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Discussion Starter #1
Here is the skinny - straight from Rob White at the AHRA - the latest and greatest - some changes since the Feb 13 meeting -

Integrated Concept Plan
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area - 02/12/04

The below noted information consists of an Integrated Concept Plan (ICP) to provide assistance in resolving a number of Private Boat and Special Use Agreement issues that have been brought to the attention of Colorado State Parks and the Bureau of Land Management.

Reduction of Commercial Boat Per Day (bpd) Carrying Capacities

Browns Canyon (Section 2 B) – Reduce Commercial Capacity on weekends & holidays from 450 bpd to 360 bpd.
Rationing will be implemented only on those days where bpd capacities are reached or exceeded; other days in Section 2 B will not be Rationed until those days reach or exceed bpd capacity. Rationed Days currently allocated at 450 bpd will remain allocated at 450 bpd until Demand dictates the elimination of those Rationed Days in Section 2 B. "Retroactive Rationing" of commercial use will not be used.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Parkdale (Section 4 B) - Reduce Commercial Capacity on weekends & holidays from 300 bpd to 240 bpd. This 60 bpd reduction will be available for commercial use on Rationed Days on weekends & holidays in Section 4 B when the Royal Gorge (Section 5) is under a High Water Advisory from AHRA. Rationing will be implemented only on those days where bpd capacities are reached or exceeded; other days in Section 4 B will not be Rationed until those days reach or exceed bpd capacity. Rationed Days currently allocated at 300 bpd will remain allocated at 300 bpd until Demand dictates the elimination of those Rationed Days in Section 4 B. "Retroactive Rationing" of commercial use will not be used.

The plan provides for an initial reduction in Commercial Capacity during the high-use season in Section 4 B, from 300 bpd to 240 bpd on weekends and holidays. This section capacity, at the discretion of the AHRA managers, can potentially increase to 270 bpd and then 300 bpd, or go to 300 bpd without an incremental increase once the following condition is met:
- There are 21 or more Rationed Days in Section 4 B.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 - 09/07

Increase in Commercial Boat Per Day (bpd) Carrying Capacities

Numbers (Section 1 C) – Increase Commercial Capacity on all days from 60 bpd to 90 bpd. The 30 bpd increase in Commercial Capacity will be restricted to 10 bpd increments and only allowed if the following conditions, as outlined in the Arkansas River Recreation Management Plan, can be met:
- Existing facilities can be expanded to accommodate the increase in commercial boating traffic/use;
- Additional resource degradation does not occur with the preceding incremental increase;
- Increases in conflicts between user groups do not occur with the preceding incremental increase.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Adjustment of Commercial Launch Window

Numbers (Section 1 C) – Adjust Commercial Launch Window from 8:30 am – 11:00 am to 8:30 am – 2:00 pm.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Reduction in Private Boat Per Day (bpd) Carrying Capacities

Numbers (Section 1 C) – Reduce Private Capacity on all days from 350 bpd to 320 bpd. Such reduction will only occur if and when there is a corresponding increase in Commercial Capacity.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Increase in Private Boat Per Day (bpd) Carrying Capacities

Browns Canyon (Section 2 B) – Increase Private Capacity on weekends & holidays from 150 bpd to 240 bpd. In order to reduce potential user conflicts and/or congestion at the Hecla Junction Recreation Site, AHRA staff will take the following mitigating actions:
- Install signage at Browns Canyon put-in locations encouraging private boaters to launch prior to or after commercial launch times. Specifically, such signage will encourage private boaters to launch after 3:00 PM.
- Expand the Inflating/Deflating Beach Area for private boaters.
- Improve and/or expand parking facilities where possible.
- Station park staff at the boat ramp during peak use times to assist with congestion and traffic control.
Effective Time Period: 05/15 – 09/07

Private Boat Permit System

Work with Private Boat Permit Planning Team to establish a working framework for an AHRA Private Boat Permit System. The Private Boat Permit System, if and when established for Browns Canyon, will designate 40 bpd to be launched after 3:00 PM.

Minimum Fee

The purpose of the Minimum Fee is to recover those fixed costs associated with managing Special Use Agreements within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area.

Increase Minimum Fee for Special Use Agreements/Boating from the current $400 per year to $1,500 per year. The increase will be phased in over a three-year period. In 2004 the increase will be from $400 to $700. In 2005 the increase will be from $700 to $1,200. In 2006 the increase shall be from $1,200 to $1,500.

Increase Minimum Fee for Special Use Agreements/Non-Boating from the current $250 per year to $500 per year.
The increase will be phased in over a three-year period. In 2004 the increase will be from $250 to $330. In 2005 the increase will be from $330 to $410. In 2006 the increase will be from $410 to $500.

Minimum Per Client Fee

Establish Minimum Per Client Fee for Special Use Agreements/Boating – 5.25% of Gross with a minimum of $2.00 Per Client (Equivalent to current AHRA Individual Pass Fee).

Agreement Transfer Incentive

$5,000 Agreement Transfer Fee if Boating Agreement is Transferred.
$0 Agreement Transfer Fee if Boating Agreement is Retired (Use Transferred).
$500 Agreement Transfer Fee if Non-Boating Agreement is Transferred.
Minimum Operating Requirement

Establish a 3-year Minimum Operating Requirement prior to transfer of Special Use Agreement/Boating.
Agreement retired if Minimum Operating Requirement is not executed.
 

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Devel's Advocate:

Nobody wants permits in Browns, but......

Just so that private permitting won't kick in, we cut-back the commercials in Browns to raise the levels for the privates. In return, the commercials get boosts in all other areas of the river.

But if the privates still go over the new limits in Browns in the future, permits are put in place anyway.

BUT, if the Commercials go over, or max out, they raise the limits so they will be right back were they were (are) now, plus they have all the extra slots everywhere else on the river.

No wonder most commercials appove of the plan, this plan favors them later, but only helps provates for one or two seasons.

If they changed the boat count, to a more equitable people count... Oh but wait, they refuse to even discuss it.

Was the Original Arkansas River's plan authored by the smae people in charge of the Grand Canyon Plan? --Oaky, maybe that was a low blow.

my .02

Ed Hansen
 

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I agree with geezer....who agreed with Ed.

There needs to be some protection of the total numbers of people, not just boats.

There needs to be a stipulation that if the commercials get their numbers increased back up in Browns, Parkdale, etc. that they then lose the new higher numbers in the Numbers and any other section that they got an increase.

Overall, I would like to thank those who have worked on this for us private boaters. I think they did as good a job as could be done under the circumstances.


tomcat
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yep the people at the AHRA are getting ready for a private permit system. If not this summer or next then FOR SURE by 2006. Even at the new level of 240 bpd (boats per day) 3-4 days will go over in 2004 and the same in 2005. So by 2006 they are saying that we can expect to have the busiest 6-8 days rationed in Browns. Also if my math is correct - if all the use is used by private boaters and commercials then we could have 6 to 8 - 600 boat day (s) down there in Browns. This has never happened and I am wondering if Hecla Junction can handle all the rafts, kayaks, commercial busses, vans, fishermen, trucks, and cars. It is known as Hecla International Harbor so 45 to 90 more vehicles will just add to the social aspect. It is looking more like the AHRA and their plan is taking the unused commercial use and moving it to the privates (so they can get more $ from fee’s). Then adding or increasing the fees for commercial outfitters (so they can get more $). Is this plan about use in Browns or just a way to get more money for the state?

Just a couple more points to think about
1. 70% of private use is from kayaks
2. 30% is from rafters – it’s not the # of people but the # of boats
3. Section 3b (down by Salida) is hitting the capacity level as fast if not faster than Browns so there will be rationing down there as well.
4. These sections: the Numbers, the Narrows, Parkdale, and the Royal Gorge have never even come close to capacity so private permits are not even on the radar in these sections.
5. Both the play parks in Salida and Buena Vista are exempt from rationing - so 1,000,000 people a day can park and play on any given day.
6. The ARHA does not have the time or the $ to get a permit system up for the 2004 season. So no worries until 2005 but the way that this ICP reads any day over 240 bpd in 2004 will = a rationed day in 2005.
7. The State Parks Board meeting on March 25th or 26th ? – I am not sure of the date - is when they (the State Parks Board) could vote to take the ICP from concept to reality.
8. The new feedback date is March 5th so if you want shoot out an e-mail to State Parks do it by then.
9. If you are interested in this topic get a copy of the Management Plan and educate yourself on the plan – you can get one from the AHRA in Salida – it was just redone a couple of years ago and is great reading – it lines out all the entire Plan for the Arkansas River.
 

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The number one reason to support this plan as a private boater is that it will correct a serious inequity in Browns Canyon. If use patterns stay the same we will be permitted in Browns no matter what, however do want 240 lauches or 150? Remeber that the high day for commercials in Browns was something like 350 vs. 293 on the high day for Privates. So if the numbers stay the same in Browns Commercials can pack 100 more boats in Browns before they are permited while we only have 150 lauches. Think Browns is too crowded with rafts now?

As for off the cuff comments like "I think the same people who wrote the Grand Canyon plan wrote the Ark Plan" That is bullshit. As a private boater rep for the last two years I can tell you that the AHRA process is more open than any I have ever seen. Privates have the same representation on the CTF as Commercials and we have been working our ass of to fight for more boats in Browns for Privates and the negotiations have been hard. Remember that the commercial increase in the Numbers is severly restricted (10 boats per year if they meet the three crieteria spelled out in the Mng. Plan: expanded facilities, no user conflicts and no additional resource impact) where our increase in Browns is immediate with no restriction.

Look, Browns is overwhelmingly the most popular section on the river for Private Boaters (all you have to do is check the counts) we need to protect our use in that section. Anyone who needs more info or has questions on this plan call me, 719-539-0700 or e-mail [email protected]
 

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Ed Hansen states that:
But if the privates still go over the new limits in Browns in the future, permits are put in place anyway.

BUT, if the Commercials go over, or max out, they raise the limits so they will be right back were they were (are) now, plus they have all the extra slots everywhere else on the river.
Where in the plan does it state this?

Ed, tomcat, and othes: instead of bitching, send an e-mail to [email protected] . This is a political process--make your self heard. The commercial boaters are using their political muscle--we need to use ours.

I'm happy to accept Mike Harvey's recommendation to take this deal, but we need to start flexing political muscle--or else this plan will be "revised" once again, and again. We should plan to try to change the "boats per day" statistic in the future. This is a clear inequity that we need to target.

How come CWWA isn't active here? They should be the organization representing private boaters. I haven't seen any comments by them, I haven't seen any communication by them on this, I don't see anything on their web site about this--where are they?

Private boaters can flex more muscle now than they did in the 80's and 90's because of the internet. Let's use it! Send an e-mail to [email protected] !
 

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Thanks for pointing that one out. That is totally false. Commercials are permitted in the Gorge, Section 3 (Salida East) and would be in Browns with this plan. Ed, you need to be careful and not post information that is so faulty, read the management plan or call AHRA or myself with questions before you put it out on the Informaiton Super Highway.

CWWA is very active on this issue. I speak with Mark Robbins and Jay Kenney regularly about this plan and they have also had at least two confrence calls with Rob White (AHRA) and Jason Robertson (AW) myself and Marshall on this issue.

I agree that the boats vs. people, counting issue needs to be looked at again but remember that this issue will not be up for discussion again until the whole plan goes under review, 2010.
 

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tomcat said:
Overall, I would like to thank those who have worked on this for us private boaters. I think they did as good a job as could be done under the circumstances.


tomcat

Just wanted to quote myself as having said that I think Mike et al have done a good job.....no complaining here. My comment earlier only addresses the issue of overall body-counts vs boat-counts and keeping the ecological damage down as much as possible in the heavy use areas. I think Mike also understands this and represents us private boaters very well. Again, no biacthing here. However, I will do my part and send an email to AHRA so Mike will have another commenter to count on his side.


tomcat
 
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