River Ranger Crew Blog - Summer 2008

By Jeri Riley - River Patrol Ranger

Topics on This Page:

Rafts Freed
Campsite Clean Up
Swift Water Rescue Training
Grand Canyon Youth Trip
Archeological Excavations

 
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Backcountry Toilet Maintenance

During our first August patrol trip, we completed the maintenance of backcountry toilets along the river corridor. We worked with the trail crew and the Grand Canyon Helitack Crew to fly out the Deer Creek and Tapeats Creek dehydrating toilets. A Grand Canyon Youth volunteer worked with rangers while on this patrol.

These toilets are replaced approximately every year following busy backpacker seasons.
 
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Cataraft Freed - July 29, 2008
A cataraft, which was part of a private river trip, was freed by National Park Service rescue personnel after becoming stranded on the Rock Garden at Crystal Rapid. The report of the stranded craft was received on July 29, 2008, from its oarsman who was already safely ashore. Efforts to dislodge the cataraft commenced the next day; and the craft was freed and able to continue with its trip early on the morning of July 31. Read more...


 
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Park's rescue zodiac in action
Commercial Raft Freed - July 23, 2008
River rangers responded on July 23, 2008 to a motorized commercial raft that was stuck in the rock garden at Crystal Rapid. The rescue zodiac was flown in to Crystal and rangers responded from shore. All passengers were taken to shore after spending approximately 20 hours in the middle of the river. Rangers then worked with the guides on board to remove the boat from the rocks. The trip and all of its passengers continued downstream. Read more...
 
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Removing burnt trash.
Campsite Clean Up
Our last motor patrol spent several days in the Marble Canyon area cleaning up campfire rings, and removing burnt trash, and toilet paper left behind. We have heard from a number of commercial companies that they sometimes put their whole trip to work cleaning up toilet paper and trash at their first lunch stop. Thanks everyone for setting a good example on the first day.
 
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White water emergency Training
Swift Water Rescue Training
Some of the river ranger crew participated in swift water training on the Arkansas River this year. We are continuously training to improve our skills in preparation for any white water event. Don’t be surprised to bump into our rescue zodiac on the water this summer. This boat normally lives on the south rim of the canyon and is packaged as a sling load to fly under the park helicopter. This allows a quick response to any white water emergency
 
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Grand Canyon Youth Participants

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Grand Canyon Youth
We had several patrols on the water in June 2008, starting with a National Park Service/Grand Canyon Youth trip. Everyone worked hard to remove several species of non-native plants including camelthorn at Unkar and Crystal. Tamarisk monitoring and maintenance of removal sites was conducted at North, Saddle, Carbon, Lower Stone Creek and Keyhole. Read more about the
Grand Canyon Trust Volunteers Program.
 

Park ornithologists were on the river in May, continuing the Colorado River Management Plan monitoring on the river corridor and looking for the elusive southwest willow flycatcher.

Park Superintendent Steve Martin was able to participate in one of our river patrols. Steve was a river ranger here in the 70’s, and when his busy schedule permits, he enjoys being on the river with our crew.

 
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Archeological Excavations

Hopefully those of you on the water in May had the opportunity to stop in and visit with park archeologists, who were conducting an extensive excavation. Projects like this will continue over the next several years. Before you launch, be sure to ask when and where park archeologists might be working. The excavation sites are always open to the public while the excavation is going on and site tours are available.

 
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Dory Freed

May 2008 was a busy month... starting with a dory pinned at Deubendorff for 2 weeks. Following a 2-day effort by the river crew and with assistance from the trail crew, the boat was salvaged and flown to the South Rim, where it was reunited with its family.
 

Last updated: December 11, 2017

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