Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association team up with NPS staff for rehabilitation project
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - Five Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association (GCPBA) volunteers recently joined staff from Grand Canyon National Park's Divisions of Science and Resource Management, and Visitor and Resource Protection to improve the private boaters camp at Lees Ferry in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and to protect the area's fragile riparian vegetation.
Camp rehabilitation projects such as this one are called for in the Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP). The CRMP guides management decisions regarding recreational use of the Colorado River, ensuring that park resources and visitor experience are preserved. In accordance with the CRMP, the National Park Service (NPS) works with partners including river guides, outfitters and private boaters to protect the Colorado River while enhancing recreational opportunities.
The private boaters camp at Lees Ferry is used by participants on noncommercial river trips the night before their trip launch. This informal camping area needed rehabilitation as designated trails were overgrown, social trailing was extensive, and space for two simultaneously camped private trips was inadequate.
The Lees Ferry volunteer project was not only an opportunity to accomplish much needed restoration work on the private boaters camp, but also an opportunity for park staff to interact with members of the private boaters community. Volunteers and park staff worked side-by-side constructing trail and fence, building tent pads, and clearing an area for a river kitchen in order to reduce social trailing and damage to native vegetation.
The private boaters' involvement in the project began when Grand Canyon National Park Wilderness Coordinator Linda Jalbert attended the GCPBA annual meeting in Flagstaff in November 2009. Jalbert introduced the project and invited GCPBA members to participate as volunteers. Jalbert said, "Park staff really wanted to find an opportunity to collaborate with the private boating community on a river stewardship project. We've worked with commercial outfitters on a regular basis, and wanted to work with the private boaters on a river restoration project. The Lees Ferry camp seemed to be a perfect opportunity to do so. The volunteers were enthusiastic and we accomplished a great deal of work in a short time. We hope that we can continue to work with the river communities on river stewardship projects."
For additional information on the Lees Ferry private boaters camp rehabilitation or the Colorado River Management Plan, please contact Linda Jalbert, Wilderness Coordinator at (928) 638-7909. Further information on the Lees Ferry private boaters camp rehabilitation is available at http://www.nps.gov/grca/naturescience/cynsk-v17.htm. Information on the Colorado River Management Plan is available at http://www.nps.gov/grca/parkmgmt/crmp.htm.