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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! Looking to get on the Rio Chama this year and wondering if anyone here has a permit that they will be cancelling. I’ve been checking the website religiously since April 1 and there are zero openings - the office phone number isn’t accepting calls (or wasn’t last time I checked). Thanks in advance!
 

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Have you tried calling El Vado, aka Cooper's Ranch shuttle for information? 575-588-7704

Or: Barry Weinstock at 575-751-4720 or BLM Taos Field Office at 575-758-8851

Best of luck!
 

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I think we're all wanting to know what's going on with the Chama this year. It is the first year permits were issued using recreation.gov and it just not the same. There is also some talk about doing some work on El Vado Dam so not sure what that will do to the flows. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks all - we were skunked on the first release for permits but thought I would have surely been able to get something on April 1.....I will try the numbers listed here - when you try calling the field office it’s just a recording. Everyone stay healthy out there!
 

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April 1st was a go

April 1st there were weekday permits available so I can confirm that this part of the transfer to Rec.gov was working. We snagged one.

Another in our group has a Memorial weekend Chama permit and no guidance yet about any launch restrictions or modifications (such as BLM/Ruby Horsethief lowering group size to 10).

Coopers Ranch (the put-in location) is closed due to Covid-19. Is that just the ranch or also the launch site?

I will be on the phones tomorrow and will post anything that I find out. Perhaps someone here has more info to share?

Thanks!
 

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Gonna have to wait until Cooper Ranch opens and Covid-19 mellows out

We're sending you this message because of your Recreation.gov reservation, xxxxxx-yy, at Rio Chama River Permits for May 08 2020.
A location closure has been issued for Rio Chama River Permits due to Public Safety Concerns.
Since this location closure overlaps with the dates for your trip, we have cancelled your reservation and you will receive a full refund. Credit / debit card payments will be refunded to the card associated with your account. If you paid by cash or check, you will receive a refund check in the mail (please allow up to 8 weeks).
The experience and wellbeing of visitors is our top priority, and we apologize for any inconvenience with this location closure. Thank you again for your understanding, and please contact Rio Chama River Permits if you have any questions.
 

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The New Mexico governor has been on an incredible power trip and very disconnected. New Mexico with some of the fewest cases of COVID will be the last state to re-open, and the most broke as always. She will defend the now well understood disastrous over reaction to COVID to her death bed.
 

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Please keep political discussions off the 'Buzz

Please keep political discussions off the 'Buzz. DidNotWinLottery may not agree with New Mexico's Stay At Home rulings and the 'Buzz should not be used as a venue for venting. Let's keep these threads focused on watersports and being on the rivers once they have reopened!

Yes, my permit was cancelled but it was done following BLM's guidelines. There's no hard feelings on my behalf because I support those on the frontline, including BLM rangers, and wish to give them as much space as needed. The gang at Cooper's Ranch are awesome and we should help them out during this time by follow their posted guidelines and supporting them once things calm down.

SYOTR in June!
 

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Agree with DanHunter regarding this thread. I do have a Chama permit coming up and it would be cool to keep this thread Chama specific and non-political.

I think that what makes MBuzz great is all of the various viewpoints.

There is a coronavirus thread on MtnBuzz already.

That said, it looks like they must be closing on a "let's wait and see" basis. Your May 8th has been cancelled but my May 22nd has not (yet). How long will Cooper's Ranch be closed? Any ideas on that and will launch be open even though Ranch accommodations may not be?

Thanks!
 

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May 22-23 Chama launch dates cancelled

Agency closure.
Just got my "Dear John" letter.
At least I can buy a six pack with my refund.
Sad
 

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I had a May 20th launch which was cancelled and refunded by Rec.gov. I spoke with the nice people at the Taos BLM office today. The BLM said the upper Chama is closed through 5/31. They have posted a sign at Coopers which says the river is closed. They are awaiting further direction for post 5/31. Possible that it will reopen in June but still unknown at this time.
 

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Chama reopening?

I have been trying to get through to the river office and have literally called every available number for the BLM for the past week concerning the Rio Chama. They are not answering the phone or returning phone calls. Has anyone heard if they are going to reopen in June? The folks at the shuttle company say they have heard it was going to reopen but can't confirm. Any info would be appreciated.
 

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Try this contact for Taos BLM

Teddy L is the current river manager down at the Taos Field office. He called me back the day after I left a message and was very helpful. He was really hoping that the river would be open but was following directives from the NM Governor.
This was a few weeks ago. My trip was cancelled.
Anyway, his contact # is 575-751-4720
I think that this # is different from the BLM office #.

Hope that you can get some answers. Please post if you do. We have a trip scheduled in August. It's got to be open by then, right?:rolleyes:
 

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Thank you. I already happened to have a call into Teddy L. and he did promptly respond. He left me a message that said they are hopeful to get the Rio Chama open 6/1/20. He added that they have to follow guidelines from state and local authorities which could change. He instructed me to monitor my email for something from rec.gov. in the next couple days, my launch is 6/3. He did not say anything about additional regulations. Unfortunately, I did not answer the phone. I did not get to tell him I already got a (business as usual) 'form letter' from rec.gov last week that said trip was a go and to remember to look over regulations, but this normal looking form letter said nothing of covid, reopening, etc.
 

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I was disappointed to receive my rec.gov cancelation email on June 1st for my June 3rd Launch. The river manager stated that he wanted to get the rio open on June 1 but obviously was not able to. Closed until June 7th when they will decide again.
 

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I was also told by Teddy from the Taos field office that they were planning on opening on June 1st. That was on Wednesday, May 27. So I thought we were good to go for our June 8 launch. On Monday, June 1st, I got my cancellation e-mail from Rec.gov. I tried to call the BLM folks again but they didn't answer so I called the folks at El Vado. They said the BLM folks told them on May 28 that the river was to remain closed through June 8. This was confirmed by an e-mail from Judy Culver, the assistant field manager who said she made the decision. So literally the next day after I was told we were a go they did a 180 and changed their minds. Nothing like having the rug pulled from underneath you. I would like to point out that while the BLM is wringing their hands over what to do on the permitted upper section, the lower 9 miles managed by the USFS has been open the whole time without any restrictions at all. Seems stupid to have two different policies for what is essentially the same stretch of river. Very disappointed. I was also told that next year they will be doing maintenance to the dam and there might not be enough water to have a season at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Darn - I hope this stretch of the river re-opens soon! Can you all imagine how difficult it is going to be trying to get ANY permit next season?!?!
 

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Just cancelled a launch for tomorrow. Was expecting the water to drop and did a trip over the weekend. Hopefully someone can grab it. 600 cfs right now, and only one launch a day.
 
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