Lisa Niermann of Paonia is the lucky winner of a new Hyside Mini-Max raft. The raft, which included a set of Cataract oars and a custom oar frame was raffled off by the Western Slope Conservation Center. The setup is valued at over $4,000.
Welfelt Fabrication sponsored the raffle. Owner John Welfelt, a river runner himself, has been a member of WSCC since it began in the late 1970s as the North Fork River Improvement Association.
For running rivers, "It's one of the most popular boats for a good reason," said Welfelt of the Hyside. The boat is easy to maneuver, great for running low water or Class 5 water (with a good oarsman). And it's small enough that it can be slightly deflated to fit in the back of a pickup, and compact enough to fit in a passenger car or rolled up and packed down into the Gunnison Gorge. "For this area it's really a good boat."
WSCC is dedicated to public lands advocacy, education, and stewardship of watersheds. Executive director Alex Johnson said that the 500 raffle tickets sold -- 300 of them at Cherry Days alone, raised $8,840 for WSCC. For all those who didn't win, said Johnson, "We will be doing this again next year."
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.