October 2004. Ever increasing discrimination against the do-it-yourself public, increased deterioration of wilderness values and increased access for government subsidized corporate oligopolies has River Runners for Wilderness giving today's release of Grand Canyon National Park's preferred alternative for management of the Colorado River an "F".
Tom Martin and Jo Johnson, co-directors of the group River Runners for Wilderness, have been tracking the progress of the CRMP for the last 8 years. Martin and Johnson are equally critical of the plan.
Jo Johnson notes "The issues that have plagued the river for the last thirty years are not addressed in this plan: that of preserving the last greatest wilderness experience in the lower 48, the discrimination between the corporate oligopoly and the do-it-yourself public, and the continued expansion of a helicopter theme park in the far west end of the Canyon. This plan not only sets the stage for river operations for the next 10 to 15 years, but for further contention between the wilderness community, corporate theme park boosters, and the do-it-yourself public."
"This is not a "grey and green" National Park plan, but a plan written for an icon National Park managed by political pressure, with "winners and losers." In this case, the losers are Wilderness values, the do-it-yourself public, and the fabric of the National Park Service" notes Martin.
Martin notes "The park did not include our alternative, which ends the discrimination between user groups, equalizes group sizes, maintains and enhances wilderness values, maintains trip lengths, begins to bring the river concessions oligopoly into the free market, gets more people down the river than the Park's preferred alternative, and operates in a run-of-the-river drought."
To see the park's plan, visit http://www.nps.gov/grca/crmp
To see RRFW's plan, visit http://www.rrfw.org/compare.php
RRFW encourages everyone interested in Grand Canyon to comment, and comment often. Write a letter. Then attend a meeting. Then write another letter. Your comments count!
A 90 day comment period will begin October 8 ,2004,and end January 7,2005. You can send your comments in writing to CRMP Project, Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon AZ 86023, or comment on-line at http://www.nps.gov/grca/crmp
Public meetings will be held at the following locations: Las Vegas, Nevada; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; Phoenix, Arizona; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C; and Flagstaff, Arizona. Exact meeting locations and dates will be announced in early October.
RRFW Riverwire will continue to update our members about this plan, with a full breakdown of the plans details to come soon.