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Recreation: Park Service eyes river access issues

Early morning kayaking near Frisco, Colorado.

Early morning kayaking near Frisco, Colorado.

New handbook to help guide management and development of launch sites

Staff Report

FRISCO — Hoping to stay ahead of the growing and diversifying demand for boating opportunities, the National Park Service is partnering with the River Management Society to help develop guidelines for new launch sites and access points.

Under the collaboration, the park service announced publication of Prepare to Launch as a resource to help river managers, planners, boaters and water trail leaders plan for and build access to waterways.

“‘Prepare to Launch!’ will help water resource managers provide safe and sustainable launches that strengthen connections to the nation’s waterways,” said National Park Service river programs manager Joan Harn. “By collaborating with the River Management Society and our state, local and national partners, we can expand everyone’s capacity to access and enjoy America’s rivers and waterways.”

“Prepare to Launch!” can be found on the River Management Society website at preparetolaunch.river-management.org, in e-book, interactive presentation and web formats.

“This resource can help managers save time, avoid costly mistakes and stay ahead of the demand of a growing and diversifying audience of human-powered recreationists,” said Risa Shimoda, River Management Society Executive Director.

“Prepare to Launch!” guides users through a process to determine the best launch for their site and to make design choices with confidence. It also includes examples of launches tailored to paddlers with disabilities.

“Following the User Accessibility tips will result in carry-down craft launch areas that serve all paddlers well, integrating the best of universal design,” said Janet Zeller, author of “Canoeing and Kayaking for People with Disabilities.”

For more information on the publication, contact Risa Shimoda at the River Management Society, executivedirector@river-management.org or Lelia Mellen at the National Park Service, lelia_mellen@nps.gov.

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