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Tallulah Gorge

Information available on Tallulah Gorge Permits:

Applications for the Year 2000 Tallulah Spring and Fall Releases

The Year 2000 Releases for the Tallulah Gorge are scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 1st and 2nd and April 8th and 9th. Fall releases are scheduled for the weekends of November 4th & 5th, November 11th & 12th, and November 18th & 19th.

Note: The deadline for submitting applications for the April releases is February 1, 2000 - so send in your applications as quickly as possible.

Great cooperation among Georgia State Parks, Georgia Power Company, American Whitewater, local boating groups, and the boaters ensures the agreement over a 30-year period will continue in effect.

Tallulah Gorge is an advanced/expert whitewater run involving Class IV and V rapids. In addition, it has severely limited access in and out of the canyon in case of accident, and is further restricted due to the fragile nature of the gorge and the existence of several federally endangered species, including "Persistent Trillium."

If you are unsure of your whitewater skill, do not attempt the Gorge. Boating accidents are always unwelcome, but are even more unwelcome during such limited releases. Besides hurting yourself, you may jeopardize future whitewater releases in this incredibly beautiful canyon.

Tallulah Gorge State Park is administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Access is limited to 120 boaters per day, in groups of no more than three. The permit system has been changed slightly to better serve the needs of the boaters. Please follow all instructions exactly when making your application. Call American Whitewater at 301-589-9453 for further information.

PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW ALL OF THE INSTRUCTIONS.

FAILURE TO COMPLY WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF THE APPLICANTíS PERMIT REQUEST.

1. Only persons paddling qualified whitewater craft will be permitted to paddle Tallulah Gorge. Qualified whitewater craft are defined as follows: Kayaks (one or two person); whitewater canoes or open hard boats; decked canoes, including C-1s and C-2s; and qualified inflatables. Per Georgia Parks, qualified inflatables means a craft that has a manufacturerís rated maximum occupancy of 1-2 persons and is owned (not rented or borrowed) by the applicant or a boater on that permit. Determination of eligibility will be made by American Whitewaterís representatives, according to established DNR guidelines.

2. Permits allow access for both days of the release weekend. Each permit holder, or one of two alternates listed on the application together with all other members on the permit, must check in by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, or the permit will be released to those on the waiting list. If the permit holder or one of their alternates does not check in by 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, the permit is cancelled for both Saturday and Sunday. A permit allows a maximum of three people paddling qualified whitewater craft.

3. An applicant may apply for a permit for each of the scheduled release weekends. The dates for the 2000 Releases are April 1-2, April 8-9, November 4-5, November 11-12, and November 18-19. A separate request must be submitted for each scheduled release weekend.

4. Requests may be submitted after January 1, 2000 for the 2000 release season. The drawing for April, 2000 permits will be held on Tuesday, February 1, 2000. The drawing for November, 2000 permits will be held on Friday, September 1, 2000. Mail your requests at least ten days before the drawing.

5. Permit holders will be notified of a successful draw by mail from Tallulah Gorge State Park. You are encouraged to confirm that the scheduled release has not been postponed or cancelled due to adverse or emergency conditions. Call 1-888-GPC-LAKE to note whether a postponement or cancellation message has been added to the recording.

6. Camping for boaters is available at the state park campground. The charge is $3.00 per person per night, including showers, instead of the regular $12. Call the Park at 1-706-754-7970 and identify yourself as a boater to obtain the special rate; you will be directed to the special boater camping area. Boaters arriving in RVís or motorhomes will be required to pay the regular overnight fee of $12 per night; call ahead for reservations.

7. The Boater Parking Area is not a campground. The area will be blocked off at night and overnight parking will not be permitted. Dispose of trash properly. Be discreet about your choice of beverage.

8. Each group and boater must check in by 11:00 a.m. on each day of the release at the Boater Registration Table. This table is also used for sharing reminders, rules, lost and found articles, and so on.

9. Walk-ons: The rules allow 20 walk-ons each day of the release. Additionally, boaters can get on the wait list for cancelled permits. Names for the walk-ons and the wait list will be done by lottery each day. Names will be taken between 8:00 and 9:00 am, at the Boater Registration Table. At 9:00am, a lottery will determine the order for the 20 walk-on slots and for the wait list order. Wait list boaters will then be assigned permits as they become available. This means that all 120 slots can be filled each day.

10. Boaters are reminded that much of Tallulah Gorge State Park is extremely rugged and potentially hazardous. It is also an environmentally sensitive area. To protect the visitor from the gorge, and more importantly, the gorge from the visitor, all regulations and laws are strictly enforced. Remember that polite, responsible and

safe behavior is expected.

PERMIT INSTRUCTIONS

I. All permit requests must be mailed in a legal-size envelope.

II. The outside of the envelope must contain the following:

A. The applicantís name and return address in the upper left corner.

B. The date of the permit requested and the number of people in the group, including yourself (maximum of three), in the lower right corner.

C. Adequate U.S. Postage for First Class Mail. The correct address: Tallulah Gorge State Park Boating Permits, P.O. Box 248, Tallulah Falls, GA 30573.

III. The envelope must contain:

A. A legal size return envelope bearing the applicantís name and return address, and adequate U.S. postage for first class mail.

B. A 3 x 5 inch index card containing the following information:

i) the applicantís name, address, and daytime phone number;

ii) the name and daytime phone number of another member on the permit.

iii) the date of the scheduled weekend release being requested; and

iv) the number of people in the applicantís group (not to exceed three, including the applicant).

IV. A person may apply for one permit for each weekend, but each request must be made separately.