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Thread: Zion Backcountry Plan - request for comments (very long)

  1. #1
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Zion Backcountry Plan - request for comments (very long)

    Dear Zion Canyoneer

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  3. #2
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Shorter Version

    BC Plan comments due by Monday, July 30th, 2007.

    More info:

    Thanks, Tom

  4. #3
    I hope everyone will take a couple of minutes and write a letter or send an email.... Please!!!!!

    I'm not nearly as nice as Tom... my letter said something to the effect of the permit system sucks and their BC Plan was pretty much a smoke and mirrors show... I did mention that the higher quota's in Plan B were more tolerable then the current quota's.

  5. #4
    I'll probably hand deliver my statement on Monday. I will work on it over the weekend. This is something that is important to me also.
    Life is Good

  6. #5

    see my thread on an important change. I entered and Ice fixed a direct link so you can do it electronically.

  7. #6
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Sample concise letter:

    Here's a concise sample letter from one of my friends... Tom

    Dear Zion National Park Planning Team:

    Thank you for soliciting my comments as a park user on the May 2007
    Backcountry Plan / Environmental Assessment for Zion National Park.

    I have been a regular Zion visitor since my first visit seventeen
    years ago to the Virgin River Narrows. I have since returned over
    40 times as my passion for hiking, canyoneering, and climbing in the
    park has grown. I enjoy dayhiking Angel's Landing, peak climbing
    West Temple, North Guardian, and Lady Mountain, but most of all I
    have enjoyed visiting the many technical canyons of Zion, including
    Heaps, Imlay, Checkerboard, Kolob, Echo, Mystery, and Pine Creek as
    well as a few dozen undocumented canyons.

    While I am excited that the park is planning on raising Daily Use
    Limits, I am disappointed in other issues proposed in Alternative
    B. The park does not appear to have offered an acceptable

    I am grateful that the park conducted the VERP study. It seems
    apparent from the study data that approximately 90% of park users
    are comfortable with encountering up to 4 groups in a canyon, and at
    least 75% are comfortable encountering up to 6 groups. Alternative B
    is far more restrictive than what users are asking for. Please
    propose an Alternative Plan that reflects visitor perception and
    experience more accurately ( i.e. manage for more encounters).

    I appreciate the efforts of the park to balance the delicate
    resource of the park with user experiences and perceptions. I would
    appreciate the development of an Alternative, however, that is co-
    generated by the VERP and the Park Planning Team. It appears now
    that the Plan was developed first and the VERP employed selectively
    to support the plan rather than to shape or direct it.

    The decrease in group size for Pristine Zone canyons from 12 to 6 is
    unnecessary and unwelcome. I have spent dozens of days in pristine
    zone canyons and have had at most two group encounters, both of
    which were most pleasant and welcome. Please propose a new
    alternative without this reduction.

    In general, please introduce an Alternative use plan that represents
    the majority interests of canyon users, while still preserving the
    canyon resources. Proposing a single alternative is not adequate
    and overly constrictive.

    I appreciate all the care and time you have dedicated to this issue,
    and thank you for considering my letter.

    xxxxx xxxxxxxx

  8. #7
    Message sent!!!

    It was easy....just go here:

    Fill out your name, email, etc, and comment away!
    It's only "science" if it supports the narrative.

  9. #8
    Thanks - online form is easy and quick.

  10. #9
    Tom, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put all this together.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe
    Tom, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to put all this together.
    No doubt, huge effort.

    However, my comments were short and to the point.

    Eliminate the technical canyoneering day use permit.

    Folks that are stuggling to say something ought to just use the link above, fill out the info, and enter their thoughts. Hey, you can even cut and past any or all of the below.


    -Brian in SLC

    The permit system should be eliminated. Popular trade canyons are a known entity and regulating their use is a waste of park resources. Limiting use in popular canyons pushes folks into more pristine areas.
    Permits for day use should be voluntary for safety and up to the individual

    Current backcountry management is too strict, and is the greatest single impediment to a wilderness experience in the Park. The bureaucratic requirements of the permit system are not conducive to a "primitive and unconfined recreation", and should be eliminated to place less of a burden upon the backcountry visitor and the park service. Natural and cultural resources are being well protected with closures currently in place.

    The Research Natural Areas designated in the park need to be reexamined. Goose Creek was a popular canyoneering venue and should be returned to the public in trade for a less popular drainage (such as Corral Hollow or some of the remote canyons near Wynopits). Spotted owls also exist in these other drainages and since visitor travel in Goose Creek is primarily in the creek bottom, the park visitor has little if any impact on these endangered owls.

    Church Mesa does not fit the definition of an RNA (remote, difficult to access) and should be removed as such. There is an established game trail on the north side that goes to the summit, which can be easily accessed by human foot traffic. Access to Birch Creek, a seldom done but known canyoneering venue, is from the summit of Church Mesa and designation as an RNA would effectively eliminate Birch Creek as a destination. There are already designated several much more remote and difficult to access mesa tops which satisfy the need for an RNA.

  12. #11
    My letter also told the NP to dump the permit system.

  13. #12
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Thanks to All who sent in letter

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceaxe
    My letter also told the NP to dump the permit system.
    Thanks to everyone who sent in letters. That's how democracy works. (Now if we could only convince the Park of that...)


  14. #13
    Now that all is said and done..... I hope it makes a difference....

    But my experience is the Park already knows exactly what its going to do. They just trot out this little dog and pony show so they can say they did everything by the book. I really have little faith in the democratic process with stuff like this. Nearly everyone in this government boondoggle is more worried about how to create, maintain or enlarge their individual fiefdoms. The Parks needs are really secondary

  15. #14
    I sent a letter so I get to complain! weee! My post is seriously OT btw.

    Here's something similar to what we'll see with the Park service and their request for input that I see every day. I work for a small-time govt. contractor. It goes like this: a government entity puts out a "Request For Proposal" because thats what they're supposed to do so they can award the contract to the best bid so as to efficiently use our taxpayers dollars. But the RFP's often end up looking something like this:

    Requesting proposals for a thingermajig system. Contractor must have built their system not more than 5 years ago but not less than 4. Contractor must be located not more than 290 but not less than 300 miles from Dudeville. Contractor must have between 20 and 22 employees. No company will be awarded that doesn't start with the letter L.

    Ok so I'm exaggerating but we've seriously seen bids that have hand picked all the unique features of a given competitor and listed them as requirements. If they'd just pick the things they actually want and need and let the system work they'd get a better deal and save us all money. Now my company is starting to get hand-picked though, so I guess what goes around comes around.

  16. #15
    A proposal to develop Zion National Park’s Backcountry Plan is under way. The proposal seeks public comments on a variety of topics related on site to backcountry planning and management, including user group identification and value, facilities, resources, services and infrastructure.

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