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Fri, May 20

Man banned from Grand Canyon after posing as backcountry guide

A group of backpackers descend the Hermit Trail within Grand Canyon National Park (Photo/NPS)

A group of backpackers descend the Hermit Trail within Grand Canyon National Park (Photo/NPS)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — A man has pled guilty for conducting business operations without permits within the remote backcountry of Grand Canyon National Park, following an investigation by the National Park Service (NPS).

William “Billy” Chandler Woods of Flagstaff, Arizona, pled guilty April 8 and was ordered to serve two years of supervised probation and is banned from Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for the next two years.

Court documents show that in November 2020, the NPS investigated an initial allegation that Woods organized a commercially-guided backpacking trip on the Colorado Plateau without a permit. Further investigation revealed Woods illegally advertised guided trips in the park’s backcountry under the company names of Blue Marble Guides, Canyons and Chefs, Blue Marble Adventure Geotourism, LLC, and Red Rock Culinary. Woods had been previously contacted and warned by park staff regarding his illegal operation but continued his activities.

The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona.

Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) are required for all commercially-guided activities, including backcountry hiking, that results in compensation, monetary gain, benefit or profit within Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. A CUA must be obtained prior to any commercial backcountry use. CUAs do not include activities related to guided packrafting, climbing, canyoneering, or other off-trail use.

To obtain a commercial permit or for more information about commercial regulations in Grand Canyon National Park email grca_permits_mail@nps.gov or visit www.nps.gov/grca/learn/management/cua.htm.

For more information on CUAs within Glen Canyon National Recreation area, please contact the Commercial Use Authorizations Coordinator at (928) 608-6325.

Information provided by NPS

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