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Partner rrrADAM


Jun 13, 2002, 1:45 AM
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Access Fund's e-Vertical Times (Action Alert)
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Please read and ACT accordingly. Even if you cannot afford to donate, you can contact the appropriate persons and make a difference.

IN THIS ALERT:
1. Probable Closure of Cave Rock at Lake Tahoe
2. National Day of Action on June 15 regarding the
Fee Demo issue



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1. Probable Closure of Cave Rock at Lake Tahoe

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Cave Rock, a well-known crag on the south shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada, will likely be closed to climbing sometime this year. A strong and rapid response from climbers is required to stop this closure.

The Access Fund has been working to keep Cave Rock open for climbing since 1995. Cave Rock has been popular with climbers for more than 20 years, and provides sport aclimbing opportunities even in winter, when most other local cliffs are unclimbable.

Cave Rock straddles US Highway 50 (four lanes tunnel directly through the formation) so local climbers never imagined there would be a problem with climbing there, other than possible safety issues. It was a surprise when the Washoe tribe complained about climbers to the US Forest Service, which owns the portion of the rock where the climbing routes are.

Since that time the Access Fund, working with local climbers, has tried to negotiate a compromise, which would keep Cave Rock open for climbing on a limited basis. We have repeatedly suggested solutions similar to that in effect at Devils Tower – “voluntary closures” for limited time periods. We agreed to remove some routes and that no new routes should be established.

Despite our efforts, 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, but that a joint education effort would encourage climbers to climb elsewhere out of respect for Washoe religious beliefs.
However, in May Access Fund Regional Coordinator Paul Minault (former recipient of the Mark Bebie Award, the Access Fund’s highest honor for climber activism) met with a high-level Forest Service official with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. This official informed Minault that Cave Rock will likely be closed to climbing because of the religious concerns of the Washoe.

The Access Fund works to educate climbers about Native American religious beliefs and ceremonies, where these 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 vast 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 Devil’s 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 make a voluntary closure their preferred planning alternative. A mandatory closure to climbing at Cave Rock raises significant Constitutional concerns. The Access Fund will continue to work to convince the Forest Service to adopt a more progressive policy for Cave Rock, but we need your help. Please write the Forest Service and tell them that a voluntary closure at Cave Rock is the best way to balance recreational and Native American interests. Write to:

Maribeth Gustafson, Forest Supervisor
United States Forest Service
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
870 Emerald Bay Road, Suite 1
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

See our website at http://www.accessfund.org/programs/programs_tool.html for a sample letter to the Forest Service on the Cave Rock issue. For more information, call Jason Keith, AF Policy Analyst, at 303-545-6772 x102.


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2. National Day of Action against recreational use fees

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June 15th, 2002 has been declared a National Day of Action to protest the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program and urge Congress to restore adequate funding to our public lands. The Access Fund urges all climbers to participate in the process of supporting the funding and management of recreation on our nation's public lands.

Please see the website http://www.wildwilderness.org/docs/2002doa.htm, attend an event near you and support the continuation of the 100 year American heritage of access for all to public lands.

We have developed a formal position statement on use fees: The Access Fund opposes use fees for public lands because such fees are a barrier to access. However, the Fund does not oppose fees for services or use of developed facilities such as campgrounds. Human-powered backcountry recreation (climbing and hiking), which requires little if any infrastructure, should not require a special use fee. Recreational access to the public domain, except for National Park Service lands, sho uld be free of any charge.

The Access Fund is deeply concerned about the increased loss of free access to public lands. America’s national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, recreation areas and open spaces are the heritage of every citizen and access to these lands must be preserved. Congress should provide funding for the necessary protection and maintenance of our public lands and their recreational facilities through annual budget appropriations. The Fee Demo program, which has been unfair, arbitrary, unpopular, and inconsistently applied across resource areas, should not be continued.





[ This Message was edited by: rrradam on 2002-06-13 01:49 ]


pushfurther


Jun 14, 2002, 8:22 AM
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i think the washoe are behaving in a juvenile manner..i mean, this "sacred rock" has a four lane highway going through it..


killclimbz


Jun 14, 2002, 8:54 AM
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I agree, have you seen this rock? It is no way of the stature of a Devil's Tower. I mean if they consider this rock sacred, then I wouldn't be that suprised if there was a petrified turd out there they also consider sacred.


radistrad


Jun 14, 2002, 9:04 AM
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The American Indians probably want to turn it into a casino!
I think that the "voluntary closure" is the way to go.
Did ya all know that in 1998 or 1999 (I forget which year) that not a single American Indian showed up at Devils Tower during their "sacred" period.
So why then, do they not want climbers on it?
I just dont understand...
I will do what I can to help keep Cave Rock open, even though most of the climbnig is far harder than I ever plan to climb.


climbchick


Jun 21, 2002, 9:23 PM
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If climbers are to be banned because the rock is "sacred" then the bloody highway should be shut down too. Stuff like this really gets me all bent out of shape, especially late at night.


Partner rrrADAM


Jun 21, 2002, 9:48 PM
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I have been there, too small for a casino , and it is a sacred place to the indians, as their ancestors held ceremonies there. It is a large cave on the shore of South Lake Tahoe.

My personal oppinion, is that if we as climbers are not willing to show some respect and willingness to allow another culture their beliefs, then why should we "as a culure of climbers" expect anyone else to respect what we want to do. I think that a "volluntary closure", like that at Devil's Tower, is appropriate. But even if they close it all together, we have enough climbing in that area for many lifetimes, and there are only a handfull of climbs there anyway. We should do our best to make it a limited "voluntary closure", but respect them in the end anyway, as we wish to be respected anyway.

Part of being responsible is being reasonable, and understanding that we cannot have it all our way, and that we have to make concessions to negotiate a comprimise that is reasonable to all parties involved.



'ratstar'... Let me give you an example. LDS owns most of LCC and allows us to climb there, except for the areas above their vaults. There is good climbing up there... So if we were to go climb up there even though it is restricted, and the LDS closes LCC to all climbing, who would be to blame ??? Not the LDS, they allowed us in the first place, we didn't show the respect and appreciate the climbing that they allowed us and were greedy.


I hope I have made my point, but this is just my oppinion.




rrrADAM


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