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News Grand Canyon Backcountry Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hank moon, Dec 3, 2015.

  1. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    RICH1.

    Grand Canyon Backcountry Management Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement

    After five years of work, Grand Canyon National Park has released the 628 page Backcountry Management Plan (BMP) draft for public comment. The last BMP was released in 1988 and did not address canyoneering. This updated plan considers newer recreational activities, like technical canyoneering. It makes adjustments to Park management to better protect the environment.

    Technical canyoneering in Grand Canyon involves all of the activities usually found when canyoneering in other areas, but there are additional complexities unique to Grand Canyon. The terrain is generally far more difficult to traverse than other canyoneering destinations. While day use canyoneering is common in the Marble Canyon area, the big, bold classic slots all require difficult multi-day backpacking access. Many require river-assisted travel (packrafts) to complete routes.

    A link to the BMP documents is provided below. We invite all canyoneers to review the BMP in detail. Public comments are due by February 29, 2016 via the NPS website link below. In order to aid your review, the Coalition of American Canyoneers (CAC) is reviewing the BMP and preparing a draft position statement. We will post this draft in early January for members to review and consider. While most canyoneers are likely to post their comments after the position statement is published, feel free to post any BMP related questions or comments on the CAC Facebook page: CAC FB page or send an email directly to the organization at cac@americancanyoneers.org. We look forward to your feedback.

    National Park Service Meeting

    The National Park Service (NPS) is holding a public meeting in Flagstaff, AZ on Monday, December 7th to answer the public’s questions about the BMP:

    DoubleTree Hotel, 1175 W. Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ • From 4:00 to 7:00 pm

    While it’s short notice, we encourage canyoneers close to Flagstaff to attend. We intend to ask the NPS to hold another public meeting in late January, preferably on the North Rim side of Grand Canyon, to accommodate a more thorough review of the document and to bring the meeting closer to the majority of our members who live in California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado.

    Background

    The BMP considered four alternatives: Alternative A does nothing allowing the status quo to continue; Alternative B is preferred by the NPS and attempts to strike the “best” balance between recreation and environmental protection; Alternative C favors higher recreational use; while alternative D favors greater environmental protections. The following broad-brush issues are proposed to be regulated in the BMP:

    1. The use of packrafts on the Colorado River for slot canyon access/egress.
    2. Access to Grand Canyon slots via lands controlled by Native American tribes.
    3. Road closures that threaten reasonable access to the rims of Grand Canyon.
    4. Closures of certain slot canyons in deference to Native American tribes.
    5. Rigorous anchoring requirements to follow Wilderness standards.
    6. Increased regulation for day use canyoneering.

    Backcountry Management Plan Documents & public comment site

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=65&projectID=22633&documentID=69426
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  2. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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  3. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    The Grand Canyon NPS has added another opportunity for the public to weigh in on revisions to the Backcountry Management Plan (BMP). February 10, 2016

    If you live near Phoenix, plan to attend the NPS public meeting to learn and ask questions about the proposed Backcountry Management Plan.

    The Coaltition of American Canyoneers is finalizing recommendations for comments to be submitted by March 4th. We should have these out by the end of next week - February 12th

    https://www.facebook.com/events/1570674899923469/
  4. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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  5. Rick Demarest

    Rick Demarest

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    Time for your help & comments to the Grand Canyon NPS.

    The Grand Canyon National Park Service has released a draft of the new Backcountry Management Plan. The final version of this plan will be especially important to the canyoneering community as it addresses packrafting and rules for access. The Coalition of American Canyoneers has reviewed the draft/DEIS and has produced a position statement on 10 topics that concern canyoneering in the Grand Canyon.

    http://www.americancanyoneers.org/gcnp/bcmp/draft-eis/

    The deadline for public comments is March 4th, so please review the information on CAC's website and submit your comments as soon as possible. A few notes about the process.
    1) You are welcome to use CAC’s summary, but if possible, please try to speak from personal experience.
    2) State the BCMP plan/DEIS proposal, your concerns, and your suggestion with reasons.
    3) You don’t have to submit everything at once. You can make as many separate submissions as needed.
    4) Note that the comment period closes on March 4, 2016. Comment & comment often!
    5) Send us an email with any questions: cac@americancanyoneers.org
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  6. Ram

    Ram

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    Something important

    We are on the cusp of a great access victory. Countless hours of lobbying, cultivating relationships with the park and other user groups and doing good works, over several years have gone into arriving at this spot, at this time. Honor those who have made these Herculean efforts by writing in, to help close the deal. PLEASE!
    See above to see how.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
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  7. Mike Rogers

    Mike Rogers

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    Reading is a good start. But you must write!

    Please submit YOUR comments before March 4. It's best if you put things in your own words, add your own perspective. Don't feel you need to comment on every point if you don't have the time. But PLEASE DO COMMENT!

    You don't have to start from scratch. Crib from the CAC comments, but reword a bit. (The Grand Canyon Hikers and Backpackers Association has some great comments, too: http://gchba.org/bmp2016/)

    Feel free to borrow anything from mine. And lemme know if you disagree because I still have time to refine. https://mikeshikes.wordpress.com/20...ents-on-proposed-backcountry-management-plan/
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  8. hank moon

    hank moon kinetically bulbous

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    Adding on:

    There are a lot of issues here, some of them complex and very wonky-specific to the Grand Canyon. However, several of the issues are pretty generic:

    - Adaptive management process
    - Canyoneering anchors
    - Canyoneering itinerary

    So if you don't know the ins and outs of Great Thumb, etc., or have never even been to the Grand Canyon, you probably have something intelligent to say about one of the above three. Please say it! Remember to include what you are commenting on (i.e. a specific proposal from the plan/DEIS), the issue you have with the park's proposal, your suggestion(s) for improvement, with supporting reason(s) why your suggestion is an improvement.

    There is no need to write a research paper, either. You can make a simple comment on one issue, then make another one a few days (or minutes) later. Please make at least one comment about an issue that speaks to you, and remember to use the four bold elements from the paragraph above.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2016
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