Mountain Buzz banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
RRFW Riverwire – Applications Now Open for Grand Canyon 2014 Main Lottery

February 6, 2013

Grand Canyon National Park opened the main 2014 river season lottery for self-guided river trips through Grand Canyon on February 1, 2013. The lottery will remain open through noon Mountain Standard Time on Tuesday, February 26, 2013.

River Runners for Wilderness continues to offer an online guide to navigating the complex 2014 Grand lottery at:
https://www.rrfw.org/lotteryguide

The lottery is strictly online based. The National Park Service (NPS) will not allow applications via fax, mail or phone. Winners are notified solely through email.

Of the 450 trips available in the 2014 season, 180 full sized trips of up to
16 people are in the winter season October through March. There are 194 full sized trips open in the six summer months, with an additional 76 summer trips for small groups only, of 8 people or less. This is in comparison to the park’s river concessionaires who have 600 summer launches of 32 people each trip.

A listing of the available 2014 river trip dates are posted at:
Available Noncommercial River Launch Dates - Grand Canyon National Park
The NPS no longer shows lottery applicants when two self-guided trips are launching on the same day in the online scheduler as they have in the past.

Applications are being accepted on the Grand Canyon National Park’s lottery website at: https://npspermits.us

The NPS reports that in last year’s 2012 lottery for trips in 2013 there were 3,629 applications submitted for 449 launch opportunities. As in all the main lotteries run since 2006, the highest demand dates are the first available dates after the start of the motorboat-free period beginning September 15. In 2012, there were 379 applications for one date alone at the start of the motor-free season.

Lottery applicants must first establish a profile by visiting https://npspermits.us . During the application process river runners must update their last river trip information, as the Park does not supply this data and will collect $400 if the lottery applicant wins the lottery without updating this information, then will revoke the permit and all paid fees.

Unlike lotteries that award participants extra points for participating in the lottery and losing, this lottery gives up to five additional points to do-it-yourself river running applicants for every year the river runner has stayed away from participation in any self- guided or concession river trip in Grand Canyon. River runners who purchase yearly access to the river through the authorized river concessionaires face no parallel obstacles and are free to purchase a trip year after year.

All self-guided river runners are required to show photo identification to law enforcement rangers at the start of their river trip. No such enforcement is required for concessions passengers. River Runners for Wilderness continues to hear anecdotal reports of passengers who participate on two or more concessions river trips per year.

For the last seven winters, Grand Canyon National Park has been unable to find applicants for most of the self-guided permit dates for December and January launches. River Runners for Wilderness continues to ask Grand Canyon National Park to decrease the restrictions imposed for obtaining these unclaimed winter permits.

In a letter to RRFW dated December 12, 2011, Park Superintendent David Uberuarga requested patience while his staff considered ways to make these trips more attractive to river runners. No changes were implemented for the
2012 winter season and the NPS admitted that more permits went unclaimed in the dead of winter 2012 season than in any past season since 2006.

The Park Service charges a non-refundable $25 application fee to be able to play the lottery. This is the highest lottery fee of any federal land river application lottery in the country. Last year’s main February lottery alone generated $90,725.

Unlike other river lotteries, Grand Canyon’s lottery requires a substantial up-front financial commitment for winners, and possible forfeiture of those funds. Winners will have to pay a $400 trip deposit, both for small and standard sized trips. This deposit goes toward the $100 per person river running fee.

The Park also encourages applicants to list at least one Potential Alternate Trip Leader (PATL) on their lottery application. This is important because PATLs cannot be added after a trip date has been awarded. The number of chances an application has with a PATL listed is determined by the most recent trip of all the applications listed members. RRFW would like to remind applicants to carefully select a PATL that will likely be able to go if the permittee cannot, to avoid fee forfeiture and disappointed participants.

By the lottery rules, listing at least one PATL on an application is the only way the permit holder can protect trip participants against a cancelled trip if for some reason the permit holder is unable to make the trip. To this date, the NPS has provided no data to show how often a trip is turned over to a PATL.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to [email protected] and we'll add it to the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.

Join RRFW's listserver to stay abreast of and participate in the latest river issues. It's as easy as sending a blank e-mail to [email protected].

Check out RRFW's Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on Do-It-Yourself Grand Canyon rafting info Rafting Grand Canyon.

Check out new items and donate at the RRFW Store! RRFW is a non-profit project of Living Rivers.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Agreed johnryan! Case in point:

"River Runners for Wilderness continues to hear anecdotal reports of passengers who participate on two or more concessions river trips per year."

"Objection Your Honor...... Hearsay!"

"Sustained!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Hi John and GCGuide,

Tom's entitled to pursue his anti-Park, anti-commercial strategy here, within whatever limits the moderators establish.

We are entitled to carefully parse his sometimes useful posts, to separate fact from agenda.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Does anyone have proof that it is? And if it is happening, someone is paying out the wazoo to do trips. I think it would be a RARE occasion that that happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Hi GC Guide,

Being the good river citizen he is, if Tom has more than innuendo to go on, he'll surely give his information to the Park, so they can investigate.

And if the investigation results in a finding that some commercial passengers have made multiple trips in one year, we can be sure Tom will trumpet that as an established fact, not just a vague rumor.

We should be content to wait for a solid determination, rather than unsubstantiated accusations.

And I suppose we also should wait for him to publicize the various private boater transgressions that are posted on the bulletin board at Lees Ferry. Oh wait -- that wouldn't fit the anti-Park, anti-commercial agenda he seeks to propagate.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,941 Posts
All self-guided river runners are required to show photo identification to law enforcement rangers at the start of their river trip. No such enforcement is required for concessions passengers. River Runners for Wilderness continues to hear anecdotal reports of passengers who participate on two or more concessions river trips per year.
It only seems fair that they check any and all passenger ID's.....no matter who they go down with. Who's to say that someone on a private trip....... hadn't already been down during the year on a commercial trip....or visa versa?

I would like to see this rule changed back to where you can only be a TL once a year, but can go on other trips if asked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
930 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
GC Guide, the passengers who are doing multiple trips do so with different companies. Your chances of seeing a repeat concessions passenger as they take their second or third trip with a second and then third concessionaire are very slim indeed. And if you did see it, would you say anything? I dunno you, and you indeed might be the whistleblower type. But if it it meant your last Grand trip as a concessions crewmember, would you do it? Yes, I have reported this to the NPS. But no one checks valid identification of river concessions passengers, so make up a name and you are good to go again and again. Meanwhile, the self-guided river runners look at a Sig Saur or Colt 45 as they try to get their river trip off the ramp and on the river.


And Rich Phillips, secretary of the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, your repeated spreading of copious quantities of miss-information on the internet continues unchecked, like the pre-dam Colorado River, wild and free-wheeling. Anti-Park and anti-commercial? Care to qualify that or are you making just another slanderous blanket accusation?


Oh... I know!! You mean I do not promote National Park Service onerous mismanagement of self guided (private) river runners like you do! And you mean I do not support commercial services in National Parks when they take first dibs on river access ahead of self guided private boaters and trash the Park’s wilderness character in doing so, something you have no qualms doing!


It’s really funny… River Runners for Wilderness worked with the NPS for years to allow a relaxation of the stringent trip requirements in the winter months, and the NPS agreed to make substantial changes to make it easier to get a winter river trip. When the NPS announced to Rich’s group what was going to happen, the GCPBA, along with the commercial river runners, objected to the change! A few years later, the GCPBA flip-flopped, and now supports relaxing the winter regs, but the NPS in the meantime flip-flopped back to making no changes. Thank you Rich, you are just a year late and 20 river trips short!



You all have a great weekend and I hope you win the lottery... before you become too old to boat the river.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Hi Tom,

Wow, Tom, sorry we upset you.

I suppose it frustrates you that you can't temporarily ban me from the Buzz. You know, the way you did on the RRFW listserv last year, when I asked you repeatedly to provide specific evidence for your accusations of malfeasance on the part of GC River Office personnel. Accusations you never backed up. Maybe you should stop posting about this here -- the way you did more recently on your own listserv when participants started criticizing you for your unfounded inferences about the lost boater and some kind of Park coverup.

Fact is, readers here and elsewhere on the internet know RRFW and GCPBA pursue somewhat different courses with regard to GC river management. Honest disagreements over important issues are not uncommon in the real world.

And folks who go back on the Buzz a ways also will remember our repeated, lengthy, and polite discourse over the CRMP -- you as Co-Director of RRFW, and me back in the day when I was GCPBA's Vice President. Nothing new other than my job description.

You and I can re-visit those thrilling days of yesteryear, and duke it out ad nauseum over why RRFW did this, and why GCPBA did that. But I don't really see any benefit from that. So let's cut to the chase.

Given your repeated legal and public forum attacks on the Park, its employees, and its policies, it hardly seems slanderous to tangentially mention them one more time, in order to give readers here some perspective.

Tom, you're a smart, experienced, and very talented guy. You contribute a lot to the river community in a very positive way. The commentary here from me and others has a message -- the news releases you provide would be much more effective if they stuck to the facts.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
89 Posts
Loosen Your Schedule

Everyone having such a hard time getting on the river needs to loosen their life schedule a little bit. I am flexible when I can go and I have landed permits the last 3 years. In 2011 I won a permit for late August in a March followup and 2012 and 2013 I won permits in the Fall shoulder season in the primary lotteries. Same goes for Idaho lotteries.

I know it is easier said than done, but if running rivers is a priority for you...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I really enjoyed the drama of this whole post. I wish I could get you people in a room, with a couple video camera and watch you fight over who has the best farmer's tan.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
787 Posts
Boys, boys, boys... if you don't stop I will stop this raft right now in the middle of the river and go back and make you stop!

Remember we are all on the same team, just with our own ways of seeing the issues. I would love to see discussion about the proposed changes rather than bickering between organizations.

I'm not a fan of the Alternate trip leader program. I would happily add an alternate trip leader if that means they could also put in for a permit. Out of all the 2012 applications I would be curious to see how many of them went down the river as a trip leader or part of someone else's. I for one put in for permits with 6 other people. We all put in for the same dates so we all complete against ourselves and if one wins we all win. I would love to see a way to cut out the fluff.

Like in war, as long as I know the rules of engagement going in I am happy to follow them. Since the end of the waitlist system I have been invited on at least two trips a year. If my schedule permitted I could have run the river 6 times under current rules.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,011 Posts
Hi Tri,

FYI, when GCPBA's Board sits down with the Park Service managers who actually are responsible for these policies, we raise exactly those kinds of topics. As recently as October, we've discussed the one trip a year rule, the PATL system, the number of unclaimed trips, firewood, beach/erosion problems, and a variety of other issues.

We think that's the value of the way GCPBA operates -- having solid working relationships and ongoing (and often face-to-face) contacts with the folks who manage the GC river program. Rather than being confrontational, we believe there's great value in being able to learn the thinking that's going into river operations, as well as being able to directly convey boater concerns to river managers in a constructive context.

We know we're not going to be successful in every attempt to bring about our point of view. We know that the Park has to take into consideration various regulatory constructs, as well as the interests of other components of the GC river community. But we also know that incremental change can bring about positive results. That's witnessed by the many beneficial changes in the CRMP -- including what you've described about your own improved ability to get on the river.

FWIW.

Rich Phillips
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
GC Guide, the passengers who are doing multiple trips do so with different companies. Your chances of seeing a repeat concessions passenger as they take their second or third trip with a second and then third concessionaire are very slim indeed. And if you did see it, would you say anything? I dunno you, and you indeed might be the whistleblower type. But if it it meant your last Grand trip as a concessions crewmember, would you do it? Yes, I have reported this to the NPS. But no one checks valid identification of river concessions passengers, so make up a name and you are good to go again and again. Meanwhile, the self-guided river runners look at a Sig Saur or Colt 45 as they try to get their river trip off the ramp and on the river.
Tom,
I too, am sorry to upset you. As Rich says, you have a valuable place here. You are a steward of all things Grand Canyon. However, Tom, I feel that you blaming a few (if any) commercial passengers for folks ability to get on private trips, is bordering on absurd. Certainly, that could not be anywhere near the top of the list as to what the problem with the system is. I have been in the lottery for years and have yet to do a private in GC. This is one reason I continue to guide, even though sometimes I hate it. I still love the PLACE! Please Tom, use your skills to better the place instead of trying to raise ire in folks with half truths and speculation. I agree with Rich again when he says that we would just like to hear the facts and not the hype.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top