Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Area, etc none
Post Reply
User avatar
hikeaz
Guides: 6 | Official Routes: 0
Triplogs Last: 183 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 0 | Last: 767 days ago
Joined: May 13 2002 10:07 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by hikeaz »

An Arizona man pleaded guilty on 4/8/22 to conducting backcountry guide operations without permits at Grand Canyon National Park. William (Billy) Woods of Flagstaff faces two years of supervised probation and is banned from Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for the next two years. A further look into Woods revealed that he illegally advertised guided trips under the company names Blue Marble Guides, Canyons and Chefs, Blue Marble Adventure Geotourism, LLC and Red Rock Culinary. Woods had previously been warned by park staff to stop the operations but continued them.

https://canyonsandchefs.com/about/

https://canyonsandchefs.com/blog/food-in-the-wild/
Last edited by hikeaz on Apr 27 2022 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
User avatar
azbackpackr
Guides: 27 | Official Routes: 22
Triplogs Last: 47 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 150 days ago
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by azbackpackr »

Seriously, why do people think they can get away with this sort of thing?

I remember a few years ago there was a company, "Just Roughin' It," that was forging info on their permits. So dumb.
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
xsproutx
Triplogs Last: 31 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 45 | Last: 14 days ago
Joined: Sep 15 2020 7:37 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by xsproutx »

@azbackpackr
TBH, sounds like he kind of did for a while and then they just politely told him to stop. Even after that, there's no mention of a fine. Depending on court fees/lawyer fees, might have still come out ahead?
azbackpackr wrote:"Just Roughin' It," that was forging info
That the same company located in Scottsdale? I've heard some interesting things about them but that'd take the cake
User avatar
azbackpackr
Guides: 27 | Official Routes: 22
Triplogs Last: 47 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 150 days ago
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by azbackpackr »

@xsproutx
I don't know where it's located. I do know someone who used to work for them, who is now a river guide. But he was not involved in that little bit of shenanigans.
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
xsproutx
Triplogs Last: 31 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 45 | Last: 14 days ago
Joined: Sep 15 2020 7:37 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by xsproutx »

@azbackpackr
Just checked and it's the same. Interestingly have this quote on their page, "...So while we no longer offer full service guided trips..." :D
User avatar
big_load
Guides: 0 | Official Routes: 1
Triplogs Last: 187 days ago | RS: 2
Water Reports 1Y: 0 | Last: 1,414 days ago
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by big_load »

azbackpackr wrote:Seriously, why do people think they can get away with this sort of thing?
I'd like to see more information on where he got caught.

My hypothesis is that staff is just stretched too thin, especially in the backcountry. In our 2019 trip we didn't see any rangers at all below the rim. On the Escalante route (about half of our trip), we met at least five people who admitted hiking off-permit, mostly around Red Canyon and Hance Creek. One of them made the news when we discovered he had reported missing. He had been with his brother and others who abandoned him for hiking too slow. They informed the rangers that the party had split up on the way out and flew home without him.

In 2022 we only saw rangers at Phantom Ranch and Indian Garden.
User avatar
nonot
Guides: 103 | Official Routes: 109
Triplogs Last: 8 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 51 | Last: 8 days ago
Joined: Nov 18 2005 11:52 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by nonot »

azbackpackr wrote: Apr 27 2022 2:37 pm Seriously, why do people think they can get away with this sort of thing?
Because it seems like he completely did get away with it. As far as I can tell, he made money guiding, paid no fines, served no jail time, had no community service assigned. He is banned from the park for 2 years...which is probably unenforceable anyways. If the park service actually wanted to exert influence to stop this behavior they'd have to ramp up the penalty level.
http://hikearizona.com/garmin_maps.php

Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, shin-stabbing, skin-shredding plants!
Hike Arizona it is full of striking, biting, stabbing, venomous wildlife!
User avatar
azbackpackr
Guides: 27 | Official Routes: 22
Triplogs Last: 47 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 150 days ago
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by azbackpackr »

@big_load
@nonot

Sheesh!

Was that missing person found, Alec?
Last edited by azbackpackr on Apr 27 2022 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
hikeaz
Guides: 6 | Official Routes: 0
Triplogs Last: 183 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 0 | Last: 767 days ago
Joined: May 13 2002 10:07 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by hikeaz »

Outside of the corridor I have seen just 4 rangers in the backcountry over 30+ years backpacking in GCNP. Three of those instances were at Hance Rapid (one ranger was on a river trip). The 4th was at Cremation where the newbie ranger was 'bewildered' about where the trail was and had the huevos to ask to see our permit after we got him 'relocated'. (felt like asking him for his 'hiking credentials')

I would presuppose/conjecture that 'Billy' was ratted out by some of his competition vs. being 'found out' in the backcountry.
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
User avatar
SpiderLegs
Guides: 2 | Official Routes: 2
Triplogs Last: 5 days ago | RS: 1
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 170 days ago
Joined: Jul 12 2012 7:35 pm
City, State: Oro Valley, AZ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by SpiderLegs »

Think the guy leading 3 buses full of people to do R2R, printed up t-shirts and charged for it all got a slap on the wrist as well. Banned from the GC for two years (which as others have stated is almost impossible to enforce). I'm following a few Grand Canyon groups on Facebook, some very large groups are heading in and out this spring. When asked if any have a permit, they state that their group is breaking up into smaller, legal sized groups to avoid getting a permit. But gather en masse to take a picture along the way though.
See my pics on Instagram @tucsonexplorer
User avatar
big_load
Guides: 0 | Official Routes: 1
Triplogs Last: 187 days ago | RS: 2
Water Reports 1Y: 0 | Last: 1,414 days ago
Joined: Oct 28 2003 11:20 am
City, State: Andover, NJ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by big_load »

@azbackpackr

Yes, as I understand he came out a day later. It wasn't easy to piece together. After we got out, our permit holder was questioned about who we had seen while she was reporting some disappointing conditions at Hance Creek. Some details in the questions aligned with later reports that had more information. As you might expect, we didn't see anyone looking for him because they were looking in his permit area, instead of where he actually was.

By the way, the disappointing conditions at Hance Creek were catholes and dug in the middle of several tent sites, not all completely buried, and TP all over the place.
User avatar
azbackpackr
Guides: 27 | Official Routes: 22
Triplogs Last: 47 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 150 days ago
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by azbackpackr »

@big_load
Ugh. They need to require wag bags.
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
hikeaz
Guides: 6 | Official Routes: 0
Triplogs Last: 183 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 0 | Last: 767 days ago
Joined: May 13 2002 10:07 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ
Contact:

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by hikeaz »

@azbackpackr
Like that type would use a wagbag?
"The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient."
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
User avatar
azbackpackr
Guides: 27 | Official Routes: 22
Triplogs Last: 47 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 3 | Last: 150 days ago
Joined: Jan 21 2006 6:46 am
City, State: Needles CA

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by azbackpackr »

@hikeaz
Unfortunately, you're probably right.
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.
no avatar
ShatteredArm
Guides: 7 | Official Routes: 4
Triplogs Last: 24 days ago | RS: 0
Water Reports 1Y: 46 | Last: 8 days ago
Joined: Nov 30 2015 2:07 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Arizona man convicted of illegal backcountry guide operations

Post by ShatteredArm »

azbackpackr wrote:Ugh. They need to require wag bags.
They do technically require toilet paper and hygiene products to be packed out (when toilets aren't available), but hikers would have to read the back of their permit to know that.
Post Reply

Return to “Grand Canyon Forum”