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Nov 27, 2002, 10:05 AM
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AF Adopt-A-Crag Summary
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Subject: AF Adopt-a-Crag Summary


The Access Fund
your climbing future

Adopt-a-Crag Summary
November 26, 2002


1. Access Fund Champions 86 Adopt-a-Crag Day Events
2. The Forest Service To Prohibit Climbing At Cave Rock, NV
3. Climbing Continues at Boat Rock, GA
4. Access Fund CFC Number
5. Vertical Times Newsletter on AF Website
6. Holiday Merchandise Sale!

1. Access Fund Champions 86 Adopt-a-Crag Day Events:
REI Title Sponsor, W.L. Gore Presenting Sponsor, Clif Bar Supporting Sponsor
The Access Fund thanks all who helped make the third annual Adopt-a-Crag Day a
tremendous success. Adopt-a-Crag Day is the Access Fund's signature event -- a
national commitment by the climbing community to natural resource stewardship
and volunteerism. This year, the Access Fund supported 86 Adopt-a-Crag Day
events in 34 states and one event in British Columbia.

Adopt-a-Crag Day would not be possible without the generous support of its
sponsors. Title Sponsor Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Presenting Sponsor
W.L. Gore, and Supporting Sponsor Clif Bar provided key financial backing,
which allowed the Access Fund to provide each Adopt-a-Crag Day event with
volunteer incentives, snacks, and clean-up materials.

As the most wide-ranging volunteer initiative by the climbing community,
Adopt-a-Crag Day is a prime venue for climbers to build relationships with
landowners, land managers, and local businesses. This year's events took a
variety of forms. Squamish area climbers worked with city officials to clean
existing trails and build a new access trail to their favorite crag. Climbers
in Quincy, MA worked with the Metropolitan District Commission to remove
graffiti and install trail signs at Quincy Quarries. Says event organizer Scott
Sandberg, "I am a firm believer that to have a cohesive community, one must
have active participants."

Adopt-a-Crag Day Coordinator Kate Cavicchio is thrilled by the positive
response from the climbing community. "I commend everyone who was involved with
the third annual Adopt-a-Crag Day - our sponsors, event organizers, business
owners, and the thousands of dedicated climbers who sacrificed a day of
climbing and got their hands dirty in the spirit of conservation. Adopt-a-Crag
day is a perfect way for climbers to show other user groups that we are
responsible stewards of the land."

2. The Forest Service To Prohibit Climbing At Cave Rock, NV
Cave Rock, a well-known crag on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, could be closed
to climbing as early as this December to accommodate the religious concerns of
the local Washoe tribe. The Access Fund has been working for 8 years to keep
Cave Rock open to climbing, but the new preferred alternative of the Forest
Service would eliminate all climbing activities at the site. Other "noninvasive
recreation" such as hiking, picnicking, stargazing, boating, and fishing would
be allowed to continue at Cave Rock. Likewise, use of the four-lane highway
that tunnels through the sacred site will remain unchanged.

In the Washoe Tribe's view, the physical effects of rock climbing and the mere
presence of climbers on the rock are considered to be insensitive, distracting,
and incompatible with their traditional spiritual activities. In addition, rock
climbing "affects the setting, feel, and association" of the Cave Rock
Traditional Cultural Property (TCP), a legal property designation protected
under the National Historic Preservation Act. Washoe elders have expressed
specific concern regarding female climbers at the site, noting that the
presence of women is a particular desecration. According to the Washoe, the
intimate contact between climbers and Cave Rock leads to an exchange of power
between the rock and climbers that affects the TCP. Thus, vehicles traveling
through the tunnels are transitory and do not affect the rock as much as
climbers. The Washoe would prefer that only their recognized spiritual doctors
be allowed access to Cave Rock; the Forest Service have accommodated their
wishes only to the extent that climbers will be excluded -- all other
recreational and transportation uses will be allowed to continue, unchanged.

Because Cave Rock is public property, the Forest Service has an obligation to
explore management alternatives that do not unfairly benefit one group at the
expense of another (especially where religious preferences are concerned).
Indeed, a mandatory closure to climbing at Cave Rock raises significant
Constitutional concerns. There are numerous examples across the country where
federal land managers have effectively balanced cultural concerns with
recreational use, including: Hueco Tanks, Devils Tower (AKA Bear Lodge), and
the Red River Gorge. The Access Fund educates climbers about Native American
religious beliefs and ceremonies where they affect climbing resources or
access. This is consistent with the Access Fund's policy of developing
cooperative, non-regulatory solutions to competing uses of public lands.

The Access Fund believes that the majority of climbers in the United States are
sympathetic to Native American concerns and will sacrifice climbing
opportunities to respect Native American religion -- without the burden of
exclusionary regulations. This belief is substantiated by the results of the
voluntary closure at Devils Tower, which has led to a remarkable 85% (or more)
decline in climber visitation during the month of June. The Access Fund
believes that climbers will and should support a similar policy at Cave Rock,
and that the Forest Service should select Alternative 2 (Manage Sport Climbing
to Reduce Effects on Cave Rock TCP -- and allow climbers to voluntarily respect
Washoe religious concerns. Likewise, the AF believes that the preferred
alternative (Alternative 6, the Maximum Immediate Protection of Heritage
Resource) is too extreme a management direction and inevitably raises serious
Constitutional concerns.

The Forest Service threatened to close Cave Rock several years ago. At that
time, the Access Fund was successful in convincing the agency that Cave Rock
should remain open to climbing and provided a joint education effort that
encouraged climbers to climb elsewhere out of respect for Washoe religious
beliefs. In 1998, with the urging of the Access Fund, the Forest Service
released a draft plan for Cave Rock with a preferred alternative allowing
climbing. The climbing community submitted comments and supported this former
preferred alternative. The new restrictive preferred alternative that prohibits
climbing was not part of the 1998 draft Cave Rock plan. It is only now
available for public review and comment.

The Forest Service's recently issued Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) --
prohibiting climbing entirely -- on the Cave Rock Management Direction. It can
be viewed at
Write the Forest Service in support of Alternative 2 and opposing Alternative
6. Alternative 2 would allow public access, including rock climbing, on the
National Forest at Cave Rock. However, climbing would be managed to decrease
the current level of use by reducing the number of climbing routes. Thus, under
Alternative 2, most existing routes will remain accessible. However, no new
bolt installation, or creation of new routes, would be permitted. Maintenance
of existing routes by climbers would be conducted only with prior permission
from the Forest Service. Tell the Forest Service that selecting Alternative 2
and allowing for a voluntary closure at Cave Rock is the best way to balance
recreational and Native American interests. Write to:

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Attn: Cave Rock
870 Emerald Bay Road, Suite 1
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Or email John Maher, Archaeologist for the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, at

3. Climbing Continues at Boat Rock, GA
(Report from Southeast Climbers' Coalition website)
Boat Rock is a small, urban boulder field with a long history of storied
climbers. Names like Robyn Ebersfield, Ron Kauk, Bob Cormany, Curtis Glass,
Shannon Stegg, Rich Gottlieb, and Jerry Roberts ring throughout the nearly mile
long stretch of egg-shaped granite boulders. The climbing at Boat Rock is very
technical and requires immense balance and footwork. There are lots of delicate
slabs; but just when you think you've figured out Boat Rock, you come across a
climb like the steep "Titanic" or the bulgy "Paint Can" which are sure to
stretch your climbing imagination.

Within the past few years, the urban sprawl of Atlanta began to consume the
once isolated bouldering area. Much of the "Back Side" has been recently
subdivided into a residential area while the area around the lake is slated for
high-density commercial use. The SCC worked continuously with the developer to
save the area around the lake and create a public park. The local climbing
community galvanized. With the assistance of a $10,000 Access Fund grant, they
purchased a 7.8-acre tract -- now open to the public.

Some tips while climbing at Boat Rock:
*Please use a bouldering pad and spotter for safety.
*Carpool and park in the new gravel lot at 1220 Boat Rock Road.
*Stay away from the house at the far west side of the new 7.8-acre tract.
*Respect all private landowners in the area and be courteous.
*Be careful cleaning new problems, stay away from fern laden tops (Resurrection
fern) of boulders.
*Carry out all trash and debris.
*No climbing after dark.

Also, remember the "Float the Boat" bouldering competition on December 7th,
sponsored by The Southeastern Climbers Coalition. For more information, visit

4. Access Fund CFC Number
During this year's Combined Federal Campaign, please designate the Access Fund
on your pledge card. The AF number is 2361 and can be found under the
Conservation and Preservation Charities of America Link at

5. Vertical Times Newsletter on AF Website
The Vertical Times newsletter, the Access Fund's bimonthly publication,
provides up-to-date news on policy, area reports, events, action alerts,
grants, and more. It is a benefit to members and non-members alike (if you are
not a member, please join at;
indeed, it is a benefit to the entire climbing community. By offering this
unique publication electronically, the Access Fund will decrease printing and
mailing costs and allocate more funds to protect YOUR CLIMBING FUTURE. If you
choose to take part in this effort, and cease shipment of the Vertical Times to
your home, please email your name/address to with "Remove
Vertical Times" as the subject.

In response to the October Virtual Times #24, over 100 members have requested
not to receive their print copy of Vertical Times (a savings to the Access Fund
of $300+ per year, which will be utilized to protect YOUR CLIMBING FUTURE).

To view back issues of Vertical Times, visit

6. Holiday Merchandise Sale!
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 climbing
partner! Order today by calling 303-545-6772 x107 or visiting

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.

[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-11-27 10:06 ]


Dec 19, 2002, 4:55 PM
Post #2 of 2 (1579 views)

Registered: Aug 13, 2002
Posts: 2450

AF Adopt-A-Crag Summary [In reply to]
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Thanks for the post Adam.

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