Update - The bill passed the House and is on its way to the Senate. American Whitewater, which originally asked Rep. Lummis to propose the bill, has withdrawn its support. The following quotation from another Yellowstone-area non-profit is typical of what the conservation community is saying:
"Rep. Lummis’ legislation is not the right mechanism to address recreational use in our national parks. It is a blunt approach that fails to consider the recreational and natural values provided by waters in some of the world’s most popular and pristine places – Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, and the National Elk Refuge.
Other issues with the bill:
* It only gives Yellowstone and Grand Teton three years to evaluate, study, and release a rule for use of approximately 7,500 miles of backcountry creeks and streams.
* The legislation fails to define “hand-propelled vessels”, potentially opening streams like the Lamar and Firehole rivers, for example, to commercial tubing.
* Allowing such access will make pristine Yellowstone and Grand Teton streams vulnerable to the invasive weeds and aquatic species that have taken over many parts of the West, threatening native vegetation and wildlife forage."