Last week we, and many other Colorado River tour companies, attended a public scoping meeting for the Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement.
In layman’s terms:
There is a 15 year old plan in place that manages when and how much water is released from the Glen Canyon Dam. The plan takes into account things like endangered fish habitats, beach sizes for camping on the river, archaeological sites, energy needs, associated tribal values and recreational needs like ‘how much water is necessary to be able to run motor boats through Grand Canyon’.
Based on new studies and research, it seems to everybody that the plan could use some updating.
The National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation are working together with a laboratory who will be compiling studies of the different impacts of many different plan ideas.
The scoping meeting we attended was intended for the public and affected parties like us, boaters in Grand Canyon, to let the people who will conduct the studies know what they should be paying attention to, our ideas for the new plan and what we do and don’t like about the plan currently in place.
To companies like us who run white water rafting trips in Grand Canyon, several of the key issues are how, when and how often we will have high flows to increase the amount of sand on our shrinking beaches and the what the minimum flow of water to be released will be.
The public scoping and commenting period is open until December 30, 2011. You can find out more about the plan and issues at http://ltempeis.anl.gov/. Feel free to comment, let them know what you think! Let’s be heard!