Officials at Grand Canyon National Park confirmed today the release of 18 additional launches to perspective permittees on the Park's non-commercial waiting list. These permits have been made available as a result of the 2002 lawsuit agreement between Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association with others, and Grand Canyon National Park. The settlement stipulates that unused summer commercial allocation will be turned over to non-commercial launches for the following off-peak season. The dates are limited to the spring of 2004 season: March 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 20, 23, 26, 29, 31 and April 3, 6, 7, 8.
According to the Continuing Interest Newsletter mailed December 16, 2003 to those on the non-commercial waiting list, during the week of January 5, 2004 to January 9, 2004, the River Permits Office will be releasing 18 launch dates through the cancellation line. Those with a waiting list number assignment of 03#00001 to 03#01499 may call in on Monday, January 5, those with numbers from 03#00001 to 03#02999 may call in on Tuesday, January 6, those from 03#00001 to 03#04499 can call on Wednesday, January 7, those with a number of 03#00001 to 03#05999 on Thursday, January 8, and those holding any number may call on Friday, January 9. Call the River Office cancellation line between 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at (928) 638-7883. Launch dates will be given out on a first call, first served basis to eligible callers.
The letter goes on to note that many winter launch dates released in past years were not claimed until the very last call-in day. Provided this trend continues, callers who are eligible to call in the first few days should have a good choice of available dates.
The newsletter assures current waiters on the list that their position on the list is not affected by the recently announced hold on new additions to the non-commercial permit waiting list.
Park officials also noted that self guided trip scheduling during the normal year has included a 12% overbooking of non-commercial river trips. This overbooking has all but eliminated the need to release additional launches to the cancellation line, while assuring self guided river trips used all the available user days each season. Our thanks to Steve Sullivan, Grand Canyon National Park, for this information.