Call to Action continues: Grand Canyon Overflights and stop blocking the NPS process

Please continue to call into Senators Reid and McCain’s offices to ask them to save the natural quiet at the Grand Canyon and stop blocking the NPS process.  This bad amendment to the transportation bill (S. 1813) needs to be withdrawn so that the EIS on overflights can move forward.

Senator McCain:
DC Phone number: 202-224-2235
Contact form: http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm
Senator Reid:
DC Phone number: 202-224-3542
Contact form: http://www.reid.senate.gov/contact/index.cfm
Be a canyon advocate and contact them TODAY!

See the Grand Canyon River Guides Response Below for ideas:

GCRGA Logo

Grand Canyon River Guides Association

PO Box 1934

Flagstaff, AZ 86002

(928) 773-1075 phone

(928) 773-8523 fax

gcrg@infomagic.net

www.gcrg.org March 1, 2012

Dear Senator,

Grand Canyon River Guides is a non-profit educational and environmental organization dedicated to protecting and preserving Grand Canyon and the Colorado River experience for future generations to enjoy. On behalf of our 1,600+ members, we would like to express our deep concern over the proposed amendment No. 1669 to the Senate transportation bill, S. 1813. Our specific concerns center on two factors:

1) Changing the language of Section 3 of Public Law 100-91 (the National Park Overflights Act of 1987), from “aircraft” to “commercial air tour” essentially renders not only park research invalid, but also the Draft EIS itself, which was based on the mandates of the Overflights Act as currently written.

2) By providing an incentive such as increasing flight allocations for operators who convert to quiet aircraft technology (which is not really quiet, just less noisy), the amendment would actually increase air tour numbers, thereby exacerbating the noise problem rather than solving it. Converting to quiet technology should be considered as the cost of doing business in Grand Canyon, and a strict requirement integral to operating responsibly in one of the natural wonders of the world.

Many of our members spend a good portion of their lives in the depths of Grand Canyon and we have been deeply privileged to experience, appreciate, and contemplate natural quiet on an intimate level. Having that experience, and knowing how much that precious resource is at risk of disappearing altogether, prompts us to defend natural quiet’s continued existence as a defining characteristic of Grand Canyon.

We urge you not to disenfranchise the American public – people who care deeply about all of Grand Canyon’s resources including natural quiet. Nearly 30,000 people commented on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Special Flight Rules in the Vicinity of Grand Canyon National Park. It is of note that the majority of those comments were in support of restoring natural quiet to this icon park. The National Park Service is poised to release a Final EIS this spring which will address the impact of aircraft noise on park resources and the visitor experience.

Let’s not derail an important public process that has been so very long in coming on this contentious issue. Natural quiet is a prime value which has essentially vanished in the heart of Grand Canyon, necessitating definitive action for its restoration. We must move forward on this issue, and the proposed amendment makes that impossible.

Sincerely,

Overlook over the Colorado River in the Grand ...

Image via Wikipedia

The Officers and Board of Directors

Grand Canyon River Guides, Inc.

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