Jensen, Utah The Yampa River
46 miles on the Yampa
26 miles on the Green River
The mighty and wild
Yampa River is undammed. Thank God!
Brower! Thank you Sierra Club!
Nows its up to you and me to keep
a close eye on her.
many attempts to dam the free flow, the Yampa River is the last
in the Colorado River drainage.
David Brower (genius, and father of modern conservation movement) cut
on protecting the amazingYampa River.
Echo Park has long been the
of a controversial dam to be built on the Yampa River.
Yampa River averages 12 to 14 feet per mile gradient.
The 72 majestic
miles of canyons of the Yampa River are filled with whitewater,
spinning pools, whirlpools, fossils, caves, granaries, ampitheaters,
pictographs, petroglyphs- canyons forged by ways of winds, sand, water
Your brain will
sizzle like a tiny bug on a hot rock as your mind melds into the
labrynth of canyons and mystical waterways.
the winding canyons, nothing but solitude, dead cows and basketballs
and Billy... ?
basketball... where are you now Billy? Probably floated on down to
tiger-striped walls, rising 2000 feet to the skies above...
Canyon...side canyon waterfalls, whispering caves, confluence with the
Gorge, Desert Big Horn Sheep, Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, and basketballs.
But the Yampa River is under threats again. This time from
DRILLING and BIG OIL and GAS interests:
acres offered for drilling near monument
Morning News Staff Writer
than a year since the leasing of oil and gas parcels surrounding
Dinosaur National Monument threw the debate over drilling in sensitive
areas into the national spotlight, leasing continues along what many
consider northwest Colorado’s most scenic byway.
Approximately 1,100 acres
have been offered up for sale near the Harpers Corner Road, between the
monument and U.S. Highway 40.
26-mile, Park Service-owned road connects park headquarters to the
south entrance of the monument and Echo Park- site of the confluence of
the Yampa and Green rivers.
An approximately 200-acre
lease site sits directly along the road, while another 900-acre
grouping lies to the west of the Bull Canyon Wilderness Study Area.
Both sites proposed for sale
at the Bureau of Land Management’s May 9 auction exist within a
citizen-proposed wilderness area.
February 2004, a total of 55 parcels were leased surrounding the
monument, 27 of which fell within Colorado public lands around the road.
Another 28 lay outside of
the Utah side of the park, many of which were also in citizen-proposed
groups protested the sales, and the matter now sits awaiting a ruling
from the Interior Board of Land Appeals, a process that Vern Rholl,
non-renewable staff supervisor for the BLM’s White River Field Office
in Meeker, said can take years.
In the meantime, the leases
for drilling companies to apply to drill wells, said Beverly Derringer
of the BLM’s state leasing office.
However, BLM officials warn
lease by no means guarantees the area will be drilled, and the area is
generally regarded as containing minimal potential for retrieving gas.
2004 sale around Dinosaur helped land the monument on the Sierra Club’s
list of the 25 most threatened wildlands in the nation. Numerous
environmental and conservation groups denounced the sale as threat to
the scenic and environmental sanctity of the monument.
of the Colorado Wilderness Network said the latest round of leases will
more than likely follow a similar path of protest as this past years.
“I can tell you that
conservation groups are concerned with these issues,” Morris said.
leasing for oil and gas is precluded inside of BLM wilderness study
areas, leasing within citizen-proposed areas, of which a 2,000 acre
buffer exists around the Bull Canyon WSA, does not.
Oil and gas lease parcels
must be nominated by a citizen or industry before being eligible for
the BLM’s quarterly sales.
Rholl said such qualities as
CWP are considered along with many other factors before deciding if an
area can be leased.
“There really is no special
status given to CWPs just because it is a CWP,” Rholl said.
the Little Snake Field Office, which manages 1.3 million acres of lands
in Moffat County, one CWP has been given a moratorium on oil and gas
leasing while the office completes an area-wide management plan.
Casterson, planning coordinator for the Little Snake Field Office, said
the abeyance on the 77,000 acre Vermillion Basin CWP was issued while
the office considers their management strategy for the basin for the
next 10 to 20 years.
Casterson said the office is
looking at new
wilderness characteristics not considered the last time the office
drafted a management plan.
Unlike much of the Dinosaur
area, the Vermillion Basin is
also known to contain significant natural gas reserves, Casterson said..
“If we were to open those
up, those leases would go pretty quick,” he said.
Other CWPs in the Little
Snake however, have not been removed from oil and gas leasing.
the lands leading into the monument free from obstructions has been an
issue with the Park Service for decades, said the monument’s Acting
Superintendent Wayne Prokopetz.
During the 1960s-1970s, when
Harpers Corner Road was transferred to Park Service ownership, a '500
foot from the centerline rule' was also put into place to keep any
development from immediate sight.
That request was again given
the BLM this past year following the February leases, as was a request
to keep drilling from occurring within a half mile of monument
He said the monument has not
yet heard an official response to the request.
“It was not really a new
request, it was our reminder to the BLM that is our agreement,”
said the Park Service had asked the BLM to preclude leasing from all
lands in between Highway 40 and the park during the White River Field
Office’s last management plan, but that request went unanswered.
“As we looked at it we were
probably a little over zealous in that request,” Prokopetz said.
it stands, he said both agencies would currently consult each other to
minimize any impact to the area’s scenic qualities a drill pad would
“Preferably we would not
like to have that impact, but they have their goals and regulations and
we have ours,” he said.
Roughly 48,000 acres have
been placed up for auction across Colorado in May, 5,804 of which are
in Moffat County.
The Green River, known to the
Shoshone Indians as the
'Seeds-kee-dee-Agie', or 'Prarie Hen River'.
Park - Put-In
Rapid - gradient changes to 31 FPM
dinner on the evening of June 10th, 1965, Warm
experienced a flash flood carrying tons of rock down the draw and out
into the river, blocking the entire Yampa River channel.
Less than a
the river pounded a breach in the dam and created Warm Springs Rapid,
one of the big ten drops of the west.
Park and the Mitten Park Fault
after the prominent Steamboat Rock, the Yampa makes confluence with the
Hole - Hardscrabble Mountain - Ely Creek
out - Dinosaur Park Boatramp - Jensen Utah
The native Fremont Indians stored their winter food in their riverside
The Green River begins in the eastern slope of the Wind River Mountains
in Wyoming, making a 40 mile loop thru NW Colorado.
Ranch - outlaw hideout 100 years ago, still worked as an active
horse and cattle ranch
Park - Confluence of Green River and Yampa River
Cave (watch out for bears!)
Cave - Jones Hole - Ely Creek falls, great hiking on
golden-ribbon trout stream with verdant desert stream and Fremont
1,200 to 1,600 years ago,
the Yampa river was home to the Fremont people, who were an advanced
horticultural society, originating at the headwaters of the Fremont
River near Capitol Reef, Utah.
The horticultural economy was supplemented by hunting and
Wild foods utilized by
the Fremont people included grass, bulbs, berries, pumpkins, pinenuts,
and cactus fruits.
The Fremont cached food in circular storage pits
called cysts, and hunted wolf, bighorn sheep, prarie
dogs and birds.
The materials utilized by
the Fremont people included the bow and arrow, stone blades,
arrow points, spears, pottery and spines (used for sewing), waterproof
baskets, grinding stones and they typically used pit-houses for
The pit-house was a one or two room structure, partially dug into the
ground and roofed with animal hides on a wooden pole framework. Recurring droughts
A.D.), forced the villages to be abandoned,
and the people moved south to the better watered valleys of the Rio
Grande and Gila River.
Dinosaur National Monument:
Jurassic period (150 Million Years Ago) was a time of
large moving waters and dinosaurs. Sand and Dinosaurs turned to stone
and remained buried until recent geolocial time when the Green and
Yampa Rivers converged to erode the sandstone layers and expose the
remains of the Dinosaurs.
The Fremont People discovered the Dinosaur
1825, William H. Ashley and his fur trappers were the
first Europeans (whitey) to enter Echo Park. In 1883, Patrick Lynch, a
hermit, was the first to homestead in this canyon.
Then came John
Wesley Powell, and his USGS Crew in 1869, and reported his
Earl Douglas in 1909 who kept investigating Powell's findings and
the continent's greatest treasure of Jurassic fossils.
Echo Park is
critical habitat for the endangered
peregrine falcon, bald eagle, Colorado pikeminnow, and razorback
sucker. Indian rock art in Echo Park testifies to the allure these
canyons and rivers had for prehistoric people.
High use season begins on the second Monday in
May (05/09/05), and ends on the second
Friday in September (09/09/05) on the Green River and on July 14, 2005
Yampa River. Three hundred non‑commercial
launches are available.
drawing for permits is held in February.
Guard approved PFDs Type I, Type III or Type V must be worn by
One spare PFD for each raft or dory.
One spare oar for each raft or dory. In addition, one spare paddle
required for kayakers.
Toilet system for containerization and carryout of human waste.
Spray skirts and floation for each hard shelled kayak.
A major first aid kit on each trip and a minor first aid kit for each
additional support boat on the trip.
Repair kits suitable for each type of boat.
Mesh strainer for dishwater and ashes.
Fire pan with minimum of 250 square inches and at least a three inch
Each boat with a non self-bailing floor must carry a bailing device.
Helmets are required for all kayakers.
there warn't no home like a raft, after all.
Other places do seem
so cramped up and smothery, but a raft don't.
You feel mighty free
and easy and comfortable on a raft."
- Mark Twain