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Alternative Anchoring Program offers better way to anchor at Lake Powell

May 26, 2022, 5:14 PM | Updated: May 27, 2022, 9:33 am
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area wants boaters to begin using Beach Bags to preserve the beauty...
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area wants boaters to begin using Beach Bags to preserve the beauty of Lake Powell. Photo Credit National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.

PAGE, AZ — Glen Canyon National Recreation Area officials say they have an alternative to the illegal practice of pin anchoring at Lake Powell. Instead, a new program, the Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program, implements the use of large inflatables created by a company called Beach Bags.

According to a news release from National Park Services, the Alternative Anchoring Pilot Program will allow boaters to anchor without having to drill into sandstone outcroppings on the lake floor.

The National Park Service has issued a commercial use authorization to a company that provides large inflatables for the use of anchoring houseboats at Lake Powell.  According to the Beach Bags website, these inflatables allow boaters to anchor on either slickrock or sand.

This project is something the Superintendent of National Park Services William Shott is excited to see begin.

“Through piloting new technologies, providing public information about the nexus between pin anchoring and damage to park resources and strengthening our enforcement efforts, we hope to put an end to this destructive practice (pin anchoring),” Schott said in the news release.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the park’s team, our engaged public, and all of our partners in taking on this challenge.”

Hazardous anchoring on Lake Powell

Shott says drilling into Powell’s sandstone causes a number of problems. Pins and rebar used to anchor often get left behind, posing a safety issue to swimmers. Additionally, Shott says drilling causes “significant” damage to natural resources.

“Unfortunately, some houseboaters have learned to become dependent on drilling holes in the fragile sandstone to anchor their vessels,” Shott said. “The accumulative effects of this illegal practice have caused significant resource damage while also becoming a larger safety issue.”

The pilot program works to maintain the lake’s natural beauty.

“If this practice (of pin anchoring) were to continue it would detract from the very reason boaters travel to Lake Powell,” Shott said.

Pin anchoring is illegal

The National Park Service says that pin anchoring is illegal — it damages the lake and is considered vandalism. Boaters caught pin anchoring are subject to enforcement actions. They may be asked to relocate or even end their journey.

Instead, the NPS urges boaters to use traditional anchoring methods or methods that do not damage natural or cultural resources in the lake.

To learn more about legal and conventional methods of anchoring visit www.nps.gov/glca/learn/news/houseboat-staking.htm

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Alternative Anchoring Program offers better way to anchor at Lake Powell