The draft Colorado River Management Plan meetings continue this week with Tuesday's meeting in Arlington, VA, to cover the Washington D.C. area and Thursday's in Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas. Attendees will get a chance to browse several informational stations, complete with posters and handouts and ask Grand Canyon National Park staff questions relating to the proposed plan.
Last Wednesday's meeting in the Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy, Utah, was well attended with about 180 people. Members of the same interest groups seen in Denver were there, including a larger number of commercial guests.
As in the Denver meeting, the hottest topic of conversation was the park's proposed permit options issue. "We need to hear your creative ideas for a system that works for you," urged Steve Sullivan, Permits Program Manager for Grand Canyon National Park to a crowd of noncommercial river runners gathered around his station. He went on to admit that the Park's proposed permit plan is not fully fleshed out and hopes that noncommercial river runners will weigh in with details the Park can incorporate.
While the meetings do offer an opportunity for interested folks to get a little more information and submits comments, the big advantage of the meetings is the two way conversations between Park representatives and those who will be most affected by the final Colorado River Management Plan. "There is no substitute for the exchange of ideas, and concerns that takes place in these meetings," notes RRFW Co-Director Tom Martin from Salt Lake, "although there is no avenue for constituents to address groups of others in a public forum."
River Runners for Wilderness' Conservation Director David Jenkins will be at Tuesday's meeting, November 16, 2004, with informational handouts, and brochures. The open house format begins at 4:00pm and continues until 8:00pm at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Ballroom, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasgw-crystal-gateway-marriott/. On Thursday, November 18, 2004, the Las Vegas meeting takes place at the same time at the Henderson Convention Center, Ballroom and Sierra A & C, 200 Water Street, Henderson, Nevada. www.visithenderson.com/.