November 2004. Grand Canyon National Park's first open house was held in Denver last night. A crowd of about 120 browsed the information stations positioned around the perimeter, attended the Power Point introduction to the plan, asked questions of Park staff and chatted with representatives of various organizations and each other. Blank flip charts with marking pens between each station were available for written comments, but there was no opportunity for formal public speaking.
"There are a couple of us around the park who could use more paddles" joked an amused Grand Canyon Superintendent Joe Alston when presented with two bundles of paddles with comments written on the blades. River Runners for Wilderness' Paddle the Plan campaign has been very successful, with many more paddles on their way to park meetings. "First amendment" tables in the lobby outside the meeting room held literature from several groups, including an array of RRFW newsletters, talking points, brochures and stickers. Information on these handouts are also available at www.rrfw.org, along with a link to RRFW's new iFilm.
Dotted throughout the crowd were many blue "Human Powered Wilderness, Not A Motorized Theme Park" t-shirts worn by RRFW supporters. Also, RRFW displayed an outboard motor, appropriately ensconced in a coffin complete with an "R.I.P." tombstone and lilies. Other organizations attending were board members from Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association, staff from The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, the fledgling commercial guests' group Grand Canyon River Runners Association and many members of the concessionaire community.
For those not able to attend a meeting, who would like to get prepared for an upcoming meeting or get more information for their comments, the park's station information is now posted on the CRMP website at http://www.nps.gov/grca/crmp/. Available are the handouts and posters displayed at last night's meeting in Adobe pdf format (version 5 or newer).
RRFW would like to thank the many interested RRFW members and others who attended last night and shared their thoughts with us, and look forward to seeing others at tomorrow night's meeting from 4:00pm to 8:00pm in Salt Lake City at Salt Lake Community College-Miller Campus, Karen Gail Miller Conference Center, 9750 South 300 West, Sandy, Utah.