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Grand Junction newspaper has good article here
Breckenridge man accused of igniting fire on Dog Island | GJSentinel.com
Our local paper did not name the suspect, or the company he works for. They advertise quite a bit....
Trip leader may have been Chris Knudsen, also works at Grand Vacations in Breck. Grand Vacations has been an excellent neighbor up here, generously supporting many community causes. $100K in fire fighting costs alone, and this loser probably can't pay. I hope Grand Vacations will step up. Anyone can have a dumb employee, but there were lots of them on this trip. Why didn't anyone stop this guy? Fireworks are never legal there, and there was a total fire ban. Aaargh.
 

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Cases like this challenge my values and ideas. The classic choice is incarceration and that would definitely be cathartic. That said, it ends up costing us the taxpayers and ultimately doesn't offset the damage down to Ruby Horsethief. More and more I think the agencies should collaborate to have multi-year bans for individuals like this. He showed a flagrant disregard for law and the environment. He damaged a resource that won't heal in our lifetimes and I do not believe he should have the privilege of using it again. Sadly, there is no way to enforce that concept without requiring groups to name everyone on their roster and increase general oversight which is also unappealing. Like I said before, gear confiscation does seem in order.

I hope they require him to pay off the large cost of suppression and rehabilitation from the fire. That to me would be justice. Even if it over decades I think it would be a proper consequence for his actions as well a deterrent for others.

It would be immensely disappointing and a failure of justice if his connection to a company that has been philanthropic to the region affects the legal outcome. Fingers crossed that does not happen.

Such a bummer to see another fire in such a beloved river corridor. We just don't have many cottonwood galleries left in these places and it will decade many decades for them to provide the shade and ecological benefit again.

Phillip
 

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I vote for a Singapore style of punishment: public canings. 15 lashes, to be carried out in full view of the greater public. Public shame, humiliation, and a little bit of pain (but not enough to kill) is way more effective than most punishments the government could dole out.....
 

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this is starting to feel like a mob fueled witch hunt. beware.

I too was pissed when I heard about the fire, then I floated it last weekend. Not saying fireworks during a fireban or being from Breck are okay, but...Its not that bad. It aint miles of scorched earth in the canyon, you'll be wondering where the fire was when you float RH next summer. Also, fires happen in nature, but natural causes help us feel better about them.

I'm sure (I hope) the perp feels like a tool. After he changes his name, and we meet him on the river, we'll prob think hes not that bad...
 

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this is starting to feel like a mob fueled witch hunt. beware.
Fuck that guy. Let the witch hunt begin. I'll get my pitchfork! Some bro bra Breckenridge POS burns a camp at Ruby and we should be gentle? Fuck Ryan Huff and fuck Breckenridge!
 

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this is starting to feel like a mob fueled witch hunt. beware.

I too was pissed when I heard about the fire, then I floated it last weekend. Not saying fireworks during a fireban or being from Breck are okay, but...Its not that bad. It aint miles of scorched earth in the canyon, you'll be wondering where the fire was when you float RH next summer. Also, fires happen in nature, but natural causes help us feel better about them.

I'm sure (I hope) the perp feels like a tool. After he changes his name, and we meet him on the river, we'll prob think hes not that bad...
I don't support the witch hunt mentality but I cannot write off his actions as "not that bad". He willingly and knowingly took illegal items into a area with a fire ban and destroyed one of the limited resources there for boaters. On the big scale of the environment does one island on the Colorado River matter? Maybe not. But in the scheme of the region we are already losing cottonwoods because of dams (juvenile recruitment is down with the lack of flooding) and healthy riparian areas are severely limited and damaged through the river system.

It matters ecological and recreationally. His unethical and illegal actions should bear the weight of the actual costs. I believe that should happen in a just way in a court of law that recognizes the footprint he has as well as the statement it makes to other land abusers.

Phillip
 

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You guys are ridiculous. Thinking a employer should be responsible for a off the clock employee and 1 to 2 year jail sentence for a little fire. Please, you don't even get one to two days for a dwi and that kills thousands of innocent people each year. The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures and video is no one will notice some burnt underbrush next year. Someone who just recently floated the river posted the same thing. What he did was dumb but turned out not to be a big deal and should be treated as such. The fine and having your picture in the paper is more than enough for me.
 

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I was not on this trip, but I can only speculate. Breck Grand Vacations does some good things for the local Community, but that has nothing to do w/ a sanctioned or non-sanctioned "Employee Raft Trip". Their work crew def RAGES, and I have witnessed this firsthand. They had another incident about 10 years ago when one of their Employees were raging on Main St in Breck.....jumped onto the trunk of a car while highly intoxicated.....now a TBI patient.
Breck Grand vacations has ruined the Peak 7 and 8 Base areas, and their Team seems to consist of people who seem to give a shit less about the environment. I am sure that there probably was NOT a speech by the TL at the Put-In re: Fire Dangers. Whoever the TL is....unfortunately, this burden should fall on their shoulders. Yes....blame the person w/ the Fireworks......but, I am pretty sure that others in the group were "in the know" re: the fireworks.
Maybe Grand Vacations will do what is right and repair this area, along w/ a few other areas to make this right?! Okay Millisor Borthers (Owners of Breck Grand Vacations) that are Multi-Millionaires.......I am pretty sure that you guys covered the cost of this trip for YOUR employees.....so STEP UP!
 

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You guys are ridiculous. Thinking a employer should be responsible for a off the clock employee and 1 to 2 year jail sentence for a little fire. Please, you don't even get one to two days for a dwi and that kills thousands of innocent people each year. The first thing I thought when I saw the pictures and video is no one will notice some burnt underbrush next year. Someone who just recently floated the river posted the same thing. What he did was dumb but turned out not to be a big deal and should be treated as such. The fine and having your picture in the paper is more than enough for me.
Have you boated this stretch? Have you seen the slow recovery work in the Mee Canyon area where new cottonwoods have been replanted to attempt to revegetate the last fire? Doubtful. There was actually a work crew camped a short distance down stream from this group that was working to plant more trees.....how disheartening this must be for them. This is probably the most popular overnight in the state of Colorado (competing with the Upper C), and the loss of a large and beautiful cottonwood gallery in a heavily used canyon will be a sorely missed resource. His actions should not be taken lightly, and I do feel punishment should be significant.
 

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Huff has prior arrests for shoplifting, possession of alcohol as a minor, and driving under the influence in Colorado, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

birds of a feather.
 

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The woman in the Hayman fire got 6 years of Fed jail time, the state trial judge tried to give her 15 years. This guy is a Fed case. Feds have long memories, and will know about every penny he earns until the fine is paid (Fed judge in Haymen case thought original $14 million fine was excessive). Fines and restitution orders survive bankruptcy. My bet is this will prove to be a frowned on activity, and they will seek to send an unambiguous message for all to contemplate for the future. Moral: don't fuck with the
Feds.
 

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Which Hunt Indeed. A large group of my employees are on RH right now not a sanctioned trip but none the less the whole connection is work. I loaned some gear am I liable? Well am I? Do you people calling out Grand Vacations have any proof the trip was a company trip? And dissing a whole town for the actions of one. Some Ark valley locals had to kill a rattle snake at zoom flume no one blamed the whole Valley for that incredible lameness. The dude should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law which should include a ban on permitted rivers period IMO end of story. sj
 

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Which Hunt Indeed. A large group of my employees are on RH right now not a sanctioned trip but none the less the whole connection is work. I loaned some gear am I liable? Well am I? Do you people calling out Grand Vacations have any proof the trip was a company trip? And dissing a whole town for the actions of one. Some Ark valley locals had to kill a rattle snake at zoom flume no one blamed the whole Valley for that incredible lameness. The dude should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law which should include a ban on permitted rivers period IMO end of story. sj
Because that comparison is relevant....

I'm not pushing for the crucifixion of Breck Grand Vacations, but if they are such stewards of their community and the environment,
Breckenridge Grand Vacations given state philanthropy award | SummitDaily.com
then it seems a donation of several dozen Fremont Cottonwood saplings to either the BLM or perhaps Canyonlands Field Institute would be an appropriate action that would be noticed and appreciated by the river running community...
 

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Ok so Employers are now financially responsible for employees behavior on said employees day off ? In your world I would be responsible for a person I hire at entry level on their weekends.
 

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No, not responsible, but if it is a company trip where you supplied the gear it just seems like the right thing to do. Especially if BGV is financially successful enough to throw around millions in donations...
 

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If my gosh IF. Not one person in this thread knows IF it was a sponsored trip IF it was then yes they should step up. But to sit here and totally slam a company that does so much good and have absolutely NO PROOF that's right NO PROOF they even knew one of their employees was on a river some were. They give millions to the community here I run a small biz and they support me daily so I will talk to them today and ask that they throw some love to the river community if they knew if not. YOU can buy a few cottonwoods for the river community how's that. sj
 

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It wasn't "one" of their employees from the sound of it. According to the article it was a "rafting trip with coworkers". If BGV doesn't care to financially help rectify the actions of one of their managers that's fine, they have no obligation to do so. I expect nothing less.
 

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You're just talking in circles. Co workers recreating together does not equal company sponsored trip.
 

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I think the whole town of Breckenridge should be responsible for paying to heli-lift mature cottonwoods in and bury the roots. If you live there or have a condo there you owe $500. You owe and additional $500 for each child in your household.
 
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