Instructions for Transition Stage 2

Instructions for Transition Stage 2
Stage 1 of the transition to the new, weighted lottery system is complete, and Transition Stage 2 is now officially beginning. Included in this letter is:o details about how Transition Stage 2 will work,o a checklist to help you complete Transition Stage 2,o review of what happens for those who are not successful,o answers to relevant questions

Dear Waitlist Member:

This letter is intended to supplement our March 23, 2006 letter which can be downloaded from our website at www.nps.gov/grca/river/non_commercial_general_info.htm. Through this site one can also read a summary of the Transition Stage 1 process. The current system for transitioning from the noncommercial waitlist to the new weighted lottery is the result of a multi-year planning process. One can read about the CRMP and Environmental Impact Statement through our website: www.nps.gov/grca/crmp/index.htm.

 For the latest changes and information, after reading the information below, please visit

http://www.nps.gov/grca/

Transition Stage 2

At this time we are officially beginning Transition Stage 2, the group waitlist stage. In this stage waitlist members have a five week opportunity to band together and submit applications. By banding together, groups of waitlist members will advance up the group waitlist to the place of their combined wait. For example, if Tom has been on the waitlist for five years, Robin for nine years, and Sue for seven years, their combined wait will be 21 years, so they could band together and receive a new place on the group waitlist ahead of all those groups who had waited a combined 20 years or less. Each member of the group must be listed on the group�s application, and each waitlist member may be listed on only one application. Each group application will be considered according to the new, combined wait order, favoring those groups with the largest combined wait. The member of each group with the best waitlist number will be the permittee and main applicant.

Through this stage an additional 600 launch dates within calendar years 2007 through 2011 will be reserved according to the following distribution pattern: (another approximately 24% of the new noncommercial allocation) for calendar years 2007 through 2011 will be reserved according to the following distribution pattern:

Transition Stage 2 Launch Distribution Pattern: 600 Total Launches

120 Launches per Year, 2007-2011* JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC
Standard Size Trip (1 to 16 person) 8 8 11 8 8 8 8 8 11 11 8 8
Small Size Trip (1 to 8 person)          3 3 3 3 3            

*Months with Transition Stage 2 quota of 8 standard size trips can have no more than 2 trips per week, months with 11 trips can have no more than 3 per week, and small size trips cannot exceed 1 trip per week.

Some launch dates during this timeframe have already been claimed by deferments from previous years or through the scheduling process in Transition Stage 1. A list of launch dates that remain available will be added to the "Transition Question and Answers" section of our webpage http://www.nps.gov/grca/river/noncommercial-transition.htm.

Waitlist members interested in stage 2 are encouraged to band together with friends from the waitlist in order to increase their chances of obtaining one of the 600 last launch opportunities distributed through the group waitlist. One resource available is a website forum that the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association created specifically to help waitlist members find each other. The website is www.gcpba.org, click on the "Waitlist Number Clearinghouse". We strongly encourage you to ensure your compatibility with any others with whom you are considering banding together. Waitlist members who choose to band together do so at their own risk. All members of groups that are awarded launches lose their place on the waitlist and will receive no other compensation even if they do not participate on the trip. Actual trip size for these groups will be required to stay within the group size limit of 16 people for a standard group launch and 8 people for a small group launch.  Group applications may list all launch dates that would be acceptable to the group.

On the application due date of June 29th, 2006, applications will be sorted based on combined group member waitlist time. If groups have the same combined total years wait, the order will be set using the original waitlist order of the member with the longest wait. Applications will then be processed according to the new order for the group waitlist. We hope to complete Transition Stage 2 on July 14th. If any stage 2 launch dates remain unclaimed through this process, they will be released through the new lottery system. Letters and emails will be sent shortly thereafter notifying all groups that are successful.

Transition Stage 2 Checklist

The following checklist has been designed to help waitlist members successfully complete and submit applications within Transition Stage 2:

o Determine all waitlist members who will be part of your group,

o Decide together what dates your group will request,

o Decide what group sizes your group will accept (i.e. standard 1-16 person trips and/or small 1-8 person trips),

o List those dates and all group members on one request form (with attachments if space is needed),

o Have all group members sign the application (applications can be faxed and signed),

o Include credit card information for payment of deposit on Launch Date Preference Form.

o Fax completed Launch Date Preference Form to River Office (928-638-7844) by the June 29th, 2006 deadline.

What Happens if My Group and I are Unsuccessful?

Once Transition Stage 2 is complete, all unsuccessful groups will be dissolved and their respective individual waitlist members will have the Transition Stage 3 option of:

1. Refund: They can leave the waitlist and accept a refund of the fees they paid for their current spot on the waitlist,

OR 

2. Extra Chances: Individuals can leave the waitlist and receive an extra chance in the lottery for each year they had been on the current waitlist. For instance, if you joined the waitlist in 1996 and have been on the list 10 years, you would get 10 extra chances in the lottery and keep those extra chances each year you apply until you are awarded a trip or participate in any other noncommercial or commercial trip through any part of the Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek section of the Colorado River.

Remember, these extra chances will be in addition to the standard chances normally given to all applicants in the lottery. So, if you have not been on the river in the last 4 years, you would get 5 standard chances in the lottery plus your extra chances in the lottery. If you get 10 extra chances and get 5 standard chances, you would have a total of 15 chances in the lottery.

The first weighted lottery will be held in August 2006 for the remaining calendar year 2007 noncommercial launches. Please visit our website in July for updated information. The following paragraphs are repeated from our March 23rd letter.

With the new lottery system we predict most of our current waitlist members eventually will go on a trip and experience shorter wait times than they would have if the old system had continued. We believe this to be the case even without further management intervention. However, because the new system is a lottery, some who apply might never win. Of specific concern to the NPS are waitlist members who choose the �extra chances� option in stage 3 of the transition and apply regularly through the lottery but continue to not win. The National Park Service will monitor their progress and may apply adaptive management measures to ensure their wait times do not excessively increase beyond what they would have waited under the old waitlist and allocation system. As you try for launches through the above transition stages and apply in the lottery each year, we encourage you to compare how you fare against our predictions of how you would have waited if the waitlist system had continued.

Our rough estimations predicted when each waitlist member would have scheduled trips under the old waitlist and allocation system. 

*These numbers are determined by looking at the last five digits of a member's waitlist number for each year and duplicating the progress of the person who had that number in 2004 experienced in 2005. Our estimates of your numbers under the old waitlist system and allocation are being mailed to you. These estimates assume you would not have been one of those who would have fallen off the list for other reasons and that you and all those ahead of you were not waiting for the same small set of acceptable launch dates. For instance, we understand your wait would have been much longer if you and everyone ahead of you on the list were waiting, for example, only for June launch dates; there were only 34 of these released per year to noncommercial boaters. 

Questions and Answers

Question:  If I join together as a member of a group that applies for a launch date, and my group is successful in obtaining a launch date in stage 2 of the transition, will I be removed from the waitlist?

Answer:  Yes, you will be removed from the waitlist. In addition, you will not be allowed to apply in the lottery for any other launch date occurring in the same year as your group's launch date, and your chance in the next lottery will be reset to 1.  All members of groups that are awarded launches lose their place on the waitlist and will receive no other compensation even if they do not participate on the trip. 

Question:   If I chose not to combine with anyone else, can I still participate in Transition Stage 2?

Answer:  Yes, you may still participate, and you might win. Our predictions, however, suggest that those who do not combine with others may not win through Transition Stage 2.  Keep in mind that currently the person at the top of the waitlist joined the list 15 years ago (1991). Knowing this, many groups may aim to join together with enough others so their combined waits put them ahead of this person. It is conceivable that some groups will have combined wait times much higher. Winter dates may be easier to get.

Question:  Who can I list on as a potential alternate trip leader on my LDPF?

Answer:  In Transition Stage 2 your potential alternate trip leaders are the same people that you group up and apply with as listed on your LDPF. These may only be other waitlist members who agree to apply with you. People who are not on the waitlist may not be listed as Potential Alternate Trip Leaders for Transition Stage 2. Of course, the other rules still apply. Thus, anyone on your list who will remain under age 18 by the date of launch will be ineligible, and those who participate in any other noncommercial or commercial trip through any part of the Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek section of the Colorado River earlier within the same year will be ineligible to participate on your trip.

Question:  If my group gets a trip, can we still invite whoever we wish to be participants on the trip? Can these people have been listed on other applications? Can these be people who were not on the waitlist?

Answer:  Within the maximum group size limits, your group can invite anyone onto your trip who will not have been on any prior commercial or noncommercial trip through the Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek section of the river within the same calendar year. This can include people who were on the waitlist, people who were not on the waitlist, and people who are already planning to participate on other trips in other years.

Question: Are waitlist members under age 18 able to participate in Transition Stage 2?

Answer: Even an under-age person can choose to join together with other waitlist members for the sake of obtaining a group permit, and their total wait time will be counted toward the group�s total. However, the underage person cannot be the permittee or qualify as a potential alternate trip leader because they would not meet the permittee requirements.

Additional Questions and Answers about the transition and the weighted lottery can be found on our website at: http://www.nps.gov/grca/.  


 

 

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