Possible premature shutdown of Grand Canyon National Park's comment website on Tuesday, February 1st had some Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP) participants scratching their heads. Apparently, the Park's comment submission website at www.crmpcomments.com was shut down at or around the end of the Park's business day-not midnight as is customary. Submissions to the Park via fax, mail and through RRFW's website were unaffected, however visitors to the Park's comment website in the early evening hours of February 1st were greeted with this message: "Thank you for your interest. However, the public comment period ended on February 1, 2005 for the Colorado River Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Comments are no longer being accepted."

Rick Ernenwein, Grand Canyon National Park's Lead Resource Planner for the CRMP, expressed his concern. "We want to make sure that anyone who wanted to send us comments by February 1 but encountered "technical difficulties" gets their comments to us as soon as possible so we can consider them with the rest of the comments" he stated when contacted about the problem.

If you encountered this problem, please contact River Runners for Wilderness at info@rrfw.org or reply to this email for instructions on how to submit your comments as soon as possible. Ernenwein suspects fewer than 30 persons were affected by this issue.

River Runners for Wilderness thanks our members for making us aware of this problem. We would also like to remind the Park that there is a 3 hour time difference between constituents hoping to comment in Hawaii and those in the Mountain Time Zone. We encourage the Park to include exact hours and time zones as well as dates in future comment period announcements.

RRFW also noticed that the comment website continued to announce January 7th as the comment period deadline until the end despite the extension granted by the Park to February 1st. The wording was never updated to reflect the new date. If this caused you to skip entering your comment, you should contact RRFW as well.