Bill before congress to open the Yellowstone River and Grand Teton National Parks to paddling has an interesting side

The bill is sponsored by, let’s say, a very non environmental supporter in Congress. The bill is part of several other bills which are not so innocuous and the bill opens vast areas to paddling that the NPS will not be able to control.

You can find the bill here:

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3492

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 14, 2013

Mrs. Lummis (for herself and Mr. Bishop of Utah) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To provide for the use of hand-propelled vessels in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and the National Elk Refuge, and for other purposes.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the ” River Paddling Protection Act “.

2.

Regulations Superseded

(a)

In general

The following regulations shall have no force or effect with regard to hand-propelled vessels and the Secretary of the Interior may not issue substantially similar regulations that apply to hand-propelled vessels:

(1)

Section 7.13(d)(4)(ii) of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding vessels on streams and rivers in Yellowstone National Park.

(2)

Section 7.22(e)(3) of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding vessels on lakes and rivers in Grand Teton National Park.

(b)

Wildlife-Dependent recreational use

Notwithstanding section 25.21(a) of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, regarding National Elk Refuge, the use of hand-propelled vessels on rivers and streams in the National Elk Refuge shall be considered a “wildlife-dependent recreational use” as that term is defined in section 5(2) of Public Law 89–669 ( 16 U.S.C. 668ee(2) ).

On the surface it looks great. We can paddle on a couple of rivers that have been closed forever. However, does it open up too much?  It does not stop on the Yellowstone River but all rivers in Yellowstone National park. The same with Grand Teton National Park, everything will be fair paddling game.

Honestly, I don’t know if that is good, great or bad.  You need to read and investigate for yourself.

Here are some comments: Protection of parks requires self restraint and Lummis Boating Legislation for Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks Misguided.

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One Comment on “Bill before congress to open the Yellowstone River and Grand Teton National Parks to paddling has an interesting side”

  1. I have been working on this bill for some time and wanted to make clear that the bill simply removes the CFRs that ban paddling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton, and fairly gives the Parks 3 years to devise a paddling management plan. Superintendents will have full control over where and when paddling will be allowed, just as they control everything else in their Parks.

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