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National and Global, United States

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Grand Canyon Overnight Permits Need a Revamp



Getting one of the roughly 11,500 permits granted each year to backpack overnight in the Grand Canyon has become so competitive and "unfair" that park managers have decided to change the system.

Currently, those who want the coveted permits either show up in person or try their luck with mail or fax machines on the day the permits become available.

Those who go in person line up at the backcountry office early in the morning. People who try to fax often are in for hours of constant redialing because of the demand.
National Park Service administrators at the Grand Canyon have decided the system is unfair because it favors those who live near the gorge or have the time and resources to fly there to get a permit.

The agency is proposing to end the current system in February.

Here's how:
Have a knowledge test every third Monday of the month, sent in via computer.
Make certain the demographics are fair (women, minorities, etc). Answer that question about your background at the end of the form. Attach your resume and whatever fees there are. Attach your FedTax 1040 form. Then, after the feds pick their relatives and friends, wait 90-days for a 14657-Q form response, telling you that you forgot to fill in Line 6, page 22 sub-section 15, and therefore, you are rejected. You can call this 800# for more information, but if someone actually does answer after the 24 computer response options they give you, you will get a rude individual on the phone...and you still won't get the permit.

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