best things / worse things / things we should do


   The guide members’ Board of Directors ballots had a short questionnaire on how and what GCRG is doing. Here is a representative sampling of the responses we got. If any of these stir you up or make you think, well good. Drop us a line. Give us a holler. WE NEED YOUR INPUT!

best things


• The activism and the interactivism (all the community building)
• Very commendable- all that has been accomplished in these last few years
• Getting the word out on the EIS
• Newsletter is great!
• Putting effort into protecting the Grand Canyon
• The educational sections in the newsletter, i.e. geology, fish, info…
• Providing boatmen with a forum
• Allowing boatmen to meet and communicate between companies, which brings all guides closer
• Good job keeping an eye on the NPS
• Providing guides’ perspective to NPS
• Guide Training Seminars
• Lobbying in congress! Wow!
• Cool stickers
• Keeping retired boatmen informed
• Attempting to educate, enlighten, make aware, shine a light into those people doing trips who lack a commitment to esthetics and education!
• Organizing great parties
• Being active; getting the boatmen’s view across to other Grand Canyon entities
• Great “news” issues; gaining national visibility
• Liaison with concessioners, NPS
• Dedicated Board of Directors
• Bringing more interaction between guides of different companies; cooperation
• Speaking for the guides; keeping good relations with all parties– but hopefully not at guides’ expense
• Gold mine of good info in newsletter
• Some unifying stuff for fractious folks
• EXISTING!!- putting out a great newsletter- keeping us all in touch- even us “Northern” boatmen
• Working with NPS and GCES
• Creating a voluntary unification point for all boatmen
• Keeping boating and non-boating public abreast of happenings in and around the Grand Canyon. Keep up the good fight
• Widening the group of supporters for GCRG causes
• It’s great having an organization backing us, since we’re so busy on the river
• Allowing individuals to have a voice, and allowing information to be spread throughout the River Guide community
• Bridging the chasm between the hickory heads and the motorheads
• Representing us with the higher ups
• Bringing the voice of the river guides to the forefront and offering information and support to guides
• GTS is a real treat for me cause I don’t do very many trips anymore
• Congrats and thanks for all the hard work, and how far GCRG has come. A good organization and I appreciate the work past and current officers have done to get more folks involved. My hat’s off to you. I’m proud to be a member
• You’re making every effort not to be cliquish. Spread the power!
• All the everything- GCRG is the unbelievable ultimate realization of the intrinsic totality of the Third Eye of the Duck. Keep up the great work

worst things


• Putting up road signs
• Becoming too political, spreading yourselves too thin. Concentrate on a couple topics- when completed, move on
• Not being “out there” politically with the NPS
• Perception is GCRG is becoming an oarsman organization
• Still too much a feeling of “us” and “them”- old guides and new guides
• Not making more $
• I can’t see a worst thing at this point
• Continued education is great, but advanced certification is only going to gum up the works
• Alienating north rim motor boatmen
• Wasting time pretending to fight with the park
• Not working to stop the new Navajo Bridge
• Not addressing exploitation of guides: 1) Guides rowing 12 days to Separation; 2) Guides told they will lose job if they make workmans comp claims; 3) Guides carrying passengers for baggage pay
• NPS regulations plus Health Department restaurant standards are lessening the wilderness experience
• Not using volunteers to maximum potential
• Not having more birthday parties like Georgie’s
• Dues are too cheap! $25 or $35
• The tent
• Be careful not to insulate the board from the rest of the group. It’s too easy to turn board members’ opinions into the official word
• The idea that every GCRG member must get the GCRG logo tattooed on their butt
• Take down the adopt-a-highway signs!
• Overworked volunteers
• Maintaining officers and directors who all share a common perspective, i.e. old school and cliquish
• Getting too friendly with the bureaucrats
• Ain’t doing nothing that is not commendable
• Not skeptical enough of politicians and professional environmentalists!! (i.e. McCain and G. C. Trust)
• Jumping on air tours (no toilet paper, no erosion!!)
• Not enough emphasis on better ways to DELIVER quality service (too much talk)
• Maybe getting involved with other offshoot group- Moab, Idaho; sharing ideas is a good concept but how much time do you guys have anyway?
• Seems to be a disproportionate % of GCRG shakers and movers from rowey boats, while rank and file boat-for-bucks motorheads eschew GCRG. Why?
• Contributing to House Rock Valley sign pollution
• Damned few outfitters come to meetings. Why?
• The worst thing to do is nothing

things we should do


• More hands on tricks, less poetry, more substance in newsletter
• Have you looked into Grand Canyon West helicopter traffic over Burnt Springs and Quartermaster Canyons? You might want to! Burnt Springs is where the only Grand Canyon rookeries of Great Blue Herons and Black Crowned Night Herons are.
• Protect our motor babies! G.C. Trust will divide and conquer to get rid of motor rigs! (I don’t motor, but motor rigs were here before me)
• Looking into boatman retirement; toluene and aluminum are not adequate choices
• Getting more info about the research going on in the Canyon out to the boatmen
• More parties
• Acting like a union or becoming a union?
• More intensively surveying the exact needs of guides as individuals and as a group- namely to help improve the quality of professional guides- and to assist in their ability to live as normal people once ten to twenty years have passed!
• Are we archiving river movies? If so, let’s have more movie nights
• Organizing Wilderness First Responder courses
• Compensating the people who work so hard on the news
• Run an “available” for work” hotline
• Work to standardize pay, benefits
• Work to eliminate the “baggage boatman” position; equal pay for all!
• Lobbying for pension, health insurance benefits
• Crack down on NPS meddling
• Promote ongoing (continuing) workshops - correspondence courses
• Not drinking enough beer
• Insist that the park enlarge the ramp at Lees Ferry. Maybe a private ramp downriver from the cable
• Work with Park, Hualapais, etc., to form long term management goals and plans for the Canyon
• Get all the old time boatmen involved somehow! There is an unbelievable wealth of knowledge there!
• Raising the dues to $25
• News releases- national and regional media- with pics- putting our spin on things in the big ditch
• Coordinating efforts and political action with the Grand Canyon Trust and American Rivers
• GCRG visors
• Would like to see how GCRG could get more involvement from Utah- (and elsewhere)- based Grand Canyon boaters
• A little help in effectively contacting and writing to government officials about matters of concern; maybe a little bit more than just “Write your congressperson”!
• Research on-river sociology and how passenger expectations are changing
• I think GCRG ought to expand their focus on environmental and water issues and take a look at the entire Colorado River system • Keep pursuing an active dialogue between Park/Boatmen/Companies
• Working to reduce regulations on the river: Playboat rule, Lifejacket rule, New kayak guide certification
• Offer info to travel groups on type and quality of different trips and professionalism of their guides
• A resource museum with a video history
• Somehow try to make all company owners more aware of the value that long-term professional river guides have to their companies. We are highly skilled, underpaid professionals!
• Maybe working with the schools in the region
• I think that defecating and urinating in dry sand is a serious problem. Some of my favorite camps are now uncampable due to the stench. I know some boatmen make a point to have people urinate in dry sand. Little T.P. piles are showing up wherever you kick the sand. Let’s attack this mentality!
• Intensify Anti-aircraft campaign
• Expand our interaction with owners and management. You’re working hard on our behalf. Thank you. Keep opening up to fresh perspectives on how to provide a healthy support system for guides
• I would like to see the NPS change their policy on privateering, (taking pay as a private trip guide)
• I’d like to see a composting facility for human and organic waste from river trips. The technology is largely available
• Hey - keep it up - you’re all appreciated - well - usually anyway!