Park Service nixes rafting proposal

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The National Park Service has canceled a contract proposal to run commercial rafting trips in the Grand Canyon after backlash over higher franchise fees.

About 19,000 people annually go on the multiday commercial whitewater trips on the Colorado River. Permits for self-guided river trips are handled through a lottery system.
    
The Park Service announced earlier this year that it was soliciting bids for up to 16 commercial contracts. The proposal raised the minimum franchise fee from between 4 percent and 18 percent to between 5 percent and 22.5 percent of gross revenue.
    
Members of Arizona's congressional delegation, current contract holders and others objected to the higher fee and asked for justification.
    
The Park Service canceled the proposal this week and said it will re-issue it next year after analyzing feedback.
 

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