Institutional Permit Workshop, August 2011

For background information, please read this.

August 22, 2011
American River Resort, Coloma, CA
ICO Attendees: Ryan, Chicken, Chris, Shad, Margery, Mel, Bill, Derrick, Tracey
Official Agenda
Discussion Topics

Recap & Context

Since 2010 meeting, the RMAC has been working on definitions and other language based on input and feedback.
Rationale for Insitutional Permit: There is no regulation except for commercials and they would to have better uniformity as well as additional revenue. "Commercial support" is insufficient.

Sacramento State, UC Davis, Chico State, and Sierra Nevada College are all commercial now. Other schools and universities will be "Large Private" groups, not Institutional, as long as they only do one trip or one week per year as part of a specific class. In other words, they aren't running a "program."

It was stated over and over that this management arrangement is unique. BLM and State Parks "wouldn't allow this kind of system."

El Dorado County uses the photography companies for tracking river use. They count the people in the second picture of every raft.

Commercial use has leveled off. It is about 30,000people/year less than ten years ago. Commercial use was about 93,000people/year at its peak. Private river usage is up.

Carrying Capacity is highest on the Gorge. 260-270 boats per hour on a typical Saturday. Once was 297 boats per hour.

There are 36 Commercial Outfitters, previous max was 72 outfitters.

Maximum size trips for all groups and outfitters is 7 boats and 56 people.

Busiest weekends are the 2nd and 3rd weekends of the Summer months.

Commercial outfitters recently changed from "Permittees" to "Concessionaires" for State Parks (Gorge take-out). This is the result of a change in state law.

Commercial usage limits haven't changed since 1981.

Item #1

Additional items not included in shared cost trips: Paddles, PFDs, Throw Bags. These are capital expenses and must be paid for with funds raised off river or through allowed fundraiser trips (see item #3)

Institutional groups may "charge" less than the shared-cost price. For example, "all expenses paid" trips are fine. However, there cannot be reward trips or other quid pro quo.

Item #3

Institutionals prefer more inclusive "tax-exempt" language over 501(c)3.

Item #4

Membership fees restriction does not apply to guides.

Item #5.

VIP Trips: County wants to permit certain types of VIP trips. For example, allowing members of the media or politicians to come on Institutional trips. Needs help with wording.

Item #6

Paid off-river staff justification: Encourage better group organization and safety.
(Side Note: Commercials don't complain much about long put-in & take-out, but privates do.)

Item #8

Advertising. Needs a lot of clarification for Internet promotion and social networking.
This was one of the meeting's bigger topics.

Item #10

Permit usage limits and allocation. To be discussed in more detail amongst Institutional groups. What would be acceptable?
This was one of the meeting's bigger topics.

Item #11

Institutional Permits may not have commercial value. Therefore, they cannot be transferable.

Item #12

Guide requirements. SWR requirement may be fulfilled by any guide on the trip. Needn't be the official Trip Leader.

Item #13

Monthly usage reports would be onerous for volunteer Institutional groups. Little sympathy from commercial outfitters. Reporting is simple.

Next Steps / Follow-up

Institutional Groups to meeting to discuss specific details of difficult topics: Monday, September 26, 2011 at Sacramento City College, Rodda Hall North, Conference room 139.
Second RMAC-sponsored Institutional Workshop meeting to finish remaining discussion items: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 in Coloma.

Meeting notes by Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark,
Sep 5, 2011, 7:39 PM