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Please Comment On Arches Climbing Management Plan
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yetanotherdave


Mar 30, 2007, 7:30 PM
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Please Comment On Arches Climbing Management Plan
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cross-posting from supertopo: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=349838&tn=0#msg351438

As we all know, a much-publicized climb in the spring of 2006 raised public interest and concern about rock climbing in Arches National Park. Prior to this event, Arches managers had limited contact with climbers and felt no real need for official policies. However, an overwhelming number of letters calling for an outright ban on climbing forced the Park to impose serious restrictions on our sport. Since then, a group of local climbers and the Access Fund have been working with the Park to rehabilitate a good relationship between us.

The Park Service has decided it is time to make an official Climbing Management Plan. This plan could be great for us, or it could be our demise: the key is how we help them make the plan. They are currently seeking input into how the plan should be. If the events of Spring, 2006 were any indicator, an enormous number of letters from environmental groups and anti-climbers will be sent to the Park Service calling for a ban or some draconian restrictions. However, The Park managers will be willing to look at all sides. As a matter of fact, they have shown local climbers that they are willing to work with climbers provided they see a positive result.

That said, it is up to us to send positive letters about the sport. If you have ever climbed in Arches, you should tell them so and tell them you enjoyed it. If you ever want to climb on the unique towers in Arches, you should tell them so. We need to show them that we really do care about the policies and that we want to be able to climb in Arches. We also need to point out that the outright ban on fixed anchors prevents the ascent of the majority of spires and towers (no pitons = no aid). I think most of us would admit we don’t feel a need to climb up on the actual arches, so we should state that. Above all, we need to write positive letters endorsing climbing as a legitimate form of recreation in Arches National Park.

Its easy to write them a short note. If you want to do it online, go to this website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov
At the bottom of the page, pull down the menu and go to “Arches NP”, then click “Plans/Documents open for comment”. The top one is about climbing management. Click
“Comment on Document” and write your small letter. That’s it.
If you want to write out a paper letter, you can send it here:
Superintendent
Arches National Park
PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The BLM asked for this same sort of input a couple years ago in reference to Indian Creek. They truly wanted to know who the users were, but in the initial round of discussions comments they only received around 30 letters from climbers… they got over 600 from 4wheelers. That’s pathetic… lets not let it happen here. (FYI-climbers got on it in the second round and we were factored in, showing that your opinions can make a difference).

2. Arches National Park is grouped with 3 other Parks in its administration. Many of the rules that govern one Park eventually fall into the rule book for the one next door. In this case, Canyonlands, an area containing more Windgate and Cutler towers than the rest of the world combined, is next door. A draconian rule in Arches could eventually lead to one in Canyonlands. If that’s the case, it would look like a precedent for other Parks in the country to follow. The trickle-down effect could be seen with the BLM and Forest Service. In other words, we could lose a lot more climbing resources than the 76,000 acre’s and 100’s of towers that is Arches.

3. Writing a letter to the Park will take less time than we spend blurbing in online forums.

4. They really do want to hear from us. I know this for a fact, and I know they will listen to positive words we have to say.

5. If we don’t ask for permission, we can’t get mad when we don’t get it.


For additional information contact jason@accessfund.org.


petsfed


Mar 30, 2007, 9:02 PM
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Registered: Sep 24, 2002
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Re: [yetanotherdave] Please Comment On Arches Climbing Management Plan [In reply to]
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Done and done.

C'mon people, the more comments the better!


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