I was born in 1941 in St. Louis, Missouri. My first view of the Grand Canyon was in June of 1958. I have been addicted ever since. My first Colorado River trip was in the summer of 1958. It was through Glen Canyon, a one boat 4 person 3 week trip.
Ten years later I took my first Grand Canyon River trip as a boatman rowing a Nevils Cataract boat for Mexican Hat Expeditions. My next trip was in 1970 rowing for Martin Litton. I rowed and led trips for Martin until about 1981. At that time I began my career in commercial real estate. I have made private trips in the Canyon in 1983, 1985, 2004, 2006, and 2008 for a total of 53 trips..
I was very active in Colorado River issues and politics until about 1985. From 1985 to about 2003 I stayed abreast of issues, made a few calls, and wrote my congressmen on occasions. Since 2003 I have been much more active in GC issues again, mostly in conjunction with GCPBA.
Currently, I live and am in the real estate business in the Kansas City area.
Born in 1952 in Indiana, not a particularly great white water state, I took my first trip in 1966 on the Wolf River in Wisconsin. After canoeing for the next 25 years, and after moving to Arizona, I started running the Salt in 1992.
My wife and I took a commercial oar trip from Phantom down in 1997 and we were both hooked. After a couple of other commercial trips I purchased my first oar rig and have been running inter-mountain west rivers ever since. I have six Grands total and have been politically active in river management issues since 1998.
I view my service to the private boaters through GCPBA as a way to give others the chance to enjoy what I love so much. As I have stated in the past, I will continue to fight for more access for the private boater and try to represent their interests in my dealings with the NPS.
About 25 years ago the Boston Ski Club had a weekend outing in Maine. One day of that was a river trip on the Penobscot River. I still remember the excitement of my first time paddling the rapids and the relaxation of watching the scenery come by, and everything in between. From that day on I was hooked. I knew that this river rafting would be something I’ll want to do for the rest of my life. Now, in Colorado, I’m fortunate to have many rivers throughout the West less than a day’s drive away. None, of course, compare to the Grand Canyon. My first time there I joined the group late; they already had enough boats. So, I went as a passenger. For many of those 18 days my boatman was the renowned Ricardo Martin. We drank a few tonics and spoke of many things, including the access issues facing private boaters in the Grand Canyon.
I’m glad to do my part for the GCPBA to make it more fair and easier for private boaters to access and enjoy their rivers, especially the Colorado through the Grand Canyon.
Ricardo began his river experience paddling the Colorado in the Grand Canyon in 1983 – graduating to oars 6 trips later. Ric is one of the founders of GCPBA way back in 1996 when the non-commercial allocation was 30% of total recreational use and the time to secure a permit was from twenty to twenty-five years – a concept that seems hard to grasp since the adoption of the 2006 CRMP which split commercial and non-commercial allocation to an even 50/50 share of use, doubling the number of private trips and replacing the wait list system with the current lottery.
In addition to being a co-founder of GCPBA and our current editor, Ricardo has served as our President and as our lead negotiator with the NPS and the Outfitters Association (GCROA) during the crucial CRMP planning process that lead to the current access/permit system.
His river adventures include the Usumacinta River in Mexico and Guatemala, Mexico’s Rio Yaqui and El Rio Bravo del Norte – the Rio Grande in Big Bend, countless trips on the San Juan and Green River systems, the Dolores, Middle Fork of the Salmon, Animas, Rio Verde, completed fifty trips in the Grand Canyon and perhaps, the river achievement he’s most proud of, rowing the Uintah Basin of the Green River during the height of mosquito season.
Ricardo was born and raised in San Diego and has called Jerome, AZ his home since 1973. He’s not as old as Wally.
Richard “Ricardo” Martin
Born 1948. First river trip as a paddling crew member, 1960. First year running my own boat, 1962. First trip as a professional guide, 1966. First time guiding a Grand Canyon motor trip, 1969. Guided and privately ran rivers in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Wore out more boats than I now own — I own 5. Joined GCPBA board in 1997 or so. Former VP and multi-term president.
I want to see private boaters get a fair shake wherever they go. I’ve worked long and hard to help GCPBA remain a consistently sane voice for boater and resource issues in Grand Canyon. I’ve sat next to Park superintendents and had them ask me questions. I give the best answer I can without preaching. I also tell them what I’m thinking whether they want to hear it or not. If they need to hear it, I say it. Just don’t ask me to call them on the phone.
At the moment I think the battles I’m best at fighting for GCBPA have all been won, and won resoundingly. I’m happy to stay here and advise but today’s heavy lifting is of the kind that other presidents are much better at than I am. Let’s have the board work together, speak with one voice, and let it be known that private boaters count. How can I help you?
I would have been born in 1946 in Chicago, except for the fact that my parents had no children. In spite of that, I first saw the Canyon in 1955, and decided then, that I would spend the rest of my life where there were contour lines, not corn fields. After graduating from Knox College with a BA in History, Richard Nixon decided that my talents (or lack thereof) would be best suited to ridding the world of the communists hiding in the jungles of Viet Nam. Upon returning home in 1971, some friends invited me to go along on Grand Canyon Dory trip they had signed up for. It was on that trip that I met Martin Litton and essentially got hired to work for him as a boatman/guide.
My last commercial dory trip was in 1986, but the most memorable one was running on 98,000 cfs in 1983.
In 1972, one of our passengers, a principal from Phoenix, hired me to teach 5th graders, probably not the best decision he ever made. After 36 years, I retired from that job in 2008. I have been doing private trips off and on since 1980 (whenever I or a friend can wangle a permit). I live in both Phoenix and Flagstaff, and hope that this close proximity to the Canyon, helps me contribute to GCPBA.
I’m a life-long boater, starting with canoes and kayaks, and in my later years, as a rafter. I’m in my mid sixties, retired, and a resident ofIllinois. I’ve made nine Grand Canyon trips – two as a commercial passenger, two as a commercial swamper, and five private trips (three as trip leader). In addition to boating rivers in the East and Midwest, I’ve made trips on a number of Western rivers. I also worked for ten years as a long-term volunteer river ranger at Westwater Canyon on the upper Colorado.
My principal goal in serving on the GCPBA Board would be to continue to advance the cause of equitable access to the Colorado Riverthrough the Grand Canyon for all interested parties. To achieve that goal, I believe strongly that there should be an emphasis on the unity of interests within the river community. I think most of us believe that there should be timely availability of the Canyon river experience to people of all walks of life and levels of ability. And we also hold many common values related to preservation of the unique Grand Canyon wilderness environment. In addition, I think we have to acknowledge the inevitable need to interface effectively with commercial GC river activity. And finally, I also think we need to work harmoniously with officials charged with the responsibility of managing the Canyon for posterity, while making it reasonably available to all of us today.
I see GCPBA as the most effective available means to private boaters to advance those common interests, and continue the gains that have been made in the past. Having experienced some of the key aspects of the river experience – as a passenger, commercial crew member, river ranger, and private boater – I’m pleased to have an opportunity to help GCPBA be an even more effective voice for private boaters in the Grand Canyon on into the future.
At large – Dave Mortenson
For many the Grand Canyon is a place they found on their own but I had a dramatic introduction. When I was 13 my father, who was a 1950s river runner, took me on my first hike into the Grand Canyon off the end of the Great Thumb to visit Keyhole Bridge. Only my father and Harvey Butchart had been there. A year later in 1962, we traveled down the wild Colorado River in our home-made boat before Glen Canyon Dam changed the river forever. Thus I became one of the 1800 people to go down some part of the wild Colorado through the Grand Canyon before it was dammed. It took years to realize how fortunate I had been. Over 51 years of Grand Canyon trips, my hiking focus has been on the remote western half of the Canyon. In the last ten years I’ve worked on fulfilling my desire to replicate historic Colorado River boats and then to run them though the Canyon. So far, five replica boats have been built and run down river with more boats and trips being planned.
My Grand Canyon passion on one hand is exploring and photographing the places nobody sees. On the other is my zeal to understand the history of those adventurers who proceeded my time in the Canyon. My half century of Colorado River and Grand Canyon experience has resulted in a great deal of first hand knowledge. Enjoyably, I’ve been able to share my experiences at river running, hiking and history gatherings. But, more importantly, I’ve learned much from others. Currently, I’m showing my documentary film “Big Water Runners of the Colorado River” about pioneers of private river trips through the Grand Canyon who ran on the highest water ever run in 1957 at 126,000 cfs.
Being a GCBPA Board member is a great responsibility and opportunity. All my river experiences have been on self guided trips. I was on the waiting list for years and I have put in for the lottery and know what it is to continue to “wait’ for a launch date. Being a member since January 2001, I’ve followed the dialog daily and once in a while have jumped in the fray. Mostly, I read the daily summary, learned and absorbed the wisdom so many members have shared. Both my son and daughter are Grand Canyon river runners and hikers and my only grandchild, age 11, has already done two Colorado River trips running in the replica of her great-grandfather’s first boat. Introducing and passing on my family heritage of private river running has been my greatest Grand Canyon experience.