gcpba NEWSWIRE - PRIVATE BOATERS TAKE NATIONAL PARK TO COURT - March 13, 2000

A lawsuit was filed in Federal Court last week based partly on Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Rob Arnberger's February 23 decision to halt any further work on the Colorado River Management Plan. The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the National Park Service has failed and refused to take any action whatsoever to adjust or modify allocation between the American public and the Parks river concessionaires in a fair and equitable manner for the last 21 years. The suit claims that the regulations promulgated are arbitrary and capricious, and constitute an abuse of discretion. The suit also claims due process has been denied to American citizens seeking access to Grand Canyon without the aid of commercial river concessionaires.

The Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association emphatically supports the concept of an open planning process that involves public input. The only alternative for resolving the complex issue of a National Park heavily influenced by a small handful of river concessionaires is a thorough public review. This GCPBA supported lawsuit attempts to reinstate the planning process that Superintendent Arnberger unilaterally abandoned.

The GCPBA was formed in 1996 as access to the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for American citizens was becoming nearly impossible. In 1997, as required by the Park's General Management Plan, the Superintendent of Grand Canyon initiated a Colorado River Management Plan review. GCPBA volunteers provided thousands of hours of participation to this planning process rather than suing the Park, knowing full well a legal challenge could be mounted instead.

Byron Hayes, of the GCPBA board, stated "In the course of the planning process, GCPBA identified numerous issues and activities occurring at Grand Canyon that did not comply with the National Park Service's own policies. Meanwhile, the river concessions trade association continued to put pressure on the superintendent via their congressional connections to derail the planning process. Given the Superintendent's decision to halt the plan, in stark opposition to the Park's own General Management Plan and the will of the people, the GCPBA has consequently been forced into the legal arena."

You can assist the non profit 501c3 GCPBA in overturning this highly questionable administrative decision that indisputably benefits an extremely well connected 27 million dollar per year Grand Canyon river concessions industry. You can help by donating generously to the GCPBA legal defense fund and lead the way to achieving a fair and equitable access system in a properly managed wilderness. If you can help us provide more timely access and protect the Canyon resource, please send you tax deductible contribution to:

Grand Canyon Private Boaters Association
PO Box 2133 Flagstaff, AZ 86003-2133

To keep you updated on this case, the GCPBA will use its newsletter "The Waiting List," the gcpba NEWSWIRE, special mailings and website updates at www.gcpba.org. For more information on this NEWSWIRE, please contact:

Gary Adams GCPBA NEWSWIRE Coordinator 503-651-3641
Bob Harris GCPBA Board Member, NEWSWIRE Coordinator 316-662-0346

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