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Utah man banned from Grand Canyon for illegal run of river

2:25 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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The U.S. Magistrate Court judge in Flagstaff has banned a St. George, Utah man from Grand Canyon National Park for kayaking on the Colorado River without a permit.

According to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Dean Woods Jr., 24, has been banned from the park for three years while he is on probation for pleading guilty to conducting a river trip without a permit.

According to National Park Service investigators, on July 7, 2010, Dean hiked into the Canyon with an inflatable kayak in the remote Tuweep area. Rangers, working on a missing-person report, found him on a beach on the river. Dean admitted, remorsefully, he knew a permit was required to kayak the river.

The maximum penalty for the offense is six months in jail and a $5,000 fine

10:41 p.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I am sure that this is all in the name of Public Safety, but I would take a ventured guess that Mr. Woods could not get the required permit due to the next available date being in 2015 rather than a few months down the road.

 

6:22 a.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I am sure that this is all in the name of Public Safety, but I would take a ventured guess that Mr. Woods could not get the required permit due to the next available date being in 2015 rather than a few months down the road.

 

3:52 p.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Meanwhile, there are 80,000 noise-polluting tourist flights over the Canyon yearly.  But hey, let's cite Mr. Woods.  Crazy.

4:43 p.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
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So when is the enforcement of laws considered to be sliding onto the far edges of the scales? On one hand we have not enough enforcement and on the other hand we too much enforcement.

7:30 a.m. on April 9, 2011 (EDT)
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I am sure that this is all in the name of Public Safety, but I would take a ventured guess that Mr. Woods could not get the required permit due to the next available date being in 2015 rather than a few months down the road.

So I guess he is a VIP and quotas don’t apply to him?  What if we all ignored quotas?  Some venues, such as Mt Whitney are pretty beat up, even with quotas.  The River has quotas both to conserve the sense of isolation (fly overs excepted) as well as the amount of wear and tear that occurred prior to imposing quotas on the water trips.

Ed 

1:38 p.m. on April 9, 2011 (EDT)
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The fact that all tickets have fines attached to them shows the government is a for profit business. They are out to make money not provide for public safety. Anyway Dean didn't hurt anyone so where is the crime? He was just having a good time. The nanny state strikes again.

11:26 a.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
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It is each individuals responsibility to know, and adhere to the rules.

If you can't do that, or feel it is unfair, don't complain if your decisions get you into trouble.

The people who break the rules should be the ones who pay for law enforcement. Why should law abiding citizens pay it all?

12:48 p.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Oh the tragedy of the commons...

3:34 p.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Just because some bureaucrat made a rule doesn't make it right and just.

If dean didn't hurt anyone why has he lost his right to travel? Indians, explorers, settlers have all traveled down rivers for hundreds of years. Why is dean punished for the same thing?

Isn't just about everything been turned illegal without some kind of permission? It's almost to the point where if you want to do ANYTHING. You better get permission for that. Where's your license? 

At the same time the country is going down the financial rat hole 2.0.

I guess the corporations are the people and we are the serfs. It's a sad state of affairs IMHO.

 

9:49 p.m. on April 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Just because some bureaucrat made a rule doesn't make it right and just.

 

That's a valid but irrelevant point.

If the guy knew he was breaking the law, and still chose to do so, he brought his troubles upon himself. Kayaking down the river was not a necessity of life, nor did anyone hold a gun to his head and force him to do so. Not that I think he did something terrible, but rather, foolish.

I think my perspective is one of personal responsibility. Everyone has to abide by the law, but they also have the ability (responsibility?) to work to change the things they feel are unfair.

11:11 p.m. on April 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Is it wrong to exceed the speed limit when driving? Yes. Does everyone exceed the speed limit at one time or another? Yes. So, should one get a ticket every time one exceeds the speed limit? I say not for each and every infraction (or National Park Rules in this instance). People (both good and bad) break the rules all the time. While the laws are there to protect us, those that enforce the law do have discretionary powers as well. 

 

5:21 a.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
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The fact that all tickets have fines attached to them shows the government is a for profit business...

Your anti-government ragings are entertaining, if not accurate.

If government was a for profit venture who earns the dividends? 

Yea, tickets have fines attached, but they usually don't even cover the cost of policing, adjudicating, and fee processing.  And if not a fine, what penalty should be imposed for those who don't follow rules? Caning, Tocks, the rack, bunga bunga, what punishment fits the crime? 

Hopefully you aren't suggesting we should have no rules such as quotas, speed limits, etc.

Ed

9:04 a.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
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While our bloated bureaucratic government desperately needs to go one a permanent diet or forced to get the LAP band, there is no question the guy was asking for the result he got. I do not have the personal knowledge of how many permits are granted, nor if that number is reasonable. Too many boats on that powerful river is not only damaging to the canyon, but presents an extremely dangerous situation for everyone in those boats. There is no doubt it has to be managed for conservation and safety.   

 The fact remains that this fellow knew what he was doing was prohibited, as well as what the potential consequences were, and he did it anyway. 

12:29 p.m. on April 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Gonzan what damage do inflatable boats cause? Who knows about your safety more then you do?

As for the dividends from the government. There is a popular theroy floating around that the U.S. government went bankrupt on March 9th 1933 and the people are pledged to pay the debt. I don't know if it is true or not but if it is I suppose the private federal reserve would be our creditors. They are a private corporation so it sounds possible anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ek_3X2ONCx0

 

6:28 a.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Gonzan what damage do inflatable boats cause?

The water traffic isn’t the driving issue: My understanding is the quota is used to preserve the integrity of the shoreline ecology and prevent overcrowding of the limited beach heads suitable for camping.

Ed

9:36 a.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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I will have to do some research on how many rafts are permitted on the river each year, as I do not know currently. But I imagine it is in the thousands. Inflatable rafts may do little to no damage while suspended in the water, but they certainly damage the banks at any and all contact points.

As to your second question, one cannot see to their own safetey if they do not know the context and parameters. If there is no management of the number of boats on the the river, you have no way of telling how many boats are in front of you, nor how many will be behind you. Too many boats on a river of that class presents a hazardous situation.  If the canyon was owned privately and allowed rafting, the owner would be responsible for managing access and would be liable if they did not.

  Again, as I stated above, I am not making an assertion of whether the current restrictions are reasonable.

3:01 p.m. on April 13, 2011 (EDT)
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The rules are the rules, whether we like them or not. This guy put himself before others and paid the price, as he should. Safety and preservation are certainly part of the equation, but there are other adventures in the world. He should've applied for a 2015 permit and taken his Kayak elsewhere until that fantastic day where he could get on the river legally. Simply selfish.

2:12 p.m. on April 14, 2011 (EDT)
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 "Indians, explorers, settlers have all traveled down rivers for hundreds of years. Why is dean punished for the same thing?" Certainly true, yet if everyone who feels a rule or law is unfair, in this case paddling a river that IMHO gets used far to heavily, then we all lose. I personally would rather wait to paddle the river, in order to have an experience that is more pleasant, though it is certainly not the natural place that JW Powell saw. Did Dean carry a toilet? Probably not, so his waste is left their for us to encounter. True, one person on the river is only one person. Multiply that by others who hear about Dean and it could become a real problem. Let's not love our natural places to death, so that we and future generations can still enjoy them.

9:17 a.m. on April 15, 2011 (EDT)
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...Let's not love our natural places to death, so that we and future generations can still enjoy them.

Spoken like steward.  Horray!

Ed

6:19 p.m. on April 18, 2011 (EDT)
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I went and looked up the artical and unfortunately like most news in this country the artical woefully lacking in information.  Did he need to be rescued, was he camping when he was found, did his inflatable kayak uninflate?.  Like all laws there is a maximum fine and penalty.  For a first run in with the law the fine usaully not more than 10% of the max. fine,if even that.   Since he recived probation and  it didn't mention jail it appears he recived no jail time.  So let's see, for the ride of a lifetime he recived probation and most likey a small fine that was probably equal to the amount he would have had to pay for his permit.  How many rivers/parks are there in the US, and he's banned from one?  A slap on the paddle hand I would say.  I'm not advocating  that people dissregard the law but I do know that when I walk out the door to go to town today almost no one will make a full stop at a red light for a right hand turn or a stop sign.  I will witness many jaywalkers.  The list goes on and on.   How many of each of use commits these and other infractions.  Ever try and make that late yellow light and it's red befor ya know it?   With that being said every once in a while a person gets caught and must anti up. This guy is kinda like the spiderman guy that keeps climbing the tallest buildings in the world.  He usually applies for a permit, but he still climbs the building wether he get's one or not.  Base jumper's do it all the time and when caught  they almsot always say it was worth it.  As far as the laws being used to make money.  I belive yes, this is true otherwise fines would not keep going up, but if there were no law's there would be anarchy.  Judge not, lest ye be judged ;-}

8:11 p.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I say he broke the rules and due to the fact that there needs to be rules for an organized and cohesive society I say rather than jail him, which will cost the law abiding citizens more.  He should be forced to community service and a large fine.

9:49 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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I kayak in the Colorado below the Hoover Dam. You have to get a permit and only non motorized craft are allowed on Sunday and Monday. It galls me when I am blissfully moving down the river and some jacked up speed boater comes up river. A real buzz kill. Usually showing off to his passengers. There is a whole lot of river going the other way. We get 12 miles on two days a week.

9:52 a.m. on August 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Your points are well taken. But there is a difference between fast through that yellow and going the wrong way on the freeway. I am pretty anti regulation on many things. But guys like this usually lead to consequences for everyone.

12:29 a.m. on September 29, 2011 (EDT)
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If breakin' them rules is his thing...won't he just ignore the ban?

And, ditto everything "whomeworry" said.

6:43 p.m. on October 12, 2011 (EDT)
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DrReaper said:

The fact that all tickets have fines attached to them shows the government is a for profit business. 

 I doubt any of you know about this, but all expat US citizens,  their offspring, and offspring's offspring are, as of last month, required to declare income/savings and pay US taxes... So my dad, who left in 69 to avoid being drafted, and who was then drafted out of order (Amnesty Intnl case that he won,) who pledged allegiance to Canada back in 74, which, by the US laws of that time caused him to forfeit his US citizenship, is now potentially on the hook for a quarter of his retirement savings and investment income ON TOP of the hefty taxes he pays the Canadian Govt...This is happening around the world, and is nothing more than a $ grab del grande... And there is little or no press coverage in the US about this.

What about taxation without representation?

Anyhew, the worst aspect of this (because he has no plan to pay the US anything) is that he is now reticent to go on his monthly visits my 93 yr old grandmother in Seattle, who I happen use as a US post box for my online gear purchases... 

Back to topic...

The kid got off easy. I wasnt clear wether he had finished his paddle or was just getting started... I hope he was finished it, and so has the memories...

4:44 a.m. on October 13, 2011 (EDT)
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amEuphorbia said:

 I doubt any of you know about this, but all expat US citizens,  their offspring, and offspring's offspring are, as of last month, required to declare income/savings and pay US taxes...

Your description of these new (?) regulations was confusing. 

  1. Are you saying your dad, who has not been an American citizen since 1974 is required to pay IRS income taxes on all income earned, regardless where and when it was earned? 
  2. Are you also saying all of his children are also obligated to pay IRS income taxes, regardless where they reside, regardless of where born, regardless declared citizenship, and regardless where and when the income was earned?
  3. Policy#2 extends to grandchildren?  And beyond?

Can you provide links to publications of this regulation?

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