Glen Canyon NRA Announces 30-Day Comment Period on Castle Rock Cut EA
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, also known as Lake Powell, has just released the Environmental Assessment (EA) on deepening an area on Lake Powell commonly called the Castle Rock Cut. Your comments on supporting the deepening of the Castle Rock Cut are needed by March 20, 2008.
Why is it important to comment on this EA, which has a preferred alternative to deepen the Castle Rock Cut?
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.
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 for PWCs. 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 to 3,580-foot elevation and make the cut available to boats drafting 4 feet or less when the lake level is above the 3,585-foot level, this would allow most boat operators, including PWCers, to use the cut much of the peak season.
Now to 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, and they should support Alternative 2, the preferred alternative. By showing that deepening the cut is very important, the Park Service may put the deepening process on a fast track! 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. In addition, you can comment on issues like decreased fuel consumption because of the saving of the 12 miles of travel required through the regular channel. Another comment might be that boaters would be dispersed more widely across the Lake due to the opening of the Castle Rock Cut.
Please take the time to comment today!
Please remember that commenting on the EA is an important step in the planning process and allows the public to provide input to the National Park Service. The Park Service is looking for constructive input on their proposal to deepen the Castle Rock Cut. The comment period is currently open and will run through March 20, 2008.
Interested individuals are encouraged to provide their comments about the project to the National Park Service online at and clicking on the document list Castle Rock Cut Environmental Assessment or by mailing them to: Castle Rock Cut EA, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, PO Box 1507, Page, AZ 86040. All comments must be received by March 20, 2008.
Additional details about the project are available online at At the website under "Current Project" click on "Deepen Castle Rock Cut." A copy of the EA is available online at and a limited number of hard copies are available by calling 928-608-6200.
For additional information on this issue, please go to the BlueRibbon website and click on the PWC NEWS button.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
Jack Welch
Special Projects Consultant
BlueRibbon Coalition