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River Use Stipulations for Westwater Canyon

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2015 River Use Stipulations
 for Private, Non-Commercial Use 
Westwater Canyon of the Colorado River

Trips may be delayed or permits invalidated if conditions in these stipulations are not met. Failure to comply with stipulations or launching without a permit may result in penalties under Federal or Utah law and regulations. Penalties may include criminal action, civil action, and denial of future permits on this river section and/or other BLM-administered river sections.

1.  The permit is not transferable and must be in the possession of the permittee on the trip or the alternate trip leader. The permittee or alternate trip leader must have photo ID at the inspection. Permits are not to be sold nor publicly advertised. Permit fees are non-refundable.


2.  The permittee must allow River Rangers to complete permit checks to determine the validity of the permit, ascertain that the group has all required equipment, and orient participants to river etiquette and safety. If River Ranger is NOT on duty you must self-register at the kiosk, sign up for a campsite, if applicable, and leave your river permit in the box.


3.  At the pre-launch check the permittee must have:


A. a group of 25 people or fewer and not greater than the number pre-paid for on the permit,


B. a first aid kit adequate for the size of the group and type(s) of activities, and sufficient for treating serious injuries,


C. a repair kit or kits with adequate materials to repair the types of boats used on the trip,


D. an air pump or pumps adequate to inflate boats after repairs,


E. a washable, leak-proof, reusable toilet system that allows for the carry-out and disposal of solid human body waste in a responsible and lawful manner; the system must be adequate for the size of the group and length of the trip. If a Wag Bag system is used it must be in a hard-sided, clamped or screw top container - not a dry bag. Leaving solid human body waste on public land or dumping it into vault toilets or trash receptacles at BLM facilities is prohibited.


F. all fires must be contained in a fire pan. All overnight trips must carry a fire pan that is at least 12 inches in diameter with a 1.5 inch lip around its outer edge. Fire blankets under fire pans and a container for ashes are highly recommended.

G. properly-sized (whitewater type I, III, or V) life jackets in serviceable condition for each member of the group. A life jacket is non-serviceable if it is of an improper size, missing legible US Coast Guard approval information, is an improper type for the activity, an after-market alteration has been made, or if the life jacket is ripped, torn, or missing straps or buckles. Ski vests are not appropriate.  Carrying a spare life jacket is not required.


4.  At the launch, each raft, dory, or canoe must have:


A. an extra oar, paddle, or motor capable of maneuvering the vessel, and


B. a bail bucket or bilge pump (does not apply to self-bailing boats, kayaks or paddle boards).


5.   Parties using low capacity vessels (kayaks, inflatable kayaks, SUP) must carry one spare paddle for every three vessels.


6.   Each boat 16 feet or longer must have a type IV throwable device or a commercially made rescue rope with at least 40 feet of line, a whistle or horn.


7.  The permittee must ensure that all trip participants:


A. adhere to all posted rules at Westwater Ranger Station and Cisco Landing (i.e., camping/parking, quiet hours and dog-on-leash regulations),


B. carry all charcoal, fire ash, garbage (dishwater strainers recommended), solid human and service dog waste out of the river area,


C. adhere to the Utah Boating Act (Title 73, Chapter 18), which includes the wearing of life jackets from Westwater Ranger Station to Big Hole (children age 12 and under must wear life jackets at all times when on the river), and registration of motorboats,


D. do not engage in commercial use as defined by 43 CFR 2932 [i.e.] 

1) Any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands, led sponsored, or organized by that person, group, or organization; Anyone collects a fee or receives other compensation that is not strictly a sharing of actual expenses, incurred for the purpose of the activity, service, or use; There is paid public advertising to seek participants; Participants pay for a duty of care and expectation of safety.

2) Profit making organizations and organizations seeking to make a profit are automatically classified as commercial, even if that part of their activity covered by the permit is not profit-making or the business as a whole is not profitable.
3) Use of public lands by scientific, educational, and therapeutic institutions or non-profit organizations is commercial and subject to a permit when it meets any of the threshold criteria in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this definition. The non-profit status of a group or organization does not alone determine that an event or activity by such an organization is noncommercial,

E. list any trip sponsor or affiliated organization (i.e., scout group, school, etc.) associated with the trip when acquiring a permit,


F. keep side canyon streams and springs free of soap and other contaminants,


G. do not remove, damage, or destroy archaeological, historical, or ecological resources, or cause unnecessary or undue damage to the natural and cultural resources of the public lands,


H. limit wood gathering to driftwood found along river banks and beaches,


I. do not engage in upstream motorized travel except for emergency purposes or engage in downstream motorized travel at other than a low speed, wakeless mode, except in emergency situations, and


J. launch, travel (stay within visual contact), and camp together as a group. 


8.  Boat tags issued by the River Ranger must remain attached to boat(s) for the entire trip.


9.  Groups launching separately with different permits may not camp together.


10.  Between the Gates of the Canyon at mile 124.5 and Cottonwood Wash at mile 112.5 a Westwater river permit allows camping for one night only. The camping night must be on your launch date. Parties who plan to camp within Westwater Canyon are required to reserve a designated campsite with the River Ranger at the launch. Campsites are assigned in the order of launching with consideration given to group size. You must stay at the campsite assigned to you.


11.  Boaters may only launch once per day.


12.  If a River Ranger or BLM Volunteer is not present to process your permit and check your equipment, proceed to launch after self-registration and campsite sign-up at the kiosk located near the main boat ramp. 


13.  Launches must be made from the Westwater Ranger Station and not from any point downstream.


14.  Dogs are not permitted in Westwater Canyon. Dogs must be kept on a leash at the Westwater Ranger Station and under control at all times. Dogs may not be left unattended at the Westwater Ranger Station or Cisco Landing.


15.  For wildlife conservation purposes, the following stipulations apply:


A. Launching of water craft for upstream motorized travel from Westwater Ranger Station and Cisco Landing is not authorized between February 1st and October 15th.


B. Boaters floating past or launching from Cisco Landing may not travel under motorized power for a distance of two river miles below Cisco landing.


C. Camping on public lands is not authorized for a distance of two river miles below Cisco Landing.


ADVISORY NOTE: BLM recommends that boaters floating past the Cisco Landing use the far river right channel around the large island just below the Cisco Landing.