Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Conservationists Sue to Keep Motors out of Grand Canyon

From the Environmental News Network

Four environmental and river rafting groups are suing the National Park Service in an attempt to stop helicopter flights and motorized rafting in the Grand Canyon.

They said:

“We feel like we're going to battle on behalf of all American citizens. They deserve to have the Grand Canyon designated as wilderness," said Jo Johnson, co-director of River Runners for Wilderness.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, attached a rider to a 1981 bill that would block any federal funds from being used to support removal of motorized boats from Grand Canyon, even if they were only used for drawing up planning documents.

The Park Service reversed course on its mission to phase out motorized boating following Hatch's move and hasn't attempted again since.

A proposal to designate most of the Grand Canyon as wilderness was put forth by Grand Canyon managers in 1993 and has never been transmitted to Congress or any president since, as would be required, according to the Colorado River Management Plan.

Here in Florida we have many waterways that are designated as no-motor zones.  It seems (to me) that there should be a way to balance folks having fun on the water with protecting the environment and wilderness. 


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