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AdkMCo- The Adirondack Mountaineering Coalition
The fall meeting of the Adirondack Mountaineering Coalition is this Saturday, October 14th.
Cave Rock, NV Update:
Access Fund Lawsuit Still Pending, Climbing Remains Closed. Over a year ago in mid-August of 2005 the Access Fund filed its most recent legal brief at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the on-going attempt to keep climbing open at Cave Rock, a popular and important climbing area on the shore of Lake Tahoe in Nevada.
Concho Valley Climbers Association, Texas
Through positive communication with the local government and presenting climbers as a legitimate and viable resource to their community, the Concho Valley Climbers Association (CVCA) works with the City of San Angelo, Texas, through the Parks Dept. to develop and open climbing areas in the region.
Denver, Colorado Climbers Needed
Wanted: Climbers in and around Denver, Colorado interested in becoming active in climbing access and conservation. Please contact Deanne Buck, Programs Director at Deanne@AccessFund.org or 303.545.6772 x112
Proposition 106 - Conserving Arizona's Future
Passage of Proposition 106 on November 7th would allow about 400,000 acres of the 7,000,000 acres total of State Trust Lands to be used for Conservation. Without that designation the current system of selling State Trust Land to the highest bidder would continue and where there are now trails and climbing areas there will be houses and gated communities.
San Diego Update
The very popular Santee Boulders, long known to be on private property, now see housing development threatening access. Local climbers are imploring the city of San Diego to set aside the parcel containing the boulders for mitigation.
Owls Head Cliff, NH
The 380+/- acre Owls Head Cliff property is currently listed for sale with a real estate broker. If sold on the private market the property would likely be developed into second homes/vacation homes and an incredible community recreation resource and critical wildlife habitat could be permanently lost.
Southwest Colorado Update
Falls Wall and Bridal Veil Falls, Telluride, Colorado. The Falls Wall is located next to Bridal Veil Falls at an elevation of over 9500 feet. It has recently seen development of several hundred sport climbs of up to 300 ft. on high quality conglomerate rock. The Falls Wall is covered in Charlie Fowler and Damon Johnstons guide, Telluride Rocks, 3rd Edition, and is one of the premier alpine sport crags in Colorado.
Upcoming Changes for Little Rock City, TN
Below are the current parameters for upcoming changes to visitation at LRC (The Stone Fort)-All changes will be in place beginning October 1 2006. These changes are being made by the landowner with the long-term goal of maintaining access for climbers.
U.S. Forest Service in Oregon Attempts to Criminalize Fixed Anchors
The Access Fund received news from Medford, OR that the US Attorneys Office contacted a local defense attorney indicating that a citation will be dismissed that charged a climber with illegal bolting.
This particular citation was dismissed because there appears to be no legal restrictions on the using anchor bolts on the Winema Forest. For the last several weeks the Access Fund and local Oregon climbing community had rallied behind this issue, urging both national and local USFS officials to drop this charge and follow management policies more consistent with national guidelines that allow the use and placement of fixed anchors on National Forest System land.
This is an ominous development for climbers and if not stopped, could lead to severe restrictions on developing new routes and new areas on federally-managed land elsewhere.
In the first case, climbers were charged under 16 USC 551 for failure to remove personal property to wit: rock climbing gear at the Sprague River Picnic Area near Bly, Oregon. The gear that was not removed consisted of bolts and top anchorssafety equipment that is intended to remain permanently in place. The climbers were also issued a written warning that they had violated 36 CFR 261.10(a): rock climbing gear placed and maintained on National Forest when such activity requires a special use permit.
In the second case, a climber was issued two citations under 36 CFR 261.10(a): building or maintaining trails without a special use permit. The climber had put up climbing routes that used fixed anchors for protection, replaced old, poorly located bolts used primarily for top-roping, and had improved a badly-eroding access trail at the Williamson Cliffs near Klamath Falls, Oregon. In these citations, the USFS law enforcement officer claimed that putting up a climbing route was the same thing as constructing a hiking trail, which requires a special issue permit. In both these cases the citations are without merit and the Access fund is supporting local Oregon climbers with their legal defense efforts.
Forest Service policy does not require that a climber obtain a special use permit to go rock climbing, whether climbing established routes or developing new ones. Nor has the USFS previously equated fixed anchors (bolts, pitons, etc.) with abandoned personal property (e.g. junker cars, hazardous materials). In both cases, the climbing occurred on USFS land that was not under a special management designation, such as Wilderness, proposed wilderness, traditional cultural property, or Research Natural Area. Climbing was not prohibited in either area at the time the climbers were cited, and both areas have long been used for climbing, particularly the Williamson Cliffs.
A trial date of August 31st has been set for one of the cited climbers. The climber has hired an attorney, and Access Fund Policy Director Jason Keith will testify as an expert witness for the defense explaining why the interpretations made by the USFS law enforcement officers are unprecedented, in opposition to established policy, and therefore unlawful.
This trial will be very important in determining whether the USFS, and likely other federal land agencies, will recognize the legitimacy of using fixed anchors when climbing on federal land.