Grand Canyon Changes Waiting Policies

Posted: 10/03/2000
By: Jason Robertson
NOTE: The following is from Steve Sullivan, Permits Manager at Grand Canyon
National Park and was forwarded by the Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association (GCPBA).


Greetings! Once again it is time to renew your place on the Waiting List for Colorado River permits. Please complete the attached form and return it to the River Office before January 31, 2001. These forms are being accepted early; we suggest returning yours today. In an effort to improve service, we have made important policy changes which are outlined below. Happy holidays!

Steve Sullivan
Permits Program Manager

NOTE: Attached Photo is from http://www.thecanyon.com/nps/rivertrips/.
POLICY CHANGES:
Grand Canyon is implementing the following important changes in an attempt to make some purely administrative rules more friendly and reasonable. However, these rules are not retroactive and will not to be applied to people who were removed from the waiting list at any prior time. If you have any comments on these changes, please contact grca_public_comment@nps.gov by email or write to us at this address:

River Permits Office
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023-0129

Continuing Interest Deadline Change:
According to the 1989 Colorado River Management Plan (CRMP), "All persons on the waiting list are responsible for informing the River Subdistrict in writing each year between December 15 and January 31 that they wish to remain on the waiting list." This is known as the CI (Continuing Interest) Deadline. ffective immediately the above requirement is changed as follows. "All persons on the waiting list are responsible for informing the River Permits Office in writing each year before January 31 that they wish to remain on the waiting list. CI forms may be sent in anytime on or after receipt of that year's CI Newsletter or December 15, whichever is earliest." This change is being made to help waiting list participants avoid misplacing their forms during a part of the year when many are bombarded by holiday plans, activities, and mail.

CI Requirement Change:
Previously, waiting list participants were allowed to miss only one CI period over their entire time on the waiting list and still remain on the list. Effective immediately, waiting list participants are allowed to miss one CI period over any 4 year time frame and remain on the list. This change is being made to give waiting list participants who missed a CI period another chance if they faithfully meet the deadlines for the next 3 years.

Initial Scheduling Policy Change:
All waiting list participants in the top 300 are contacted in October for initial scheduling. Previously these people were required to list a minimum of 15 launch dates. When 15 dates had not been listed and all listed dates were full, the result would be removal from the waiting list. Effective immediately, those contacted for initial scheduling will be allowed to list less than 15 dates and even request that they be skipped for the current year's initial scheduling. These requests will be due at the same time that normal scheduling forms are due. This change is being made to allow people greater flexibility in avoiding scheduling for launch dates they do not desire. More than 300 from the top of the list may be contacted if a high number of dates remain.

Alternate Trip Leaders Change:
Previously permits could not be transferred to another member of the river trip.
Effective immediately, up to two people can be listed on the Launch Date Preference Form as alternate trip leaders. This change is not intended to promote frequent river use by individuals at the expense of all others on the waiting list. To avoid this potential, people who have participated in a noncommercial trip within the 4 previous years are prohibited from leading or participating in trips given to alternate trip leaders, and new leaders may not be listed as leaders for other pending trips. Finally, deferred trips, and trips obtained through the cancellation phone line, may not be passed on to alternate trip leaders. This change is being made to provide a means for groups to proceed as planned in cases where the original trip leader has to drop out at the last minute. Trip leaders for upcoming launch dates who could benefit by this rule will be given a special, one-time opportunity to add names of alternate trip leaders to their applications.

Deferment Policy Change:
Previously deferrals were only allowed upon advance request when the permittee had a confirmed medical problem that would not allow them to participate in a river trip. Trips could not be deferred a second time. Effective immediately, trip leaders will be given a one-time option to defer their trip at their own discretion. Deferment requests need to be submitted to the River Office at least 90 days prior to launch. Deferred trips will be rescheduled to exactly 3 years later than the original launch date. Deferments will be granted only in cases where the launch had not been obtained through the cancellation line, where an alternate trip leader had never been chosen, and where previous deferments never had been granted for the trip. Additionally, medical deferments will remain an option within 90 days of launch only if the trip has never been deferred or passed to an alternate trip leader. This change is being made to enable trip leaders to address life's changing needs by delaying their trips. Rescheduling the trip to exactly 3 years later allows the rebooking to take place before initial scheduling and thus avoid overbooking.

Adding Participants Change:
Previously additions to the total number of trip participants could not be made within 90 days of launch. Those who wanted to add after 90 days in advance had no options and were turned away by the park, often to their extreme disappointment. Effective immediately, trip leaders will be allowed to add participants between 30 and 90 days before launch for normal costs plus a late fee of $100 per person. This change is being made to increase options available to those who have scheduled trips. Typically users will pay 90 days in advance, and the fees they pay will not change. Now, however, leaders will have the option of adding trip participants after the 90-day pay-in-advance deadline. Because the $100 late fee is expected to discourage indiscriminate use of this option, we believe this change will not compromise significantly our ability to predict unused user-days and know when to release additional trips for use in the same season.

Internet Change:
In addition to continuing all existing service, in the next year we will be improving our Internet system to allow all of the following:
- Submittal and receipt of online applications to get on the waiting list
- Submittal and receipt of yearly CI forms
- Email reminders and courtesy notifications of pending deadlines.
- Easy access to printable forms, rules, and procedures.
Steps will be taken to ensure that people without access to the Internet are given equal opportunities to benefit.

Postal Service Mailing Address:
River Permits Office
P.O Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023-0129

Mailing Address for Other Carriers:
River Permits Office
Ranger Ops., #1 Center Road
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Fax: (520)638-7844
Phone: (800)959-9164 or (520)638-7843
Cancellation Line: (520) 638-7883

Continuing Interest Form For the Grand Canyon National Park
Noncommercial River Trip Waiting List

*** Due Before January 31, 2001 ***

By completing this form and returning it to the River Permits Office by the above deadline, I am certifying that I am currently on the Waiting List and that I would like to remain on it.

Full Legal Name (Initials are not acceptable):

First Name: _________________________

Middle Name: _______________________

Last Name: _________________________

Current Home Mailing Address
(Please do not list a business address)

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

___________________________________

Social Security #: ___ ___ ___ - ___ ___ - ___ ___ ___ ___
Only first 7 digits are required. If you cannot provide all of this information, please state the reason why:


Home Phone #: (_______) _______ - __________

Email Address: ____________________________
(if you wish to be contacted this way in the future)

Signature: ________________________________

Date: _____________________________________
No fees are being charged this year to retain your name on the Waiting List. You may send this form to the River Office by FAX or via certified mail with a return receipt to obtain proof of timely submittal. Please do not send self-addressed, stamped envelopes. You will receive a letter by the end of April with your 2001 Waiting list number. Thanks!

FAX: (520)638-7844

Jason D. Robertson

635 Joseph Cir

Golden, CO 80403-2349

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