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APRIL 2014 NEWSLETTER

 
PACKRAFTING THE WAVE!
Packrafting is the fastest growing segment of river users in the world.  People everywhere are discovering the simplicity and versatility of packrafts.  There are now seven manufacturers of packrafts, which we think is a good thing that will drive innovation and broaden the availability of packrafts. 

We welcome everyone to the world of packrafting and to the American Packrafting Association.  If you are not a member, it is still FREE TO JOIN, so please follow this link: 

http://www.packraft.org/American_Packrafting_Association/Join_APA.html

 
SAFETY FIRST
With the rising popularity of packrafts comes the increased likelihood for accidents.  Because packrafts are so easy to use they can create a false sense of confidence.  It is not uncommon for beginning packrafters to run Class III whitewater within a few days of getting a boat.  But things can go wrong very quickly on the water and the results can be deadly. 

We encourage you to seek whitewater safety training, and there are now courses offered that are specific to packrafting.  Please read and understand our Safety Code, which can be found here:

http://www.packraft.org/American_Packrafting_Association/APASafetyCode.pdf

PACKRAFTING IS CONSERVATION
As you plan your spring and summer packraft trips, we urge you to keep conservation in mind. Low-impact travel is the essence of packrafting.  The portability of packrafts means you don't need a vehicle to get to the trailhead or river.  Think about walking or biking the shuttle, and consider the possibility for loops that bring you back to where you started.  We encourage you to model conservation in your lives and your packrafting and show the world that packrafting is conservation.


ACCESS MATTERS
We continue to advance towards our goal of exploring one of the greatest American landscapes by packraft. One of the main issues that drove the formation of APA was the desire to overturn the decades-old paddling ban in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. We have been hard at work on this front, and our efforts are starting to pay off. 

The "River Paddling Protection Act" was passed by the House of Representatives  earlier this year and is now before the U.S. Senate.  The bill would allow the National Park Service to consider paddling sports on the rivers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. We have had a good reception from a wide range of senators and believe we have a strong chance of seeing this bill become law.

This developing story has been widely-covered in the western press, and we are pleased with the exposure for the issue and APA. Some of the news stories on this issue can be found here:


http://www.hcn.org/wotr/a-little-paddling-wont-hurt-the-yellowstone-experience

http://www.anchoragepress.com/arts_and_entertainment/raft-rift/article_7e57ac74-bb68-11e3-904d-0019bb2963f4.html   


 
There is opposition to paddling in the parks from some who fear that boaters will disturb the wilderness character of these rivers, disrupt wildlife, tax the budget and staffing of the parks and create dangerous chaos.

Our vision for paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is modest and in line with our strong conservation values.  We do not advocate for paddling in all places or at all times.  There are sensitive locations in these parks that should remain closed to all human activities, including paddling. There are plenty of places, though, where paddling could occur with no adverse effects on water, fish, wildlife or other visitors.

 
If you would like to help, send a letter or email to your U.S. Senator asking them to support S. 2018, the River Paddling Protection Act.
 
 
FIRST ANNUAL PACKRAFT ROUNDUP JULY 11 - 13TH
APA is hosting the first annual Packraft Roundup this July 11-13th, 2014 at Big Creek Campground on the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana. hosting the first annual Packraft Rouundup from June 19-22nd, 2014 in Wyoming. The Roundup will be a great way to meet packrafters, share and learn tips and techniques. Expect workshops on Saturday and Sunday mornings and group packrafting in the afternoons.

The registration fee is $30 for the weekend, which includes camping, workshops and the Saturday night BBQ party.  To register for the Roundup, please follow this link:

http://packraft.org/American_Packrafting_Association/Packraft_Roundup.html

Swiftwater Safety Institute is offering Swiftwater Rescue Training in conjunction with the Roundup on July 11th for an additional $75.  For more information and to sign up for the training, follow this link:


http://packraft.org/American_Packrafting_Association/ssi-roundup.pdf

2ND ANNUAL MCCARTHY CREEK PACKRAFT RACE AND WHITEWATER FESTIVAL JULY 19-20
After a huge success in 2013, Kennicott Wilderness Guides is once again hosting the McCarthy Creek Packraft Race and Whitewater Festival in McCarthy Alaska. McCarthy is quickly becoming the packrafting capital of the world, with more packrafts per capita than anywhere else.

For details, go here:
http://kennicottguides.com/packrafting/race/

SUPPORT APA
We do need some money and welcome your support.  APA is organized and recognized as a 501(c)(3) association, and donations to APA are deductible to the extent allowed by law. 
 
You can donate through PayPal at the APA website (www.packraft.org) or by mailing a check to:

American Packrafting Association
3948 Hawthorne Lane
Wilson, WY  83014
(907) 947-6437
info@packraft.org

APA has logo stickers that look great on your helmet, paddle, truck and coffee mug.  If you would like to get two of these stickers and support APA, put a $1 bill in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to the address above.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Alpackaraft (http://www.alpackaraft.com) and Jackson Hole Packraft Rentals Anywhere (http://www.jhpackraft.com) Kokopelli Raft Company (http://www.kokopelliraftco.com) for their support. 
 
We will see you on the trails and on the water!
 
 


 
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