in September, in Kanab, GCRG got together with the outfitters to
talk. The meeting produced some frank and lively discussion on a
range of issues all needing our collective attention.
Fred Burke (ARR retired) was invited to attend and
lend some historical perspective and personal insight on outfitting.
No stranger to controversy, he encouraged the outfitters to stand
together, to lead and not to follow, and to give more consideration
to the boatmen (health plans, retirement). Its a profession
now, not a hit or miss summer job, he said. To the boatmen
he said, Stand with your outfitter and present a united front.
Its good to see GCRG speak for the boatmen and fight for the
things they should have. To the NPS: The emphasis on
law enforcement over resource management is off track. Who
gives a damn if someone shoots off a rocket on the Fourth of July!
Thats not the point. Be more resource oriented. Dont
lose the personal contact with the boatmen.
There was genuine desire to address issues and entertain
fresh ideas which might improve our continuing role as custodians
of the Canyon, the visitor experience, and the resource. The river
community can take a lead role in addressing these issues and, given
the current enviro/political climate, the GCRG/outfitter forum is
a downright positive approach.
GCRG would like to thank the both NPS for presenting
their concerns to us so we could discuss them before they became
crises; andall the outfitters for attending the meetings and contributing
their energy and input toward a common cause.