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Public Input Needed for Cataract Canyon and Canyonlands NP (UT)

Posted: 03/26/2024
By: Hattie Johnson

The confluence of the largest two rivers in the Southwest is a special place. Anyone who has traveled down the Green or Colorado rivers and seen where they join has undoubtedly been moved by these two lifelines in the desert becoming one. This confluence is inside Canyonlands National Park. Right now, there is a public comment period open for the National Park Service’s comprehensive river management plan for the Green and Colorado rivers. Use our Every Action form to share your thoughts.

River use in the park is currently directed by a management plan that is over 40 years old. Since that time, new technologies and users, as well as a rapidly changing environment due to basin aridification and low reservoir levels in Lake Powell, have drastically changed how these rivers should be managed - think river access, campsites, and permits. The park is asking for initial input to help shape a plan that will address public and commercial use, as well as resource protection on the river. The Park Service is also determining, or redetermining, the eligibility of streams within Canyonlands to be included in the national Wild and Scenic river system.

The public comment period is open until March 28, 2024. During this time, the NPS is asking big broad questions about what the management plan should encompass. This opportunity is open for big and creative ideas that can optimize the boating experience through the park while ensuring the preservation and enhancement of cultural and environmental resources. The time is now to push for changes that can set the Park Service up for success in managing the breadth of users on the Green and Colorado, and to ensure these special boating opportunities remain for future generations.

Relevant to this planning process, American Whitewater has been working with partners over the past few years on a durable solution to the serious access issue at the take-out for Cataract Canyon. Cataract Canyon users are dependent on an access point in the Hite Marina area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA). Cataract Canyon trips run through Canyonlands National Park and take-out in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. In 2004, due to low Lake Powell levels, a “Temporary” access point called the North Wash Boat Ramp was established. For more info check out: A Cataract Canyon Take Out. This planning process provides the public and our community  an opportunity to ask Canyonlands National Park to explore the opportunity to manage river trips through Cataract Canyon, all the way to the take out, requiring close coordination with the Glen Canyon NRA.

Please use this link to send the Parks Service a letter about how the Green and Colorado rivers should be managed through Canyonlands.

American Whitewater

Hattie Johnson

Phone: 970-456-8533
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