PACKRAFTING IS GRAND! During our APA board and staff retreat in the Grand Canyon we filmed a short promotional piece about the organization and our mission. Mike Curiak did a nice job with the piece, which you can see at our website or here: http://vimeo.com/110793537
The American Packrafting Association protects access to the rivers we love. The larger our membership the stronger our voice. If you are not a member please take two minutes of your time to join us. It is still FREE TO JOIN. And tell your friends to do the same. To join APA please follow this link:
GOLDEN PADDLE AWARD NOMINATIONS OPEN
APA is accepting nominations for the Golden Paddle Award. Now in its fifth year, the Golden Paddle Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to packrafting. Past winners include Roman Dial, Luc Mehl, Zorba Laloo and Sheri Tingey.
Submit your nominations to APA at firstname.lastname@example.org. The next winner of the Golden Paddle will be announced in early 2015.
MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION
Packrafting is making the big time and with it comes increased attention and scrutiny from land managers, politicians and other backcountry users. The success of our efforts to secure and protect access for packrafting depends on convincing others that packrafters are safe, responsible and respectful.
We ask that you be respectful of everyone you encounter along your journey, follow the rules, minimize your impact on the environment and be the example that makes us all look good. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it a good one for all packrafters.
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 for several years and we see a path to success.
The "River Paddling Protection Act" would allow the National Park Service to consider paddling sports on the rivers of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives early in 2014 but now appears unlikely to come before the Senate this year. We have been working with our co-sponsors to reintroduce the bill early in 2015 and are optimistic that the bill will pass and become law.
We have also been reaching out to land managers across the United States to introduce packrafting and the APA. Some of the board and executive council organized a float with river managers in Dinosaur National Monument and our recent APA board retreat in Grand Canyon allowed us to make a favorable impression on rangers, commercial outfitters and other river groups.
There are several hot issues in Grand Canyon that will affect packrafters. The National Park Service is expected to release the draft backcountry management plan for Grand Canyon any day now. The plan will lay out various alternatives that will affect the use of packrafts in the Grand Canyon backcountry. Second, the proposal to build a tramway from the rim to the confluence of the Little Colorado is gaining steam. If implemented, the Grand Canyon Escalade project would destroy the character of Marble Canyon.
It will be important for you to be involved, and we will keep you posted on these and other issues as they develop.
PACKRAFTS IN THE PRESS
We are grateful for all the good coverage that APA and packrafts are getting. We even landed a great piece in the Financial Times of London! Below are links to some of the stories that have appeared on packrafting.
APA hosted the first annual Packraft Roundup this past July on the North Fork of the Flathead River in Montana. More than 50 folks showed up for three days of boating, gear demos, and presentations. By all accounts a great time was had by all. Stay tuned for announcements regarding Packraft Roundup 2015.
SUPPORT APA AND GET INVOLVED!
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:
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 also now have beautiful full-color brochures that explain the mission of APA. If you would like to help us distribute these flyers, drop us a note and we will send some your way. Follow this link to see the brochures: http://tinyurl.com/mep9e7v