New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/Run

Rim to Rim to Rim

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Areas none
User avatar
SpiderLegs
Brand Emphasizer
Posts: 719
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/Run

Post by SpiderLegs » Aug 22 2014 8:31 am

New $175 Permit + $300K Insurance: Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hike/Run

Q & A e-mail
Image
Who is required to obtain a permit: Any organized, non-commercial, group conducting rim-to-rim and extended day hiking and running, including rim-to-river-to-rim, and rim-to-rim-to-rim that are operating in the inner canyon. The inner canyon is defined as the area below the Tonto Platform (Tipoff and Indian Garden) from the South Rim and below Manzanita Resthouse (Pumphouse Residence) from the North Rim.

Groups including, non-profits, schools, church groups, scouts, clubs, and other similar organizations will be required to obtain an SUP for their activity. Any group, regardless of size, which has advertised to the general public, required individuals to sign up prior to participation, or that has an organizer who has been compensated for their services (including subsidized participation in the activity), are required to operate under an SUP.

User avatar
ddgrunning
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 157
Joined: Apr 13 2011 10:01 pm
City, State: Gilbert, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by ddgrunning » Aug 29 2014 1:16 pm

I'm also interested in how they intend to enforce the permit requirement. Seems like in most cases it is going to be very difficult for NPS (without engaging in a lot of "Big Brother" activity, which I doubt they have the time or resources for) to prove in any particular circumstance that a particular hike was "advertised to the general public" or that the organizer was "compensated" (or even who the "organizer" is), or that participants were "required to sign up prior to participation" (whatever that means--see my comment above). In any event, unless a group is willing to admit their guilt, a park ranger is not going to be able to prove any of these things at the point of confrontation--e.g., when encountering a group of hikers winding their way through the Box. So, on what basis would the ranger be justified in issuing a "ticket"?

Ultimately, as with a lot of government regulations, the folks at whom these regulations are targeted (i.e., those who dump their trash on the trail, ignore basic trail etiquette, etc.) are also the ones most likely to ignore them, particularly since any realistic enforcement mechanism (i.e., punishment for failure to comply) seems unlikely.

User avatar
chumley
Norwegian Kokopelli
Posts: 6654
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by chumley » Aug 29 2014 2:11 pm

I love finding loopholes to restrictions when it benefits me, and I think there are some valid questions and grey areas in the new rule, but I think the basics really are quite clear. The objective is to eliminate "organized groups". I don't really think it's that difficult understand the "spirit" of the rule as cactuscat mentioned previously. Even if you don't like or agree with it.

You can't do the following without a permit:
1. Post an event on a website inviting members of the general public to go on a hike that includes the inner canyon. That includes Meetup, Facebook, HAZ, etc.
2. Organize a hiking event that includes the inner canyon as a representative of any kind of organization. This includes churches, schools, clubs, boy scouts, etc.
3. Organize a hiking event that includes the inner canyon where you or others are compensated in any way.
4. Organize any hiking event that includes more than 30 people. Even if they are your all your best friends, it seems clear that the NPS will consider this to be an "organized group".

You can do the following:
1. Organize a few friends, coworkers, or known acquaintances through direct private arrangements to hike (via phone, email, Facebook messages, FedEx documents, whatever!). (Absolute max of 30 people).

I agree that much of this is nearly un-enforceable, but it is just an interim measure until the new General Plan is introduced.

I think a red flag for enforcement would be a bus or van of hikers at the trailhead.
Ja vi elsker dette landet

User avatar
SpiderLegs
Brand Emphasizer
Posts: 719
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by SpiderLegs » Aug 29 2014 3:40 pm

I'm sure the NPS will probably exert some time and energy to find a couple of good test cases to pursue. Somewhere out there a person is gathering a list of names on Facebook or MeetUp for an early October R2R and thinking that the NPS will never find out.

But then again this is the same government that can't even build a working website and insists that the IRS "lost" a years worth of emails.

User avatar
BobP
Cairn Reaper
Posts: 1600
Joined: Feb 26 2008 3:43 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by BobP » Aug 29 2014 3:55 pm

General public definition ...ordinary people in society, rather than people who are considered to be important or who belong to a particular group

people who are considered to be important or who belong to a particular group....these are HAZ members

ordinary people in society... this is the general public

Any questions?
http://www.blindmotivation.com
http://www.seeitourway.org
Always pronounce Egeszsegedre properly......
If you like this triplog you must be a friend of BrunoP

User avatar
ddgrunning
Exploring Kokopelli
Posts: 157
Joined: Apr 13 2011 10:01 pm
City, State: Gilbert, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by ddgrunning » Aug 29 2014 4:02 pm

The problem with relying on the "spirit" of a regulation is that ... words matter. This is particularly true when the interpretation of those words means the difference between compliance with, and violation of, a purported legal requirement. The burden is on the drafters of the requirement to clearly encompass the requirement in the actual words they choose to employ; they cannot be sloppy wordsmiths and then just claim: "Well, you know what I meant ..." when someone doesn't measure up to an unwritten "spirit" of the requirement. This is true regardless of whether one likes or agrees with the rules.

User avatar
chumley
Norwegian Kokopelli
Posts: 6654
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by chumley » Aug 29 2014 4:11 pm

@ddgrunning
I don't disagree at all. But I think that if we follow the spirit of the rule perhaps things won't get any worse.

Because the alternative is to implement a system that is very easily enforced with simple language: requiring everybody to have a permit. And I don't think any of us want to see that happen.

But it might end up happening anyway because as you wrote above, the people the rules are enacted for are the ones who will abuse it anyway.
Ja vi elsker dette landet

User avatar
friendofThundergod
ˈpōət kokopelli
Posts: 901
Joined: Jan 21 2013 10:47 am
City, State: AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by friendofThundergod » Aug 29 2014 4:23 pm

I think I have heard of one really large gaggle of HAZers at the canyon, but out of curiosity when is last time 30 memebers from HAZ met at the canyon for a hike?

User avatar
chumley
Norwegian Kokopelli
Posts: 6654
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by chumley » Aug 29 2014 5:27 pm

@friendofThundergod
I don't know of 30 hazzers gathering for anything other than a hazfest. Canyon events I know of have all been overnights and within either the 6 or 12 limit as part of the backcountry permit.

As for day hikes in the canyon, I don't think I know of any haz hike with more than 5 people.
Ja vi elsker dette landet

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 4246
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by big_load » Aug 29 2014 6:53 pm

ddgrunning wrote:I'm also interested in how they intend to enforce the permit requirement.
I don't think they'll have much problem. Any time I've ever worn a pack in the canyon, I've been asked to show my permit. They could get good, effective coverage by posting just a sentry or two at Indian Garden or Phantom Ranch.

User avatar
chumley
Norwegian Kokopelli
Posts: 6654
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by chumley » Aug 29 2014 8:12 pm

@big_load
The issue is determining who of those they stop is actually supposed to have a permit. They can ask for one and all you have to say is "I don't need one, I'm not part of an organized group". There is virtually no way for them to know if a hiker falls under the new requirements. That's why it's unenforceable.

Even if they see 20 people wearing the same t-shirt hiking together holding hands, the participants can simply say they are family members or friends who decided to hike together and therefore are exempt. That's the frustration here.

It's also why I fear that ultimately it will just end up being a system that requires a permit for all users. Especially if the interim plan is abused.
Ja vi elsker dette landet

User avatar
big_load
You talkin' to me peli
Posts: 4246
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by big_load » Aug 30 2014 8:12 am

chumley wrote:They can ask for one and all you have to say is "I don't need one, I'm not part of an organized group".
Some organized groups may be hard to spot, but a lot of them aren't. There is a similar problem (to a much lesser degree) on the Appalachian Trail near here, because of oversized groups in the Delaware Water Gap NRA. A lot of oversized groups are unwilling to spread out enough escape detection. However, I agree that abusing the regulation could lead to permit requirements for all.

User avatar
joebartels
teva joe
Posts: 6864
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by joebartels » Aug 31 2014 12:13 pm

A 30 group limit seems very reasonable. There are thousands of trails in Arizona. Spreading out is best for the ecosystem. For the Scouts and church groups it may take more planning. Yet seems there should be at least one adult to every 29 kids if not already. As a kid I recall being in a huge scout outing that surrounded a lake. Just because it was accepted in the past does not make it right.

That may push them into less developed areas if they insist on Grand Canyon as a destination. Which brings up instances such as the 1996 scout Nankoweap tragedy. Hopefully they choose practical over monumental.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
joebartels
teva joe
Posts: 6864
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by joebartels » Aug 31 2014 12:43 pm

chumley wrote:I fear that ultimately it will just end up being a system that requires a permit for all users
All the more reason backpackers are not helping themselves in the future by being quiet now. In the current state it is unbalanced. Unless you have a group of 30, the $175 + $300k of insurance is way more than an overnight permit. It's so unbalanced it encourages applying for the wrong permit or engaging in other mischief that will hamper all.

Perhaps they went overboard in anticipation of lowering it so it would be more widely accepted?

How many runners were really jumping over sleeping backpackers?
Did the runners go off the main trail or were backpackers camped on the trail?
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
hippiepunkpirate
Chameleon Kokopelli
Posts: 1218
Joined: May 30 2008 7:43 am
City, State: Peoria, AZ
Contact:

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by hippiepunkpirate » Aug 31 2014 8:19 pm

joe bartels wrote:How many runners were really jumping over sleeping backpackers?
Did the runners go off the main trail or were backpackers camped on the trail?
The way I take it, they were having problems with huge groups coming through the night (super-early morning) and talking loudly when they passed through, and it's not too hard to imagine that noise carrying very easily through the echo chamber that would be Bright Angel Canyon in the dead of a quiet night.
My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply

User avatar
joebartels
teva joe
Posts: 6864
Joined: Nov 20 1996 12:00 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by joebartels » Aug 31 2014 8:42 pm

They could have sufficient rangers on round the clock to enforce basic group size for the busy 6 weeks. It's my understanding Grand Canyon generates more revenue than it needs funding other parks in the system. Is this true? If it is they need to take care of Grand Canyon with the funds already generated before demanding more.
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

User avatar
azbackpackr
River Paddler
Posts: 8050
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Flagstaff, Arizona

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by azbackpackr » Sep 01 2014 5:02 am

I have heard through reliable grapevine they are drastically cutting staff at the park to make up for the fact they spent money taking over concessions such as Verkamp's, Desert View, etc. One type of staff they are cutting is maintenance, which is never a good idea in a park that has 4 million visitors per year. Those toilets break every damned day! I don't know if they are going to try to rely on more volunteers. But volunteers can't police large groups.

The one time I camped at Bright Angel Campground it happened to be the winter solstice. At midnight a bunch of people came down the trail from the cabins, heading for the river, beating on pans and drums, blowing trumpets, hollering and singing. Very annoying, and yes, although it was across the creek it sounded as if it was right in my campsite!
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.

User avatar
nikorock28
Thumb Butte Bandito
Posts: 125
Joined: Nov 16 2010 11:52 pm
City, State: Prescott Valley, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by nikorock28 » Sep 01 2014 4:26 pm

The 001 Contract to operate the historic village portion (western) of the park is currently up for bid. Xanterra was the only entity to bid on the contract, but the NPS determined that it was not a "qualified" bid and has set the new date for bid submissions to be October 8. Whoever wins the bid will have to pay Xanterra a total sum of $157 million for their leaseholder surrender interest investments in the property over the past several years. In an effort to make the bidding process more competitive, NPS has agreed to take on $100 million of this commitment. Therefore, NPS employees have been furloughed and/or will soon to be furlughed. Xanterra has already lost the 003 Contract (eastern portion) to Delaware North. The LSI for that was $41 million. Needless to say, there is much uncertainty about things going on in the park.

User avatar
nikorock28
Thumb Butte Bandito
Posts: 125
Joined: Nov 16 2010 11:52 pm
City, State: Prescott Valley, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by nikorock28 » Sep 01 2014 4:44 pm

joe bartels wrote:It's my understanding Grand Canyon generates more revenue than it needs funding other parks in the system. Is this true?
Yes, that is what I have heard in meetings. However, with the $100 million they have now committed, they are definitely looking to scale back. The prospectus for the new contract calls for a doubling of the franchise fees, so they will recover the $100 million over time.

User avatar
hippiepunkpirate
Chameleon Kokopelli
Posts: 1218
Joined: May 30 2008 7:43 am
City, State: Peoria, AZ
Contact:

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by hippiepunkpirate » Sep 01 2014 8:08 pm

nikorock28 wrote:Xanterra was the only entity to bid on the contract, but the NPS determined that it was not a "qualified" bid and has set the new date for bid submissions to be October 8. Whoever wins the bid will have to pay Xanterra a total sum of $157 million for their leaseholder surrender interest investments in the property over the past several years.
Does this mean that the Park is trying to push Xanterra out as a concessionaire? That's what it sounds like to me. From what I've heard from a few employees, Xanterra sounds like they're a little shady it terms of taking care of their employees up there, so I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing, but really what does they park have to gain from putting $100 million up to make the bidding more competitive? If they're not trying to push Xanterra out altogether, are they trying to garner extra income out of the contract long term by eating some money now to facilitate it?
My website: Mountain Tripper
I also write for: Territory Supply

User avatar
SpiderLegs
Brand Emphasizer
Posts: 719
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Tucson, AZ

Re: New $175 Permit + $300K Ins: R2R and Extended Day Hike/R

Post by SpiderLegs » Sep 02 2014 5:41 am

Back to R2R - this is generating some interesting articles in the mainstream press.

http://espn.go.com/sports/endurance/sto ... m%2F%22%7D

http://online.wsj.com/articles/grand-ca ... 1409353672

The more I read about what's going on in the canyon, especially during the prime weeks for doing R2R in May & October, I'm leaning towards a permit to thin the herds.

Post Reply

Return to “Rim to Rim”


cron