Nov. 09, 2007
Canyons of the Ancients N.M. Management Plan
As most of you know, the CANM plan is out (http://www.blm.gov/rmp/canm
). We need to have as many climbers attend the public meetings as possible. It is not the only opportunity to have input to the plan, but the more times we have input into the input process, the more we can “plant the seed” they will understand the importance of the monument to local climbers. The two people you will want to voice your concerns with at the meeting will be Penny Wu (Recreation Manager), and Lou Ann Jacobson (Monument Manager). Although the Plan is 900+ pages in length, try to read relevant sections as it deals to climbing. You can comment on the plan as an individual, but we should also submit comments collectively as a coalition so we stay consistent with our comments. Below is a draft strategy we developed to comment on the plan. Some of you have already stated your interest in being part of a committee to comment on the plan. If anyone is interested in helping out let us know. We are planning on having a strategy planning meeting on Monday evening, Nov 12. If anyone is interested in attending, call Paul @ 739-4809. Also below is a brief summary of alternatives of what we found in the plan as it pertains to climbing.
Tentative CANM Plan Strategy
Alternative Summary Alternative 1
|1) Review Plan||Immediately|
|2) 4CCC meets to discuss strategy and position statement ||Nov 12, 2007|
|3) Ask Access Fund to comment on Plan||Immediately|
|4) Local climbers show up to public meetings ||Durango – Nov. 13|
Cortez – Nov. 14
|5) Work with Access Fund in developing comments on Plan ||On-going|
|6) Submit comments||Jan. 25|
– No Action -No restrictions on climbing Alternative 2
– No climbing in monument Alternative 3
– No climbing in monument Alternative 4
– Climbing in designated areas only (Even though they do not mention where the designated area is, it is most likely the established Yellow Jacket crag. We will need to clarify this with the Monument) Alternative 5 (Preferred Alternative*)
- Climbing in designated areas only (i.e.- Yellow Jacket)
*Even though Alternative 5 is the preferred alternative, they do not have to choose it. They could even use a combination of alternatives. Any deviation from the preferred alternative will likely be the result from what CANM hears from the public meetings and sees in the written comments. We will need to comment on each alternative. Our comments could include: 1) there is established climbing areas outside of the Yellow Jacket crag, 2) why we think climbing should be allowed outside of the known established Yellow Jacket crag, 3) there is nothing in the EIS that provides evidence that climbing in CANM has or will negatively affect resources, ……
Hawkins Preserve Climbing Closure Update
Steve Johnson has been communicating with Todd Starr, the lawyer for Hawkins, about the liability issue with the closure. As soon as they work out the liability concerns of Hawkins, we’ll take the next step of approaching the Hawkins Board to resolve the other issues they have voiced.
Tell your friends to sign up with us as members. It costs nothing, and they will be notified of climbing access issues in the Four Corners area. Also, we will have more pull with our coalition if we can say we represent 100 local climbers, verses saying we represent 10 climbers. Have them send their name, number, and e-mail to this link: (http://www.freewebs.com/4cornersclimbing/mailinglist.htm
It's Official, We're an Access Fund Affiliate
Ivan has worked with the Access Fund to establish 4CCC as an affiliate with AF (our link can be found at http://www.accessfund.org/regions/lco/CO
). Steve Johnson has submitted the following briefs on our access issues for inclusion in the Access Fund's next newsletters:
Canyons of the Ancients Draft Management Plan Comment Period
The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (CANM) near Cortez, Colorado has released a draft Resource Management Plan. It is available for review at the following website: http://www.blm.gov/rmp/canm/deis.html
. The draft RMP comment period ends on January 25, 2008. Several local public comment meetings are scheduled for November.
There is some new route activity in CANM on weathered Dakota sandstone, mostly around Yellow Jacket Crag. These routes mostly consist of bolted face climbs; other areas are being explored and new-routed as well. The RMP preferred alternative (# 5) reportedly proposes to restrict rock climbing to unidentified designated areas, with little documentation or analysis of climbing impacts (relative to permitted oil and gas and grazing activities), to the consternation of local climbers. Public comment supportive of expanded rock climbing opportunities and freedoms, and argument that climbing can be expanded and also managed to avoid archeological resource impacts, could help modify the final plan.
4CCC Established; Hawkins Preserve Closure
A new climbers organization, the 4CCC (Four Corners Climbing Coalition) has formed in the Cortez/Dolores area to address the proposed CANM climbing restrictions and other regional issues, including the recent Hawkins Preserve bouldering area closure. The Hawkins Preserve is located in southern Cortez along McElmo Creek and was established to protect archaeological and natural features. It contains some fine bouldering along hard Dakota sandstone bluffs. The 4CCC is working with the Hawkins Preserve owners and The Access Fund to try to resolve liability and resource protection concerns. 4CCC is considering Access Fund affiliation and is welcoming new members. 4CCC can be contacted at: http://www.freewebs.com/4cornersclimbing/contactus.htm
. For more information, contact Ivan Messinger at 739.8072 or at email@example.com.