GCPBA RiverNews 6/10/2018 – Hualapai Land & River Access Permits

The Hualapai Game and Fish Department sent out the following notice on June 4th:

Public Notice:  Hualapai River Access Permit Checks Upstream Of Diamond Creek (RM225)

The Hualapai Tribe will be conducting river access permits the week of July 9, 2018 through July 13, 2018 on the Colorado River upstream of Diamond Creek.  Hualapai Tribal boundaries began (sic) at RM 164.5 to RM 287 river left.

Prior to your launch date please request a Hualapai River permit from Hualapai Game and Fish Department at 928/769-2227/1122 or by email: hualapai.rafting@hualapai-nsn.gov.  A Hualapai River Access Permit will allow for hiking or camping on Hualapai Tribal lands associated with your Colorado River Trip.  A Hualapai River Access Permit does not allow for any backcountry hiking.

River Access Permits:  $100 per person.
Launch or take-outs at Diamond Creek (advance permit request) $55 per person, per vehicle and per driver.
Launch or take-outs at Diamond Creek (day of arrival) $60 per person, per vehicle and per driver.
For additional information, please contact Hualapai Game and Fish Department at 928/769-2227/1122 and or email at hualapai.rafting@hualapai-nsn.gov.

(end of notice)

GCPBA reported in July, 2017, that Hualapai Chairman Damon Clarke and his associates spoke to us of an intent to require a permit "for all hiking, camping, and sightseeing on tribal lands at river left between miles 164.5 and 273.5" so they can keep track of who is where and when.  We now have their intent in print.  At that time they intended a $30 per person, per night fee.  River runners scouting rapids at river left would not need a permit.

The Hualapai permit requirement applies to private and commercial river runners.  The Hualapai have not made it clear how they intend to check for permits and enforce this.  It is not clear what the consequences would be for river runners who are ticketed for violations.

The Hualapai Nation land boundary has been in dispute for many years.  Their claim is that their land extends to the middle of the river.  The National Park Service (The U.S. Department of the Interior) says their land stops at the historic high water mark, from when the river was undammed.  The NPS has not openly challenged the Hualapai claim.

Grand Canyon river runners have recently been told at the ranger orientation of this issue, but have not specifically been told not to hike or camp on the disputed land.  Essentially, we have been told to make our own decisions regarding what we want to do at those river miles.

GCPBA will continue to discuss this issue with Grand Canyon National Park personnel.

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