Prior to 2006, non-commercial permits for the Lees Ferry to Diamond Creek section of the river were distributed through a waitlist system. Demand for these permits vastly exceeded supply, and wait times for those at the bottom of the lengthy waitlist grew to an estimated 25 years.
On March 23, 2006, the National Park Service released a Record of Decision for a revised Colorado River Management Plan. The revised plan changed several aspects of recreational use management of the Colorado River. The changes include increased access for noncommercial boaters and replacing the existing waitlist system with a weighted lottery system.
A three stage transition process began immediately and transitioned members out of the waitlist system. Many of these waitlist members were given "extra chances" for future use within the weighted lottery. The first weighted lottery accepted applications from October 1-21, 2006.
For more information visit the River Management page.