YELLOWSTONE PADDLING BILL RE-INTRODUCED IN CONGRESS!
After a year-and-a-half collaboration between paddlers, the National Park Service, and the Wyoming congressional delegation, Representative Cynthia Lummis (WY) introduced legislation on February 13th, 2015 that will lead to an analysis of river paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The â€œYellowstone and Grand Teton Paddling Actâ€ will allow traditional human-powered river paddling in select parts of these national parks as it is allowed in portions of all other U.S. national parks that have river resources.
Under the new bill, the NPS will spend three years in public scoping and analysis of paddling on the Parksâ€™ rivers, after which they will issue new rules about when and where river paddling may occur. The NPS will retain all of the tools and powers in their mandate to carry out this task. The legislation prohibits the issuance of any new commercial paddling permits.
During the scoping process APA will ask the NPS to analyze 480 miles (less than 5%) of Yellowstone and Grand Tetonâ€™s thousands of miles of rivers and creeks. Please see the web links below for a list and map of the specific rivers paddlers will ask the NPS to consider. The paddlersâ€™ recommended study list excludes most of the Teton high country, Hayden Valley, Lamar Valley, Firehole River through the geyser basins, and Gibbon River.
APA will be hard at work over the coming year to advance this bill through Congress. We ask that you contact your representatives in Congress to express your support and please write a letter to the editor on one of the many news stories that cover this issue.
THE 2014 GOLDEN PADDLE AWARD
We are pleased to announce that the 2014 Golden Paddle Award goes to John McLaine of Tasmania, Australia.
Introduced to packrafting as a young man in 1982, John McLaine participated in the legendary effort to protect Tasmaniaâ€™s Franklin River from damming. These successful efforts included a floating human blockade and several packrafting films that alerted Australians to the wilderness and whitewater at stake. During the "dark ages" of the 1990s, when Aussies lacked access to new boats and the sport all but died, John was one of a handful of Australian paddlers who carried the torch and continued to pioneer bold and creative packrafting routes.
In the new millennia, when the first modern packrafts became available in Tasmania, John led the "renaissance" and today our sport is again flourishing in the Tasmania wilderness. John remains an avid packrafter and last year visited North America where he completed packrafting routes in Montana and Alaska, and was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Packraft Roundup. John exemplifies the American Packrafting Association mission of conservation, safety, education, and access.
SUPPORT APA AND GET INVOLVED! 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:
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