Has the National Park Service or the Grand Canyon National Park created a new “group” between commercial and private: noncommercial, organized groupPosted: September 5, 2014
What has been casually used to define car groups has moved into the area of activities?
The National Park Service, Grand Canyon National Park issued new regulations concerning running or hiking rim to rim or a rim to rim to rim. Rim to rim hike or run starts at either the North or South Rim, the person follows the trail to the floor of the canyon and then ascends back up to the other rim. A rim to rim to rim you start at one rim runs down and back up to the other rim and then turns around and run back. A rim to rim hike or run is 21 miles and has 4000 drop and gain in altitude.
In Northern Arizona no matter what time of the year, this is a tough hike or run for one day.
Of course, once something gets public attention everyone has to do it. (See Everest if you don’t believe this.) Now people are undertaking the feat without enough training, skill or knowledge putting stress on the already overburdened NPS staff and resources.
It is for that reason that groups of people doing this now require a permit. The Permit information page is here if you are interested in taking a group of seven or more on one of these adventures.
What caught my attention was the term used to describe these groups. “Noncommercial organized groups.” In the recent past the NPS has used this term to reduce or raise fees on groups visiting the park, mostly by car. This term was applied to church groups, school groups, etc. The term seems to be defined as “Groups and organizations that are non-commercial, and do not qualify for an educational fee waiver (churches, school clubs, scout groups, and other organizations)….” However, this is the first time I have seen it applied to anything other than entering the park.
By this, I mean the NPS charges a different rate to groups as they come through the front gate. Consequently, the group is identified, fills out a permit and pays the fee as a group.
Here the term has been applied to an activity in the park. Normally, activities are defined as private or commercial. Private are a group of people where no one makes money on the trip or is paid to be there. Commercial is somewhat defined where someone is making money (not necessarily a profit) or is being paid to go on the trip.
Is this a new type of permit? Where is this going? Are we going to see it in the future (yes)?
To Read the Grand Canyon NP article see: Grand Canyon Announces Interim Permits for Organized Groups Conducting Rim-to-Rim and Extended Day Hiking and Running
To read an article on the issue see: R2R Permits Required at Grand Canyon
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