover when they stop for lunch. What we DO see is commercial customers pissing in the bushes, my guess is females that are modest and don't want to drop their pants to pee in the river where everyone can see them due to the nature of the landing in places like little hole and upper little D camp. One dry year as far as precip, I stayed at Little Hole camp to do some reclamation work, and lord almighty, one couldn't get away of the stench of urine.. We spent the morning hauling buckets of river water up the steep bank, eventually dig steps into the bank in an effort to stem the stench.
The access sucks and most people will boat it once and go back to RHT
That it does, but if it's permitted, likely the access will improve into hardened sites that commercials can back right up to in order to put in and take out.. Use WILL increase as it will be advertised on wreck.gov, and as access increases, so will use. I admit I haven't boated it in 10 years, the take out was one reason, but I sure did enjoy the float when I did. We mostly took duckies and did a backpack style trip which made the carrying to and from the river less onerous. Much like Labrynth and Stillwater canyons, it's a perfect float for a canoe or ducky with gorgeous scenery. The downside to boating it in the summer is it's hotter than all get out, and little shade in most camps if any IIRC.

In short, as upacreek points out, now is the time to comment, and as he also points out, substantive comments carry WAY more weight than whining and bellyaching comments, which are pretty much ignored as non substantive.
To be most helpful, comments should be as specific as possible. A substantive comment provides new information about the Proposed Action, an alternative or the analysis; identifies a different way to meet the need; points out a specific flaw in the analysis; suggests alternate methodologies and the reason(s) why they should be used; makes factual corrections, or identifies a different source of
credible research which, if used in the analysis, could result in different effects.

Excerpts from the NEPA Handbook 6.9.2.1

Substantive comments do one or more of the following:
  • question, with reasonable basis, the accuracy of information in the EIS or EA.
  • question, with reasonable basis, the adequacy of, methodology for, or assumptions used for the environmental analysis.
  • present new information relevant to the analysis.
  • present reasonable alternatives other than those analyzed in the EIS or EA.
  • cause changes or revisions in one or more of the alternatives.

Comments that are not considered substantive include the following:
  • comments in favor of or against the proposed action or alternatives without reasoning that meet the criteria listed above (such as “we disagree with Alternative Two and believe the BLM should select Alternative Three”).
  • comments that only agree or disagree with BLM policy or resource decisions without justification or supporting data that meet the criteria listed above (such as “more grazing should be permitted”).
  • comments that don’t pertain to the project area or the project (such as “the government should eliminate all dams,” when the project is about a grazing permit).
  • comments that take the form of vague, open-ended questions.
Examples
Substantive Comments
--Suggesting a new alternative;
“I would like to comment on the Draft EIS Upper Siuslaw Late Successional Reserve Restoration
Plan. Giustina Resources owns and manages timberlands within one mile of the boundary of the
proposed project area. Our concern about the proposed and other alternatives is how the
management of these forests may impact the health and survival of our company's forest
resources. More specifically, we are concerned about increased risks of fire and epidemic insect
populations as a result of leaving cut trees on the ground and predisposing remaining uncut trees
to windthrow. Perhaps another alternative could be developed that would allow multiple density
reduction entries and would remove a high percentage of the merchantable wood during each
entry. This would allow a gradual opening of the stand thereby reducing the magnitude of
windthrow damage and would not provide the vector for epidemic populations of Douglas-fir bark
beetles or Ambrosia beetles.”
--Questioning the analysis and suggesting a new alternative; “The EA should have had a better discussion (in light of recent research results) of the anticipated
impacts and benefits of thinning on the different age classes of trees in the different harvest units.
The EA should have had another alternative that considered deferring harvest of the older
stands.”

Non-substantive Comments
--Comment on topic unrelated to the NEPA document under review; “Also, the use of chemical fertilizers and chemical/biological pesticides at the Tyrrell Seed
Orchard near Lorane should be replaced with non-chemical means, to prevent impacts on the
upper reaches of the Siuslaw in order to aid the restoration of the Late-Successional Reserves
farther downstream, and to maximize the benefits to the endangered species.”
--Simply disagreeing with the proposed action “Finally, we are opposed to what appears to be a very aggressive road closure program. In spite
of what many “ologists” contend, roads for management and fire protection are very valuable. If
indeed there are some sections that create water quality problems, then close or fix them.
However, destroying 45 miles of road in a basin this size is an ill-conceived idea. “
--Simply agreeing with a BLM policy “I appreciate the seasonal restrictions on yarding and hauling activities. Such restrictions serve to
reduce compaction thus maintaining soil productivity, and reduce sedimentation of streams.”

One last thing, duplicate substantive comments will be treated as one comment, although if they get a bunch of these, it may make it into the final EA that there were an overwhelming amount of these comments, so try and be unique in your commenting to carry the most weight with the managing agency. If they get enough substantive comments, it could possibly trigger a full blown EIS, which can take years to create, and include many more factors / issues than the "fast lane EA" they have in place right now, which is a good thing. In this case it seems from reading https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/2016450/510 they pretty much have their minds made up as to what they are going to do.. Your substantive comments CAN change that.

so to summarize
.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 completely unrealistic dare say delusional, that's your sad and selfish business.
Using the above guidelines, comment now, get your friends to comment even of they aren't boaters, the entire populace is welcome to comment, and if you use these guidelines, your comments (hopefully unique) will carry weight and you CAN have a say in the outcome of this process.

I'll step down off my soapbox for now.. Comment, Comment, Comment or forever hold your peace and deal with what the gubbermint comes up with on their own.
 
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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
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
Government keeps getting bigger and bigger and of course a more restrictive policy. BLM gets more fees $$ and we the people loose access to our Rivers!! Give the government more $$? WTF
 

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Government keeps getting bigger and bigger and of course a more restrictive policy. BLM gets more fees $$ and we the people loose access to our Rivers!! Give the government more $$? WTF
Problem is, past the fees to actually use the river, wreck.gov is a private for profit enterprise that the government agencies are literally mandated to use, even when it makes their life more difficult. BLM / USFS/ Etc receive nothing from the IIRC 8 bucks you give to wreck.gov for the privledge of using their clunky unintuitive interface

The government isn't getting bigger and bigger in this instance, managing rec sites such as this, is a huge consumer of tax dollars, way more than a permit fee would support and given the wide range of things the agencies manage, well anything that's a drain on their budgets is not something they welcome. As in this case, resource degradation is usually the trigger for more management.
 
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Are you talking about feces, or calling commercial customers turds? As far as Feces, in my experience rangering at Westwater, we really don't see a lot of that. When they do camp, commercial outfitters are quite good at setting up groovers, and ...
A turd let loose by an individual in the river has exactly the same end result as a turd dumped into a groover which is then later emptied into the closest town's cesspool / Water treatment plant which later gets dumped into the river. The same biological filtration process takes part on either turd.

A permit system will bring the area onto the map and will increase net turds due to that. Floaters, Groovers, Outhouses, Port-A-Potties, Gas Stations, et al.[/QUOTE]
 

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A turd let loose by an individual in the river has exactly the same end result as a turd dumped into a groover which is then later emptied into the closest town's cesspool / Water treatment plant which later gets dumped into the river. The same biological filtration process takes part on either turd.

A permit system will bring the area onto the map and will increase net turds due to that. Floaters, Groovers, Outhouses, Port-A-Potties, Gas Stations, et al.
[/QUOTE]
Ok, sorta follow you, but increasing permits isn't going to increase humans producing turds, just the turds being deposited elsewhere than a groover etc. , and while I don't want to derail and hijack this thread, here's a little insight into just what wastewater treatment actually does.

Years ago, when sewage was dumped into waterways, a natural process of purification began. First, the sheer volume of clean water in the stream diluted wastes. Bacteria and other small organisms in the water consumed the sewage, turning it into new bacterial cells, carbon dioxide etc. Did little to negate nasties such as typhoid, cholera and such.

The trend today is towards the use of the activated sludge process in what they call a digester, as it digests the sewage. The activated sludge process speeds up the work of the bacteria by bringing air and sludge heavily laden with bacteria into close contact with sewage, During this time, the bacteria break down the organic matter into harmless effluent.

To complete treatment, effluent (wastewater after being run thru the digester with the sludge) is usually disinfected with chlorine before being discharged into receiving waters. Chlorine is fed into the water to kill pathogenic bacteria, and to reduce smells. Done properly, chlorination will kill more than 99 percent of the harmful bacteria. Some, not all, wastewater plants use tertiary treatment, a third way to further clean the water. I can't explain it as well as they do in the link below.

Hope this helps.
 

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The ' digester ' you speak of is in fact a ' Protein Skimmer ' of aquatic animal husbandry. The effluent is directed into a container and air is directed in opposition to it, which causes the proteins to foam and can then be skimmed off. What is done with the proteins after they are skimmed off in wastewater plants is anybody's guess. Maybe shot into space harmlessly, although I doubt it. What it does, though, is effectively reduce the load on the biological pond systems further down.

The nasties such as cholera, typhoid, etc are coming into the sewage system. They are not a product of it. Not sure how they get there, probably biological contamination from mass animal-based food production systems, but the necessity of having to chlorinate waste treatment plant discharge because of it has a detrimental effect on the ecosystems of the river. Chlorine is toxic to all marine animals. No marine animals can live below a water treatment plant if it is releasing chlorine. Aquatic animals seem to have no problem living below a discharged floater, though.

Anyways, implementing permits will increase the biological load in the area simply because people can then reserve ' somewhere ' to go and be assured acceptance when they arrive. It doesn't matter it it's the relatively boring Gunnison or if it's the Grand Canyon. It's a place to plan on going to and knowing you will raft on it once you do rather than it being full of locals and have to go home empty handed.

Visitation wil rise exponentially. Cie La Vie Gunnison.
 

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An anaerobic digester is not a protein skimmer. It is a tank that is kept at a pressure slightly higher than atmospheric and kept around body temperature. Organisms digest organic matter and release things like methane that can be captured or used to fuel an external combustion engine or at least flared. There is no air in an anaerobic digester; thus the name.

There are a number of wastewater treatment technologies. The reclamation plant at our local utility uses what's called "trickling filter/activated sludge" process. They are expensive to build and not very expensive to operate. They do actually duplicate the natural processes that would happen in the water column and bed of a river, but the difference is they do it in a "big jar." Solids from the digester are dewatered and used as an agricultural amendment. Solids stay in the digester for an average of about 30 days. The liquid portion is treated with chlorine in a chlorine contact chamber to kill any remaining organisms, and after it's been in contact with chlorine for an appropriate amount of time, the chlorine is removed with ascorbic acid or thiosulfate.

Sewage (wastewater) is 99% water to start with.... When wastewater enters the plant, it goes through a grit separator. This removes anything people have managed to get into the sewer (or storm drain in the combined part of our system) that aren't poop, pee, paper, or water. Tampon applicators. Soccer balls. Pocket knives. All myriad of things. One tech told me about fixing a lift station that wasn't working. Someone had somehow managed to get a dryer vent hose in the sewer. It wrapped around the shaft of the lift pump several times. He said it was truly the most disgusting task he ever did snipping it into small pieces and pulling it off the shaft. I digress.

A primary clarifier allows some of the larger solids to settle. These are pumped to the digester. Clearer effluent flows through a weir to the next step. The wastewater is aerated, and some of the organisms from the digester are added. This allows some digestion. This is the same thing that would happen in the water column of a river. Again, solids are pumped to the digester, and the liquid goes to the trickling filters.

Trickling filters are just big tanks full of big river rocks. The rocks get coated with organisms. Water is sprinkled over the top and works its way through the filter. In warmer weather, the two trickling filters operate in series. This maximizes removal of nitrogen and carbon; different organisms work differently one after the other. In winter, the filters are run in parallel in part because one of the processes is to slow in winter and also because flows increase (inflow & infiltration into the sewer and some storm water). This means more to treat, and it's also more dilute.

Effluent from the filters goes to a final clarifier. Solids go to the digester. The remaining effluent is chlorinated, dechlorinated, and put back in the river.

There are protein skimmers on the clarifiers, but the digester is the digester.

After digestion, biosolids are moved to one of two lagoons. Each summer, one lagoon is partially dewatered, and the biosolids are trucked to farm fields. There are regulations on what can happen on those fields after application and for how long. Row crops have to wait two years if I recall. I think pasture can be used in less than a year. I don't think you can apply it to fruit tree orchards or anywhere food could come in contact with the ground. Early in the program, there were problems. Not what you would think. Because biosolids have more than just nitrogen, they are really effective fertilizers. If applied at agrinomic rates to a grain crop (or grass seed), the plants grew too fast and the seeds grew too big and then fell over so they couldn't be harvested. So they are now added at less than agrinomic rates. Works great.

Biosolids are regulated heavily. Depending what is in them, there can be limits on how much can be applied to any given field. Our biosolids don't have anything we need to track. The primary concern would be copper. There's a plant in our system that makes Jiffy Pots, and there's some copper that comes out of their manufacturing process. As I recall, if we did have enough to have to track it, we could only apply our biosolids to any given field once a year for something like 1000 years if I recall.


Yeah... I guess I can talk some shit.


None of this has anything to do with the reservation system for the Gunnison. Just thought I would "clarify" what a digester is. Since part of this was covered farther up thread, you can call me a secondary clarifier....
 

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I have a related shit story, again not having anything to do with Gunnison permits. I lived in Rock Springs for a while in the late 70's. They came up with a new system to process biosolids and used it as fertilizer for the local golf course. After a time, the fairways were covered with tomato plants - seems the system allowed tomato seeds through intact and viable. Needless to say, the system was short lived.
 

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My name isn't Will
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Bird watchers often will come to our biosolids lagoons.

Let's just say that ducks like corn, and the hulls don't digest completely.
 

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Thanks Will for a great explanation of the science of modern wastewater treatment plants. Quite a bit more advanced than a simple closed ecosystem in a fish tank, but the end result is the same.

Technically a lot more complicated vs. a simple reef aquarium filtration system, but basically the same. Ammonia to Nitrites to nitrates then get rid of the nitrates separately if possible, otherwise dilute them.

I think people are more worried about seeing a turd when camping than the river ecosystem.

So, more people turding up the Gunnison is OK as long as they don't have to see them in turd form.
 

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My name isn't Will
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There's a limit to how many fish you can keep in a tank without making them unhealthy.

Likewise, turds in the river or in/around camps can make people sick. It's not just about degradation of the riverine environ. Handwash station doesn't get broken down until after the groover is put away. There's a reason for that.

The description of a trickling filter/activated sludge system was only to counter your claim that an anaerobic digester was a protein skimmer. I'm glad you enjoyed reading about modern turd herding.
 
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