Ask Congress for a Grand Permit

River Runners For Wilderness is notifying all non-commercial river runners who are going through Grand Canyon National Park’s Phase 2 transition, that your elected representative may be able to help you in getting a permit. RRFW has set up a special page at Click on the “Waiting List Transition” link to help you compile both a briefing statement of the facts, and a draft letter that your congressman can use as a template to write Grand Canyon National Park on your behalf.

Here’s what you will need to do, in addition to filling out and sending in all the paperwork the Park requires of you:

Arrange a visit with your elected representative or one of their staff who deals with National Parks issues. Tell them you’d like to speak with them about a problem you are having in obtaining a rafting permit, and let them know you will explain the details when you meet.

At the meeting, explain that you have been waiting for years for a permit to float the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, and that you would appreciate the congressman’s help obtaining a launch date for a non-commercial river trip in the Park.

Tell your congressman that Grand Canyon National Park’s new river management plan is doing away with the waiting list (where you had a reasonable expectation of receiving a launch date) and will land you in a lottery you may never win.

Let your elected representative know that in the next stage, Phase 2, you are supposed to join up with other permit holders resulting in a smaller trip size for your friends and family, and that you do not want to raft Grand Canyon with unknown people for a trip that requires a great deal of coordination and cooperation to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the entire group. 

Inform your congressman that the Park is scheduling rafting dates between now and 2012.

Let your elected representative know that over 600 hundred launch dates per year, beginning in 2008,  are “reserved” for the park’s river concessioners to market and sell to commercial customers, even though not one of these trips is booked as of yet.

Then, and this is important, make sure that your representative knows that the Stage 2 transition instructions noted that the “National Park Service will monitor [the progress of current waitlist members] and may apply adaptive management measures to ensure that their wait times do not increase excessively beyond what they would have waited under the old waitlist and allocation system.”

Finally, ask for assistance with obtaining a launch date through Phase 2 adaptive management so that your group may enjoy one of the primary resources of Grand Canyon National Park which has been preserved for the people of the United States.

For more information on how to compose a briefing statement and present a rough draft of a letter for your congressman to send to the park, see: Or from our home page at, click the “Waiting List Transition” link.

River Runners For Wilderness has challenged the legality of the new plan on different grounds, including inequitable access by the public, non-commercial users, but until those legal issues are resolved, the Park Service is implementing its transitional permitting from the waitlist.  So, for the time being, RRFW would like to help waitlisted applicants increase their chances of obtaining a permit to float the Colorado. Good luck in obtaining a permit, the RRFW Team.