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AWC Develops Solution to 20-Year Conflict at Colorado River

Proposal Answers Commercial Concerns and Protects Unique Wilderness Experience

The Arizona Wilderness Coalition has unveiled a highly anticipated multi-point resolution that will protect the wilderness character of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park and still allow commercial outfitters the chance to continue their river trip business.

“It’s high time we cease our bickering over who gets what from this river and act to protect what makes it unique in the first place,” says Kim Crumbo, Grand Canyon Regional Coordinator for the Arizona Wilderness Coalition, former Grand Canyon Wilderness Manager, and a former Colorado River guide. “The more we continue to degrade the canyon’s wild character with more motor boats, pushing crowds of people down the river, the less it remains a special, awe-inspiring experience. This resolution addresses many concerns from a variety of stakeholders by balancing wilderness protection with commercial allocation.”

Under the Coalition’s resolution :

•  The total possible number of people accessing the river within popular summer months remains the same as current levels, but would reduce the number of times boat trips come in contact with other parties.

•  Commercial outfitters’ permit allocations to run the river would remain the same as current levels.

•  Access for self-guided river runners during the summer season would double. There is currently a 20-year wait for this do-it-yourself group of river users.

The resolution would also :

•  Reduce the group size of individual river trips from 36 commercial passengers to a maximum of 18 recreational users;
•  Reduce the current crowding and congestion to levels consistent with visitor’s expectations in wilderness;
•  Spread the river running season out over spring and fall months;

•  Phase out motorized use over a realistic time period.

Check out other comparisons between current river trip conditions and the AWC conflict resolution proposal in this easy-to-read chart.

“This is by far the most realistic alternative for keeping the outstanding wilderness opportunity at the Colorado River alive and well, including the business interests that thrive off the river’s wilderness appeal,” says AWC Executive Director Don Hoffman.

Support AWC’s Wilderness River Resolution at Grand Canyon National Park by sending in your comments!! The mailing address for comments about the Park is: Superintendent Joe Allston, Grand Canyon National Park, PO Box 129, Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023. You may wish to check the Park’s website frequently. It will alert you when it is appropriate to provide additional public comments concerning the revision of the Colorado River Management Plan. Visit


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