Fixed Anchor Ban Lifted at Castle Rocks State Park

01/26/2016

We are pleased to announce that the temporary ban on new fixed anchors at Castle Rocks State Park in Idaho has been lifted. In October of last year, the Superintendent of Castle Rocks State Park issued a temporary moratorium on placing new fixed anchors within the park in order to formalize the permit application process and revise its climbing management plan. The Access Fund worked with local climbers and route developers—including Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, East Idaho Climber Coalition, Boise Climbing Alliance, Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition, and a representative from the local guiding community—to organize our position and assure the best outcome for the climbing community.

Access Fund sent policy staff to participate in a Work Group with the Superintendent and State Park officials to discuss future route development activities, mitigating impacts and user conflicts, and updating climbing policies. The Work Group developed a list of edits and changes to be incorporated into the revised climbing management plan. The Superintendent released a draft of the revised climbing management plan for internal review by the Work Group, after which we had another opportunity to comment on the park's proposed guidelines for climbing management.

The Superintendent reviewed our comments and made many positive changes to the final climbing management plan, which was released last week. There will not be any significant changes to climbing in Castle Rocks State Park. Prior to bolting any new routes, all route developers will need to apply with the park, receive an onsite orientation, and sign off on the guidelines in the climbing management plan. All new routes will need to be reported back to the park once they are complete.

Participants from the Work Group—including representatives from Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, East Idaho Climber Coalition, Boise Climbing Alliance, Southern Idaho Climbers Coalition, the Access Fund's Public Land Associate, a member from the guiding community and local route developers—will be formalizing a Climbing Resource Advisory Group (CRAG). CRAG will provide park staff with insight on decisions related to technical rock climbing at Castle Rocks State Park, work with park staff to develop climbing plans, assist with general recommendations regarding climbing, provide technical assistance and guidance to fixed anchor management, and coordinate volunteer projects.

Local climbers interested in joining CRAG or getting more information can contact policy@accessfund.org.

Photo courtesy of Wallace Keck.