Outward Bound and Canyonlands

  Dear HCN,


The reasons the Colorado Outward Bound School is opposed to the Canyonlands Backcountry Management Plan are far greater than group size limits as implied in Florence Williams' article, "Outdoor Groups Fight Camping Limits' (HCN, 6/27/94). In fact, the plan proposes to eliminate permits for commercial and educational backpacking groups altogether, thus denying public access to the park.


Outward Bound is not "asking for a more lenient management plan." Far from it, we are asking for a "more rational" plan. We want a plan that recognizes the value of wilderness education and does not preclude our very presence through widely complex and inconsistent strategies for a new permitting process.


The Colorado Outward Bound School has for over 30 years limited its backcountry "patrols' to 10 students and two instructors. The proposed group size of six would mean half the amount of instructors and students, which creates a situation that is unsafe and economically unfeasible. As a nonprofit school, we try to keep tuition at the lowest possible level and we provide scholarship funds for students who cannot afford the tuition. We also thoroughly instruct our students to diligently avoid cryptobiotic crusts and to travel and camp on slickrock. Minimum impact travel is one of our highest priorities.


The Management Plan deals with only 4 percent of the users of Canyonlands - those who venture into the backcountry for multi-day trips. It does not deal with 96 percent of the day use. Overall park use has increased 400 percent since 1984, but backcountry hikers represent a small percentage of that increase. Outward Bound has not increased its use for over eight years.


Mark Udall


Denver, Colorado





The writer is executive director of Colorado Outward Bound School.





High Country News Classifieds
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Western Slope Conservation Center Paonia, CO WSCC seeks a dynamic leader who is mission-driven, hardworking and a creative problem-solver. Position Summary: The Executive Director leads...
  • ARIZONA STATE DIRECTOR
    A LITTLE ABOUT US Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all...
  • CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT/HOSPITALITY SERVICES
    Seasoned ranch manager of award-winning conservation ranch seeking position as nature reserve/resort or ranch manager. Visit philipmoonwalker.com for resume and certifications. Contact: [email protected]
  • PART-TIME OREGON GRANT WRITER
    Help advance rights for people, communities, and nature - Part-time grant writer. The Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN) has been active over the last six...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Job Title: Utah Public Lands Program Director Location: Southern Utah Position: Full Time (40 hours per week) Supervisor: Conservation Director About us: The Grand Canyon...
  • FSBO PROPERTY-SOUTHEAST ARIZONA
    Located in an area steeped in history, this gentleman's ranch sits at the entrance to the renowned Cave Creek Canyon. Enjoy picturesque views of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • LAND CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    JOIN OUR TEAM! The New Mexico Land Conservancy in Santa Fe is seeking a Land Conservation Project Manager who will work to protect land and...
  • HOME NEAR CAPITOL REEF NP
    Comfortable home at foot of Boulder Mountain, on one fenced acre. Amazing views!
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • NEW MEXICO PROPERTY - SILVER CITY
    20 acres, $80,000. Owner financing, well, driveway, fencing possible, very private, sensible covenants, broker owned. Contact - 575-534-7955 or [email protected]
  • SECLUDED COLORADO HIDEAWAY
    This passive solar home sits on 2 lots and offers an abundance of privacy and views while being only 15 minutes to downtown Buena Vista....
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.