On October 1, 2004, Grand Canyon National Park released the long awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement, Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP). The Draft was given a flat "F" by River Runners for Wilderness (RRFW) the day the plan was released.

Attempting to keep a sense of humor about 8 years of work and millions of dollars spent for so little, River Runners for Wilderness announces the Paddle The Plan, or PTP, program.

Here's how it works. Just for the asking, you get a free CRMP T-shirt and you get to reserve a wooden paddle for your comment to the park.

The dark blue T-shirt, with the RRFW logo and the words "Human Powered Wilderness, Not A Motorized Theme Park" is for you to proudly wear at a scoping meeting near you (for time and location, see below), or when visiting with your elected officials about the CRMP mess.

River Runners for Wilderness will hand-deliver the 40 inch wooden paddles, with your name, address and CRMP comments on them, directly to the Park.

Yes, that's right. Both the shirt and paddle are free for the asking. It's fun, it's easy, and you can send a message loud and clear to the good folks at Grand Canyon National Park that the Colorado River and the river runners who travel on its waters demand a real change in management of this precious wilderness paradise.

To participate, choose just ONE of your comments about the released CRMP, visit www.rrfw.org/ptp.php by November 17, 2004 and fill out the PTP form along with your full name and address, and T-shirt size. We have kid's sizes, too, because wilderness is for their future as well as ours. All T-shirt orders will be filled first come first serve, while supplies last.

RRFW encourages you to participate in the CRMP. Your comments count. Once you've captured all your comments to the park in your own unique words, choose one for your paddle-see the samples below for ideas

Your comments should have a specific "ask" to the park that relates to one of the alternatives, the proposed permitting system, the waiting list transition or something the park omitted entirely from the plan, like managing for wilderness character. Avoid broad generalizations and vague complaints.

Here are some concrete examples of the type of comments the park is looking for:

"A common pool system (Option B) should be phased in over 5 years: 20% of total allocation converted each year until all the use has been converted to a non-allocated permitting system, within alternative C."

"Do not decrease trip lengths for noncommercial trips. Shorter trips and drought-caused lower flows will be a hardship for visitors, will expand noncommercial use of motors and will degrade wilderness character. A modified alternative C would accommodate the present trip lengths, would not expand non-commercial motorized use, would accommodate drought caused low-water conditions, and would preserve wilderness character."

"The DEIS has no justification of the park's position of continued refusal to phase out motors, even though this phase out was proposed by the park itself in 1979. Begin phase out immediately in alternative C."

"There is no justification for bunching launches in the summer season, as is proposed in the preferred alternative. I support spreading launches out in all seasons and distributing launches using a non-allocated system to end access discrimination against lower income and non-commercial visitors."

"A weighted noncommercial lottery for launches by groups, as suggested, is burdensome and will be unworkable for the park and the applicants. A non-allocated system is inherently fair and must be adopted instead, as suggested in option B."

CRMP Public meetings will be held at the following cities from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm:

Monday, November 8, 2004

Denver, Colorado
Arapahoe Community College Cafeteria
5900 S. Santa Fe Drive, Littleton
www.arapahoe.edu/aboutacc/maps/index.html

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Salt Lake Community College-Miller Campus
Karen Gail Miller Conference Center
9750 South 300 West, Sandy
www.slcc.edu/miller/MAP/

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel Ballroom
1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington
www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wasgw-crystal-gateway-marriott/

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Henderson Convention Center Ballroom and Sierra A & C
200 Water Street, Henderson Nevada
www.visithenderson.com/

Monday, November 22, 2004

Coconino Community College Administration Building - Commons Area
2800 S. Lone Tree Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ
www.coconino.edu/campuses/lonetree.html

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Glendale Community College Student Lounge
6000 W. Olive Avenue, Glendale
Phoenix, Arizona
www.gc.maricopa.edu/map/

Thursday, December 2, 2004

The Presidio of San Francisco Presidio Officers' Club
50 Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, California
www.presidio.gov/Visiting/DirectionsShuttle/OfficersClub.htm

You can make a difference! Join us in paddling the plan. Your tax-deductible donations to support this campaign are gratefully accepted. Go to www.rrfw.org/store to donate by check or credit card. Thank you.