July 2010 River Meeting

Date: July 7th, 2010
Location: Kevin Jordan's Pad
Attendees: Jared, Vinny, Ryan, Natasha, Lam, Margery, Emilia, Bart, Bart, Sullivan, Shad, Kevin

Meeting called to order at 7:09pm

Trip Reports
  • John Swett High School, June 19-20, Kings River
    • Flow was mid-5000cfs
    • Good river for participant trips!
    • Emilia led an environmental scavenger hunt
    • Significant surf and swims at Mule Rock on Sunday
      • No one was hurt, but many were scared. We continued down river and spirits picked up.
      • Lengthy discussion about methods to prevent and respond to on-river incidents.
  • Oakland High School Environmental Science Academy, June 26-27, Trinity River
    • Flow was 2000 from Lewiston Dam, plus significant side-stream accumulation
    • ICO volunteers were great. Special thanks to Torn for helping out with food!
    • Mosquitoes were very bad
    • Water was cold, but few wore wetsuits.
    • Swimmers at Hell Hole.
      • It is not washed out at this flow.
      • Swimmers were rescued quickly.
    • Mis-communication and disagreement with Rangers. 
      • Rangers want groups capped at 30, and advanced notice that large groups are coming.
      • Our group was near 40, so they asked us to split into two flotillas
      • There were misunderstandings about how the two flotillas worked out.
      • Kevin called on Monday to "smooth things over."
    • Trinity Adventure Park (commercially-owned take-out) wants Certificate of Insurance to use the take-out.

Shad attended the National Youth Outdoor Summit in New York City.
  • Two-day Youth summit to discuss how to get the next generation of Youth comfortable outdoors.
  • 500 youth from across the country
  • First time event
  • Information collected was sent to Obama Admin, Outdoor equipment manufacturers, and others.

Standard Operating Procedures
  • The Steering Committee has been formed. It has 15 members.
  • Next steps: polish and clarification
    • Chairs call for volunteer to lead that effort.
      • Ryan Clark volunteers
    • Lengthy discussion about how ideas mature and progress.
  • Specific Policies
    • Off-river volunteers. Mentioned, not discussed.
    • Untrained on-river volunteers
      • SOPs do not directly address this. 
      • Margery, as Volunteer Coorindator, would like to be involved in developing the policy. 
      • There were many concerns (fairness, safety, liability, cohesiveness, cost, vetting, fit, roles, responsibilities) about this among those present.
      • Chairs are concerned as there is a person (sponsored by a TL) volunteering in this capacity now.
        • After lengthy discussion, consensus of those present is that he should not continue in this capacity.
        • Margery will follow up with this person and the Steering Committee.
    • Guide Application
      • Some feel process is too cumbersome for well-experienced ATAs. 
        • Difficult to get South Fork check-offs when many Spring trips are away from the South Fork.
        • Methods to streamline the process
          • "Trust & Verify" -- commercial method
          • Significantly expand set of rapids, and require only a subset.
          • Need to have better mentorship of ATAs
            • Margery will work with Caroline (Mentor Coordinator) on pairing mentors with ATAs.
        • Many assert that current process is satisfactory and prudent.
          • Wide range of skills of ATA applicants. 
        • In the long term, consider per-river checkoffs.
      • Flip requirement. Safety and practicality concerns.
        • Intentionally flip with participants?
        • Demonstrate in moving water?

Swiftwater Rescue (SWR) Update
  • Right now commercials guides are not required to have SWR
  • El Dorado County is considering requiring SWR for commercial guides. This decision has not happened yet, but is considered imminent.
  • El Dorado County is also, separately, considering requiring SWR for institutional guides (that's us).

Fundraiser Trip
  • “Time to start thinking about a fundraiser trip.” –Jared
  • Last year we raised over $7000 on two fundraiser trips.
  • Jared wants to try the FOR model.
    • Two-day, higher-end trip on the Tuolumne.
    • Include guest speakers, environmental programs, and trip enrichment.
    • Jared is looking for ideas for guest speakers, evening programs, and general trip enrichment.
  • Also offer one-day South Fork trip.
  • Open Dates: 8/28-8/29, 9/4 – 9/6, 10/2 – 10/3.

Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.

Post-meeting addendum: We currently have 43 fully-compliant guides!

Notes by Ryan Clark