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Access Fund's e-Vertical Times #24 (October)
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Access Fund's e-Vertical Times #24 (October)
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VIRTUAL TIMES #24
October 2002
www.accessfund.org/

If you are unable to view the photos, please see the Virtual Times at:
http://www.accessfund.org/virtual_times/e-news24.html


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IN THIS ISSUE:
1. Letter from Kate Cavicchio, Access Fund event coordinator
2. Peregrine Monitoring at The New River Gorge
3. 2002 Access Fund Awards
4. Idaho's Castle Rock Ranch Still in Limbo
5. Lake Willoughby Update
6. Access news for North Carolina
7. Enchanted Tower, Datil, NM
8. Vertical Times Newsletter Goes Digital
9. Holiday Merchandise Sale!

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1. Letter from Kate Cavicchio, Access Fund event coordinator
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I was nervous. Two months prior to Adopt-a-Crag Day 2002, only 20 events were registered. Where was everyone? Why were people not signing up for Adopt-a-Crag Day?

I picked up the phone and started dialing - shop and gym owners, regional coordinators, local climber organizations, and college outing programs. I badgered past hosts of Adopt-a-Crag Day events; encouraged climbers to get involved, to celebrate their local crags and boulders, to do more for their favorite rocks than chalk them up and throw crash pads around.
The response was phenomenal. In a few short weeks I received over 60 Adopt-a-Crag Day registration forms. Suddenly there were 86 conservation events planned at climbing and bouldering areas from New Hampshire to Alaska. My faith in the climbing community was restored - it was heartening to see climbers pony up and rally in the spirit of stewardship and conservation.
Adopt-a-Crag Day is more than picking up tattered tape gloves and broken beer bottles. It goes beyond restoring trails and mitigating erosion. Adopt-a-Crag Day is an opportunity for climbers to step back from their projects and remember why they are out there - every afternoon and weekend, tying in and trying to send. It is a day for climbers to build relationships with land managers, local businesses, and others, to honor the crags and boulders they love.

"Every year volunteers complain that there is just not enough trash to pick up. This is a testament to the local and road-tripping climbers who are in the canyon every day, keeping it clean because it's the right thing to do," said Tasha Waugh, organizer of the 7th Annual Rifle Mountain Park Clean-up, an event that epitomizes the spirit of Adopt-a-Crag Day. Climbers work with the City of Rifle to keep the canyon clean and well maintained. In return, the city donates the Park's Community House and group campground for a post-event party and place to crash. Also, Climbing Magazine donates food, and Avery brewing company supplies numerous malt beverages for post-cleanup-spirits.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Access Fund's 3rd Annual Adopt-a-Crag Day!
Vertical Times #49 will feature photographs and success stories from events around the country, so stay tuned!

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2. Peregrine Monitoring at The New River Gorge
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In October, Access Fund Policy Director Jason Keith traveled to the New River Gorge (NRG) in West Virginia to meet with the National Park Service (NPS) and discuss raptor issues. Over the last several months, the Access Fund has been negotiating with the NPS regarding their proposed closure of the Endless Wall to provide speculative habitat for migrant peregrine falcons. Because there has never been a peregrine nest sited at The New - and past attempts to introduce peregrines into the area have failed - the Access Fund urged the NPS to implement a monitoring program in lieu of a closure to determine whether peregrines are even present at The New. At the recent meeting, Keith teamed with AF board member Gene Kistler and met with several NPS staff members to identify cooperative ways the AF can help the Park implement its monitoring plan. Access Fund assistance may include helping with educational signage and spreading the word among the climbing community as to the goals and scope of the monitoring program. The NRG should have a draft of its upcoming climbing management plan ready for public review in the next few months. For more information, email jason@accessfund.org.

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3. 2002 Access Fund Awards
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Exiting Board Members
For distinguished service on the Board of Directors
Conrad Anker (since 1996)
Chris Archer (1994)
Charlotte Fox (1996)
Larry Gustafson (1996)
Becky Hall (1994)
Reese Martin (1998)
Kathleen Beamer (2001)
Eric Hobday (1998)

Sharp End Awards
The Sharp End Award is presented for leadership and activism in preserving climbing access and the climbing environment to: CLIF Bar, Black Diamond Equipment, Kurt Smith, George Bracksieck, Greg Sievers, and Shannon Stuart-Smith

Land Manager of the Year: Chris Stubs - NPS, Obed River, TN

Regional Coordinator of the Year: Heather Hibbard

Mark Bebie Award: Becky Hall.
America's outstanding activist for the cause of preserving climbing access and the climbing environment.

Service as President Award: Becky Hall.
For distinguished volunteer service as president of the Access Fund (2000-2002).

The First Annual Michael Kennedy Board Excellence Award: Chris Archer, Larry Gustafson, and Eric Hobday.
For exceptional leadership and commitment to the Access Fund's mission.

Award of appreciation: Sam Davidson.
In recognition of 11 years of exemplary service, dedication, and vision on behalf of the entire climbing community 1991-2002.

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4. Idaho's Castle Rock Ranch Still in Limbo
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The Access Fund has been in contact with Idaho state park officials who will be in charge of managing the fantastic Castle Rock Ranch near the City of Rocks. "Castles" is now tentatively slated to open (at the earliest) next spring, because the National Park Service (NPS) has not yet completed the requisite environmental assessments. Before Castles can be opened to the public, the NPS must write the environmental assessment (EA) for the transfer of the property from the NPS to the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). The NPS then does an "in-house" review of the EA and releases it to the public for comment (hopefully sometime this November). After the public comment period, the real estate transfer process begins. After transfer, City of Rocks Superintendent Wallace Keck (who will also manage Castles) will submit an interim operation plan for approval by the IDPR. Under this interim plan, it is likely that public use of Castle Rock Ranch will include dispersed day-use including hiking, climbing, and sightseeing. Later, IDPR will partner on a General Management Plan (complete with a climbing management component) with the USFS and BLM who own the property on the backside of Castles. During this process, trails and minor visitor facilities will be developed. As you may remember, the Access Fund provided critical "bridge" funding for the acquisition of Castles in 1999, and Congress authorized the fed-to-state transfer of the property two years ago. In October, Access Fund Policy Director Jason Keith met with US Senators Craig (R-ID) and Thomas (R-WY, Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks) to lobby for speeding up the requisite environmental assessment. Once complete, IDPR can devise a management plan for Castles and open it to climbing. For the latest, contact Keith at jason@accessfund.org.

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5. Lake Willoughby Update
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The Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation (FPR) have announced the release of the Draft Management Plan for Willoughby State Forest. This includes management of the Willoughby cliffs for both rock and ice climbing. Ice climbing access to Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Hor will continue, as will rock climbing on Mt. Wheeler. FPR's long-term goal is to develop a climbing management plan for the cliffs. For more information, visit the Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) at www.cragvt.org. This site includes a link to the Management Plan.

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6. Access news for North Carolina
(Report submitted by AF Regional Coordinator Aram Attarian)
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Southern Mountains
Thanks to a generous grant from the Access Fund, the Pisgah Climbers Association (PCA) and the United States Forest Service constructed a new Climbers' Information Kiosk at the Sun Wall Trail (the Nose area) parking area. Local building suppliers donated discounted construction materials.

The "official" opening of the new climbers’ trail to the North Face of Looking Glass has been delayed due to the discovery of a rare/endangered plant species. For now, the trail project is on hold until the area can be re-assessed. The PCA is undertaking a major project that involves rehabilitating and protecting the staging areas beneath the three major climbing routes at the Nose area: the Nose, Peregrine, and Sundial Crack. The Nose Restoration Project will address the constantly eroding floor of the Nose area by re-building the base of the routes. The project is scheduled for completion during Spring-Fall 2003. The PCA is also working on developing a draft report of Commercial Use Standards, which commercial users must follow when applying for permits in Pisgah National Forest. For more information on the PCA, visit http://www.pisgahclimbers.com.

Central Piedmont
After two years of negotiations with a private landowner, the Asheboro Boulders (Ridges Mountain) are open to the public. The landowner assisted in developing a lease (which requires a $1500 annual fee) and requested that two portable toilets be installed. The Access Fund paid for the first year lease, while the Carolina Climbers' Coalition and a generous donation from climber Jon Lane covered the toilet expenses. Kudos to Mike Dean for working with the landowner, and to Sean Coburn for compiling the lease. The CCC will manage the area.

Northern Mountains
Climbers in the Boone area have been working closely with National Park Service (NPS) staff on a number of projects: anchor placement on the summit of Ship Rock, Tanawha Trail maintenance, construction of fencing to discourage parking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, distribution of climber information at local climbing shops, and a fixed anchor moratorium.
Currently, the Boone Climbers' Coalition is assisting the NPS in developing a Climbing Management Plan for the Blue Ridge Parkway/ Grandfather Mountain Corridor. The primary issues include: fixed anchors, endangered flora and fauna, trampling at staging and bouldering areas, parking, and increasing impacts.

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7. Enchanted Tower, Datil, NM
(Report by Bryan Pletta, AF Regional Coordinator)
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The road that accesses the Enchanted Tower crosses private land through the Cleaveland Ranch. The landowners have installed a locked gate on this road and are denying access to hunters due to problems in the past. Currently, they are allowing climbers access and have provided the combination for the gate to NM CRAG, the local climber's organization. The ranchers recently complained that people are still driving too fast on the road and arriving late at night. Excessive speeds on the dirt road lead to washboarding and increased maintenance costs for the ranch. Further, headlights late at night disturb the ranchers, and there is a possibility climbers might be locked out unless they abide by the rules below. Please do share this information with fellow climbers.

- Access to the Enchanted Tower from the east is generously provided by the Cleaveland Ranch and can be revoked at any time.
- The landowners have requested that visitors refrain from driving past the ranch after dark.
- If you arrive after dark, please camp at Datil Well Campground approximately 2 miles east on Hwy 60 and drive into the canyon the following morning.
- Drive slowly — 15 mph max — through the ranch.
- For additional information on access to this area, contact Bryan Pletta, 505-341-2016, stoneagegym@earthlink.net

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8. Vertical Times Newsletter Goes Digital
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The Vertical Times (VT), Access Fund bi-monthly print newsletter, is presently being converted to PDF format for our website. Presently issues #40-46 are on-line. New volumes are added weekly. Back issues will continue to be posted on our website as new issues are mailed. (Because newsletters are a membership benefit, they will not be posted on our site until they are two issues old).

In order to save money and reduce paper production, the AF is asking interested parties to cease delivery of VT to their homes. In lieu of VT, members can access current news through “Virtual Times” e-news, and read VT when it is posted on our website. To stop receiving the VT print newsletter, email your name/address to cindy@accessfund.org with “Remove Vertical Times” as the subject line. This small step will save the Access Fund thousands of dollars, which will be applied to acquisitions and advocacy efforts.

To view back issues of Vertical Times, visit http://www.accessfund.org/vertical_times/index.html

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9. Holiday Merchandise Sale!
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Order by December 1 and receive free shipping ($25 minimum order). "Crazy for Crazy Creek Chairs Sale" ($35 while supplies last), baseball caps, t-shirts, and Access Fund O'Piners. Great gifts for the family or your favorite belay slave! Order today by calling 303-545-6772 x107 or clicking https://www.accessfund.org/secure/gear.pl



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VIRTUAL TIMES POLICIES:
1. The Access Fund office in Boulder is the only source of outgoing messages to the lists.
2. The AF will not sell or give away email addresses of V-Times subscribers.
3. V-Times is an announcement-only e-mail list; therefore, you cannot reply to any of the list members.
4. All e-mail addresses will remain confidential with every mail sent.
Virtual Times Policies:
1. The Access Fund office in Boulder is the only source of
outgoing messages to the lists.
2. The AF will not sell or give away email addresses for the V-Times.
3. V-Times is an announcement-only e-mail list; therefore, you cannot reply to any of the list members.
4. All e-mail addresses will remain confidential with every mail sent.

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-11-01 04:53 ]


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