Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Grand Canyon News

Here's a good one... seems the private permit system was circumvented by a clever boater who used ficticious names and deceased people to apply for Colorado River permits through the Grand Canyon. These permits are like gold... rare that ANYONE can obtain a permit without waiting around 10 to 15 years for their application! I've waited sooooo long that I probably will never get back there on my own permit... I'll have to wait until I'm invited on someone else's trip or pay a commercial outfitter to take me down that river.

Many years ago, when I first started boating and rafting, my group of friends applied for a Grand Canyon trip and Middle Fork Salmon trip. Amazingly, the river gods smiled down on us and granted both permits in one year! Incredible. That year was spent being a total rafting bum and I never really appreciated how lucky I was to have obtained those permits... and every year since, I have applied along with several other friends. NO LUCK... still waiting.

This character, Stephen E. Savage received a 30-day jail sentence, five years probation and a $15,000 fine for his fraudulent activity. The rest of us who have been following the rules and waiting forever can at least be satisfied that the NPS may implement procedures that will prevent this type of fraud from happening again.

National Park Service Superintendent, Joseph Alston says, "We are pleased with the outcome of this case and feel it reflects the serious nature of the offense commited. In this case, Savage put his personal interest in front of thousands of others who have waited years for the opportunity of a river trip. We hope this sentence serves as a deterent for others that have tried to abuse the system."

Mr. Savage was also banned from all National Parks while on probation. (Should have been forever!)

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Klamath River is Open

This note came into our office recently from Special Use Administrator Gay Baxter from the US Forest Service on the Klamath River:

The helicopter has been removed and the Klamath River is open for business
as usual. A thorough search has been conducted, but it is still possible
that some debris is underwater or has traveled down stream. We ask for
your assistance should you locate any debris. Please bring small pieces to
the Happy Camp Ranger District Office. If you see any thing submerged
please report a description of the item and location to the Happy Camp
Ranger District Office. The phone number is 530-493-2243.

Happy Camp Ranger District
Klamath National Forest

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Middle Fork American Release Schedule '06

Info just in from California State Parks Auburn Recreation Area... information from PG&E and PCWA as to the release schedule for the shut-down of the Middle Fork American river flows or Hydro-project maintenance... It is to begin on Monday, October 2, 2006. Flows will resume the first week of November, though no one can predict how reliable those flows will be or how long. Those of you who missed the spring and summer flows can still grab a trip in September. Call your favorite outfitter for this beautiful wilderness trip before the season ends!
Post by W.E.T. River Trips, a California rafting outfitter since 1978

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006


New Rafting News!

Welcome to W.E.T. River Trips and rafting information and news. This past few months have seen a variety of blogs and news outlets reporting on rivers, rafting and general commercial activity in California. We invite you to contribute any news about your rivers in our glorious state as we help to promote all outfitters in California.

The most popular rivers in California include the major system called the American River. This system is a collection of tributaries, forks and rivers in various degrees of whitewater and gentle floats. The most popular is the South fork American River; a class 3 to 3+ river in normal flows. Equally popular with less traffic is the wilderness trip on the Middle Fork American; a class 3 to 4+ whitwater trip with the infamous Tunnel Chute rapid. And in the spring, the North Fork American is the technical section demanding experienced, aggressive paddlers; a class 4 to 4+.

Over in the Yosemite area, spring runs on the Merced River rage on this Class 4 to 4+ run. Aggressive paddlers are needed here. Two sections highlight this river with awesome rapids during high flows. As flows calm down, the river becomes a great class 3 to 3+ run. Equally popular is the Tuolumne River. Usually done in a two day trip, this wilderness river has awesome class 4 to 4+ rapids with beautiful side-hikes. During the high flows in the spring, this river rivals any river in the state for technically demanding rapids.

Up north, in the far reaches of California, lies gems that only the serious rafter will attempt. Due to the remote nature, wilderness trips dot each and every river from the mighty class 2 to 3 Klamath River in the summer to the class 5 California Salmon in the spring. Upper Klamath, a companion to other class 4 runs in the state is a great run during the hot summer months.

And finally, the Southern portion of the state is gifted by the beautiful Kings River and very urban Kern River. Both are close enough to the major population centers of Los Angeles. If you are an addicted rafter, all these rivers should be experienced during your lifetime!

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