Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, also known as Lake Powell, is beginning an Environmental Assessment (EA) on deepening an area on Lake Powell commonly called the Castle Rock Cut. Your comments on this action are needed.
Why is it important to comment on the scoping for this EA?
First, some background to help you with your comments on the Castle Rock Cut issue. The cut is a popular short-cut route on Lake Powell that allows all boaters, including PWCers, convenient travel between the Wahweap Marina and other destinations up lake. Traveling through the Castle Rock Cut, when operational, saves about 12 miles of travel and more than one hour's transit time to locations up lake. These areas up lake include Rainbow Bridge, Padre Bay, Warm Creek Bay, etc. In the case of PWCs, the narrow channel that ALL boating activity is forced to navigate now can create some potentially dangerous areas. There are areas of large wave action and close proximity to much larger crafts, making the 12-mile transit difficult at best!
Additional facts, the Castle Rock Cut was first excavated in the early 1970s before the lake level rose to full pool level (3700 ft elevation). It was again excavated in the 1990s to remove built up sediments. Due to long-term drought conditions, however, the Castle Rock Cut has not been usable since 2003.
It is now time to excavate the cut again! This project proposes to deepen the existing cut by about 14 feet, which would allow all boat operators, including PWCers, to use it when the water level is above 3600 feet in elevation. It should be noted that the current lake level is 3600 feet.
Now the answer to my question, "Why comment?" In simple terms, all recreational boaters, including PWCers, need to tell the Park Service that deepening the cut is important to them. By showing that this is very important, the Park Service will put the EA process on a fast track, make an affirmative decision and begin the deepening process sooner! If they do not hear from us, the process may be delayed!
In your comments, simply express how having the ability to use the Castle Rock
Cut would be beneficial to you as a recreational boater. You might comment on the safety issue I discussed above.

Please take the time to comment today!
Please remember the Environmental Assessments Public scoping is the first step in the planning process and allows the public to provide suggestions to the National Park Service about issues and alternatives that should be considered in the environmental assessment. The Park Service is looking for constructive input on their proposal to deepen the Castle Rock Cut. The public scoping period is currently open and will run through December 4, 2007.
Interested individuals are encouraged to provide their comments about the project to the National Park Service online at or by mailing them to: Castle Rock Cut EA, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, P.O. Box 1507, Page, AZ 86040. All comments must be received by December 4, 2007.
Once an environmental assessment is drafted this winter, the public will have another opportunity to provide comments on the proposal.
Additional details about the project are available online at At the website, under current Project, click on Deepen Castle Rock Cut project.
For additional information on this issue, go to the BlueRibbon Coalition website at www.sharetrails.organd click on the PWC NEWS button on the left.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Jack Welch, President
BlueRibbon Coalition