GCPBA Letter to GCNP Superintendent Uberuaga Opposing Up-run Proposal
February 7, 2014
Dear Superintendent Uberuaga,
As a follow up to my earlier inquiry on this matter, I am writing as President of Grand Canyon Private Boater's Association, to register our opposition to any prospective upstream boating in the Colorado River above Diamond Creek. We understand from media sources that the Hualapai tribe has considered including such a trip option through their Hualapai River Runners operation. We recognize that subsequent media reports indicate that the Hualapai have postponed their plans. Still, we are not content with that. This proposal should be promptly met with head on opposition before it can re-emerge.
GCPBA believes that any such upstream travel would constitute a serious breach of the Colorado River Management Plan and certain federal regulations. We also believe such activity would significantly impact the wilderness character of that portion of the river as well as violate a longstanding traditional prohibition against upstream travel above Separation Canyon.
Another point to consider is that the stretch of river from about mile 219 to mile 224.5 is one of the most crowded in the canyon. A node forms there almost every night as most trips position themselves for takeout the next day. Trips running upriver would add another crowd, in the node area and at the takeout. That makes the area immediately upstream of Diamond Creek critical for managing all river running in the GC.
Grand Canyon Private Boater's Association will absolutely and vigorously support Park and DOI action opposing this, or any similar activity by anyone, not just the Hualapai River Runners. We believe that if this activity goes forward, it may lead to other CRMP infringements throughout the river corridor and possibly elsewhere in Grand Canyon National Park. The impact of these types of exploits can do nothing but have a severe negative impact on the character and quality of river running in Grand Canyon, as well as have major detrimental consequences for the Canyon ecosystem. We are hoping that quick preventive action by the Park, will influence the tribe to permanently drop consideration of this prospective trip offering.
Thank you for your continued willingness to work with GCPBA on matters of mutual interest. Please be assured of our cooperation in this important matter and understand that we will insist on rigid enforcement.
Wally Rist, President
Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association