River Runners for Wilderness invites all interested rafters, paddlers, canoeists and kayakers to attend the Ninth Circuit Court hearing in San Francisco. The hearing will be on Wednesday June 10, 2009, in Courtroom 2 of the James R. Browning Courthouse at 95 7th Street. This hearing will be open to the public and is anticipated to last 30 minutes. As the RRFW hearing is scheduled fourth on the day's docket, it is estimated to occur about 10:00 a.m.
The litigation, filed by wilderness and access groups River Runners for Wilderness, Rock the Earth, Living Rivers and Wilderness Watch, challenges the legality of the National Park Service's decision to allow concessionaire motorized uses on the potential wilderness of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. The groups allege the plan fails to preserve and protect the Canyon's wilderness character.
The litigation also questions the Park Service's decision to allocate the vast majority of summertime river access permits to commercial river concessionaires.
Intervening in the case in support of motorized use and the allocation system favoring commercial interests are the Grand Canyon River Outfitters Trade Association and the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association. A joint agreement signed by these groups in 2005 compels them to defend present operations despite the inequitable access and resource-damaging nature of the river management plan.
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