Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

1 Jan 2014

Boards vote to require Animas River floaters to have a paddle or flippers at Oxbow Park

Posted by Adam Howell


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

At a joint meeting between Durango’s Parks and Recreation Board and the Natural Lands Board, the Oxbow Park and Preserve Management Plan was amended to require that anyone floating the river from Oxbow must have a paddle or swim flippers.

These flippers sell for $18.95 before taxes and shipping somewhere on the web.

These flippers sell for $18.95 before taxes and shipping somewhere on the web.

Also approved by the City Boards was a revision to close the Park and Preserve until June 30, 2014, plus the establishment of Park hours from 5 a.m. to midnight, as consistent with those in existence for other City parks. All revisions will be passed on to Durango’s City Council for review and possible adoption in coming weeks.

While the sustainability of legally requiring floaters to have a paddle or flippers could be troublesome due to precedent set by three previous federal court rulings, the wording was approved by the Boards in an attempt to limit the number of people stopping to piss, poop and litter on private property during their float down to 33rd St.

“All river craft should be propelled through the section with a paddle, swim flippers or hand paddles due to the distance, length and time to reach a public river access,” said Durango’s Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Metz, during the review of the wording immediately before it was approved by the Boards.

These hand paddles sell for $8.95 before taxes, shipping and handling somewhere on the web.

These hand paddles sell for $8.95 before taxes, shipping and handling somewhere on the web.

The Board’s decision to close Oxbow Park and Preserve until June 30 was made to give the City time to allow students from Fort Lewis College or environmental consultants time to study wildlife existence on the property, as to gain a better understanding of when it would make the most sense to implement a seasonal closure there.

Some examples of wildlife that depend on the riparian ecosystems, such as the one at Oxbow Park and Preserve include bald eagles, deer, elk and blue heron, among many others.

Other amendments of interest on the Plan was long-term management policy 7 (e) that all river users should wear an approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD), 7 (f) downstream tube float trips without an approved method of propulsion is discouraged due to the distance and length of time to reach a public river access; and 7 (g) upstream paddling is discouraged as there is no public river access upstream of Oxbow Park and Preserve.

Management Planning web page for City of Durango With Oxbow Park and Preserve information and public comments.

Leave a Reply

Message: