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Posted: February 25, 2015, 11:28 pm
Ya, sure, great comment, pretty typical of what has been going on in this country for far to long now!

;)

Statistics: Posted by Dave Parker — Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:28 pm


Posted: February 25, 2015, 11:01 pm
another, more local perspective on HR974...

http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/gyc-stands-against-parks-paddling-bill/article_fccbfbc7-b2e3-5932-a2dc-6996b1ab3caf.html

I read a great comment on the bill from someone called RockyMtnAdventures:

Hmmm. You say this is a conservation oriented bill, yet:
a) Scientists and conservationists say this is a bad idea;
b) The bill's sponsor is well known to be anti-public lands protection and anti-conservation;
c) Last year, this bill was packaged together with several other pieces of legislation that would also significantly harm national parks and the authority of public lands agencies to do their job;
d) Rep. Lummis' intentions to undermine conservation are on display again this year with her other current legislation, which includes an anti-wolf bill. (look up HR843 and HR884)
e) This would undermine the authority of park officials who are the most qualified to determine what is best for the flora and fauna of Yellowstone and Grand Teton backcountry;
f) Environmentalists know that in a sensitive ecosystem with wildlife conflicts, clustering human impacts is better than spreading them out;
g) Conservationists support the greater good. This bill is not about the greater good; it is about an elite niche group's desire (as it is explained in this article) to end their agony over being "constantly frustrated" that they aren't allowed to do something they want to do. (For the record, I see the same reaction from my five-year-old when we only let her have one scoop of ice cream.)

Statistics: Posted by Colorado_Dave — Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:01 pm


Posted: February 25, 2015, 7:17 pm
Woolly the Mammoth wrote:
Sure Dave, I'll try to state it in simple terms so you can understand. As you noted, fishing is subject to regulations- seasons, equipment regs, closures, etc., but the activity itself is allowed in the park. On the other hand, river paddling is not allowed, its entirely prohibited. All anyone is asking for is for river paddling be allowed subject to reasonable regulations.


Thanks for the reply woolly. I didn't need simple, I was just looking for accurate.

I hope you can agree now that even fishing and hiking are commonly prohibited in certain areas of the park at certain times of the year.

Yet you keep stating that river paddling is "entirely prohibited" which is also false, the ~2.5 miles of the Lewis River channel between Lewis and Shoshone lakes is open to paddle craft. Also, most of the lakes in Yellowstone are available to paddlers. Also, you state that the bill excludes commercial - however I don't agree that will stay intact if such a bill is passed since commercial boating is already in place in Yellowstone - how could it??? see: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/boatbusn.htm

I really don't think this access issue is broken and needing legislation to "fix" it, especially from proven narrow-minded politicians like Lummis. What is she going to change next - allowing people to walk their dogs in the backcountry? That seems even less intrusive than paddling - to the naive...

Statistics: Posted by Colorado_Dave — Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:17 pm


Posted: February 25, 2015, 7:21 am
Woolly the Mammoth wrote:
In general I agree with you regarding fishing regulations in YNP. I'm a huge supporter of the effort to remove lake trout from Yellowstone Lake and even donated one of the transponders used to track them. What I am talking about is the ban on paddling itself. It was promulgated in the 1950s for the purpose of preventing overfishing. Since then, we've developed many tools to manage fisheries such as harvest limits, fishing seasons, equipment, etc. A blanket ban on boating doesn't comport with modern fisheries management practices.

As far as what rivers paddlers would like access to, the group of us pushing this bill are interested in seeing NPS evaluate a total of about 480 miles of river between the two parks, which is approximately five to ten percent of the total number of stream miles that exist in YNP. We are all conservationists and support permanently closing areas with iconic viewsheds such as Hayden and Lamar Valleys. We support NPS having the ability to enact appropriate equipment and use restrictions that protect the resources of the park.

As far as specific examples of rivers that paddlers are particularly interested in, certainly the black canyon comes to mind for whitewater boaters. Packrafters are primarily interested in areas such as the upper Yellowstone above the lake, the upper Snake and the upper Lamar. It is legal to float Thoroughfare Creek or the upper Yellowstone above the YNP boundary, but currently you can't legally proceed further downstream.

Interesting, thanks for your response Woolly.
At first glance, my initial thought was that I was against this whole idea. The more I think about it the more accepting I am.

I'm still not in love with it, but I have some friends who have packrafted waters in the the Bob & that sounds amazing. Packrafting the upper Lamar or upper Yellowstone would be tempting.

Statistics: Posted by DanS — Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:21 am


Posted: February 24, 2015, 10:35 pm
Sure Dave, I'll try to state it in simple terms so you can understand. As you noted, fishing is subject to regulations- seasons, equipment regs, closures, etc., but the activity itself is allowed in the park. On the other hand, river paddling is not allowed, its entirely prohibited. All anyone is asking for is for river paddling be allowed subject to reasonable regulations.

Statistics: Posted by Woolly the Mammoth — Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:35 pm


Posted: February 23, 2015, 6:17 pm
Woolly the Mammoth wrote:
Yellowstone's rivers and streams are already open to fishing, and as far as apex predators using waterways, they also use trails and roadways, but NPS doesn't prohibit hiking, horseback riding and vehicular travel within the park.


Have you spent much time in the park? I cannot imagine anyone who has spent any time out of their car in the park would think that fishing, hiking and riding and even vehicular traffic is not regularly prohibited in certain areas. I have been impacted by trail closures on about every visit. Please read this quick link and clarify what you really meant?

http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/fishdates.htm


The fishing season begins the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (usually the last weekend in May) and extends through and includes the first Sunday in November. Exceptions are noted in each of the Regional Regulations sections within the Fishing Regulations handbook (4.9 MB pdf).

Please take the time to review the regulations as there are recent changes.

Also note that there are areas within the park that are permanently closed to human entry and disturbance, have seasonal area and trail closures, off-trail travel and daylight hour limitations, and party size recommendations. See the Bear Management Area restrictions within the Yellowstone Backcountry Trip Planner for specific rules and information.

In addition, some streams may be temporarily closed to fishing on short notice to protect fish populations in mid-summer due to low water levels and high water temperatures.

Statistics: Posted by Colorado_Dave — Mon Feb 23, 2015 11:17 am


Posted: February 23, 2015, 6:07 am
In general I agree with you regarding fishing regulations in YNP. I'm a huge supporter of the effort to remove lake trout from Yellowstone Lake and even donated one of the transponders used to track them. What I am talking about is the ban on paddling itself. It was promulgated in the 1950s for the purpose of preventing overfishing. Since then, we've developed many tools to manage fisheries such as harvest limits, fishing seasons, equipment, etc. A blanket ban on boating doesn't comport with modern fisheries management practices.

As far as what rivers paddlers would like access to, the group of us pushing this bill are interested in seeing NPS evaluate a total of about 480 miles of river between the two parks, which is approximately five to ten percent of the total number of stream miles that exist in YNP. We are all conservationists and support permanently closing areas with iconic viewsheds such as Hayden and Lamar Valleys. We support NPS having the ability to enact appropriate equipment and use restrictions that protect the resources of the park.

As far as specific examples of rivers that paddlers are particularly interested in, certainly the black canyon comes to mind for whitewater boaters. Packrafters are primarily interested in areas such as the upper Yellowstone above the lake, the upper Snake and the upper Lamar. It is legal to float Thoroughfare Creek or the upper Yellowstone above the YNP boundary, but currently you can't legally proceed further downstream.

Statistics: Posted by Woolly the Mammoth — Sun Feb 22, 2015 11:07 pm


Posted: February 23, 2015, 3:59 am
Woolly,
I have a couple of questions for you. You mentioned an "archaic" fishing regulation. I'm very familiar with the YNP regs but not the Snake river outside the park. None of the YNP regs are what I'd consider "archaic". Quite the contrary, I think most of the YNP regs are quite ahead of their time. Are you speaking about the YNP regs or ones outside the park on the Snake?

My second question has to do with what waters you would like access to inside the park? Clearly you seem to have an invested interest in this issue. Do you want access to all water? Or just some areas?

Statistics: Posted by DanS — Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:59 pm


Posted: February 23, 2015, 12:56 am
Dave, I think we agree. The park is over used. Why not close some trails etc. Opening up another activity that will draw a lot of people who probably will paddle other places is not a good option.

Statistics: Posted by larryrainey — Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:56 pm


Posted: February 23, 2015, 12:34 am
DanS wrote:
Doesn't the NPS already have authority to regulate boating in YNP?


You would think the answer would be yes, but according to NPS they don't have the authority. Answering this question may ultimately require a federal court decision. The Craig Thomas Snake River Headwaters Legacy Act of 2008 led to the development of the Snake River Management Plan, which includes the Snake River, Heart River and Lewis River in YNP. During the scoping process, NPS was requested to evaluate paddling. NPS did not, stating that it was prohibited from doing so because of the archaic fishing regulation that prohibited boating. While I and many others don't think that makes sense, we've chosen to seek a legislative resolution as opposed to a judicial one.

Johnny B, again, the bill specifically excludes commercial use. You're concern is unfounded. Yellowstone's rivers and streams are already open to fishing, and as far as apex predators using waterways, they also use trails and roadways, but NPS doesn't prohibit hiking, horseback riding and vehicular travel within the park.

Statistics: Posted by Woolly the Mammoth — Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:34 pm


Posted: February 22, 2015, 8:43 pm
Greater Yellowstone is the greatest mammalian habitat in the Temperate Zone and among other things apex predators use water courses frequently. With seemingly warmer temperatures every year aquatic species certainly don't need indulgent exacerbation of an already perilous situation.

I am grateful to the motorized recreationists among us content with their extant access that covers millions of acres and virtually countless miles of trails and waterways throughout the Rocky Mountain West. Paddling is not motorized and like Mt. Biking is a great activity when exercised in reasonable numbers with environmental consideration; but IMO you introduce it to Yellowstone it will eventually get commercial concession and become like the Arkansas in Colorado, the most rafted river in the world.

The push for greater mechanized and motorized access to public lands is a serious threat in every state.

Statistics: Posted by JohnnyB — Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:43 pm


Posted: February 22, 2015, 5:46 pm
zeaper2 wrote:
I hope the bill passes and the Park Service is forced to actually do something for boater recreationalists. What ever happened to “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people"?

I think you are overreacting with this statement.

The NPS already allows boating on 3 major lakes and the Lewis-Shoshone channel. So they are doing something for boaters, even if it is limited. Oddly enough, the waters in the park are fairly dangerous to boating. I can vouch for that after all the time I've spent out on Yellowstone Lake or from search and rescue operations on Lewis Lake.

Personally, I don't think that the entire park needs to be open to boating without restrictions in order to fulfill the whole "For the benefit and enjoyment of the people". That's what it sounds like you might be suggesting here.

Statistics: Posted by DanS — Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:46 am


Posted: February 22, 2015, 5:42 pm
Woolly the Mammoth wrote:
Actually, Ms. Lummis deserves a lot of credit for this bill. It gives NPS complete authority to regulate boating in Yellowstone, and doesn't remove any of the restrictions until Congress appropriates money for NPS to do their job. Seems very reasonable to me. Yellowstone's backcountry is already open to hiking, fishing and horse packing, so hand paddled boating is also an appropriate use. Yellowstone is the only national park that doesn't allow boating on its rivers, hopefully that will change soon.

Doesn't the NPS already have authority to regulate boating in YNP?

While I wouldn't have a problem with a few areas being open to paddling, I would be really against paddling being allowed on the stretch of Yellowstone River from Otter creek south to Mud Volcano, and anywhere in Lamar Valley. Those open vistas are amazing and frankly having boats on those stretches of water would go a long way toward ruining some of the most classic, wide open, unspoiled views in the park.

Personally I could live with parts of the Firehole and the stretch of the Yellowstone from the northern edge of Fishing Bridge's no fishing zone to Mud Volcano being open to paddling.

Statistics: Posted by DanS — Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:42 am


Posted: February 22, 2015, 5:15 pm
The bill explicitly states that there will be no commercial use. Either you haven't read it or your intentionally spreading misinformation. Superintendent Wenk has made comments that indicate Ms. Lummis listened to NPS and addressed its concerns in the new bill. NPS retains full authority to determine which areas are appropriate for paddling and which are not. There is a long standing history of successful river management on western wilderness rivers. These tools will be used to protect Yellowstone's rivers as well, while rightfully allowing paddlers to access their national park in a manner that is consistent with other activities already allowed therein.

Statistics: Posted by Woolly the Mammoth — Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:15 am


Posted: February 21, 2015, 2:02 pm
Thanks Jo mo, you stated the situation very well, all the aspects that need considering and what to expect if this bill goes through. I'm a paddler from way back and agree, Yellowstone should be left alone, leave it with the access that it has now.

Cheryl

Statistics: Posted by vetmom — Sat Feb 21, 2015 7:02 am


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