Minnewaska State Park Will Consider New Climbing Opportunities

Date: 6/11/2010

Last fall we asked climbers to comment on a master plan for Minnewaska State Park Preserve, and urge park planners to consider climbing opportunities in the Park. The initial draft plan would have banned climbing throughout most of the park despite the presence of many high quality crags. See our comments here. Last spring we also asked you to write New York State legislators and advocate for preserving funding for state parks like Minnewaska.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) just released the final Master Plan for Minnewaska and unlike the restrictive draft plan, the final plan directs that a climbing management plan will be developed for the Preserve indicating areas suitable and unsuitable for rock climbing. Given the current budget constants, as well as the agency’s various mandates, this plan is about as good as the climbing community could have realistically hoped for and it’s good news that Minnewaska will now consider future climbing opportunities throughout most of the park subject to environmental study. While the plan is still flawed (ice climbing will remain banned and OPRHP will exclude the entire Palmaghatt Ravine from the future climbing management plan) climbers should also be encouraged by the fact that the Master Plan elevates a future climbing management plan into the list of “Priority 1” projects for the park and thus should receive funding sooner than later. We applaud OPRHP and Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC) for listening to the climbing community and considering new environmentally responsible climbing opportunities.

For more information, contact the Gunks Climbers Coalition.