-The UMP's state that our user group creates herd paths and contributes to erosion problems:
There are presently no official trails to any climbing areas in the DMWA. This situation has caused the proliferation of herd paths, causing erosion problems and development of extraneous trails. Several popular rock climbing areas, including the Beer Walls near Chapel Pond are laced by a network of impromptu trails. These trails follow no sort of order and are often in locations that are causing severe compaction and erosion and other related resource impacts.
-The DEC is going to spend $15,000 dollars and close the free camping sites next to the outlet of Chapel Pond so they can construct an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Canoe launch. These sites are the only legal and free camping options for traveling climbers who want to stay close to the climbing areas and not have to hike in to a backpacking site to camp. How many disabled folks will actually use the new launch vs. how many climbers stay at these camping sites during a climbing season?
__________________________________________________________________________________________o Improve the canoe launching site at the north shore of Chapel Pond and access from the highway to provide accessibility for people with disabilities. Close two designated camping sites at this location and convert into 6 car accessible parking area. Provide directional signage at the Chapel Pond parking area directing users to the launch site. Consultation with APA will be necessary to ensure that the launch structure complies with APSLMP guidelines.
Improve disabled access to car-top boat access site at Chapel Pond. Convert existing camping area to 6 car parking area.
oSign the launch area to prohibit camping and parking of motor vehicles.
Lest you think we will be forgotten after the plans are finalized, information pulled from the "Management Objectives" section:
oManage rock climbing sites to minimize environmental impacts.
o All rock climbing groups in the Chapel Pond - "Beer Walls " area or the King Philips Spring area will be limited by regulation to a maximum size of 8 persons and limited to utilizing a maximum of one distinct climbing route at a given time. Affiliated groups shall meet the separation distanced identified above. Department regulations will be promulgated to take effect in YEAR TWO of the plan implementation. The public will be alerted to the impending change through an information and education effort during YEAR ONE. To minimize the risk associated with rock and ice climbing rescue operations, the Department will continue rescue training operations in these areas. It is expected that the size of the Department training groups will exceed the group size limits on no more than 8 occasions in a given calendar year. The regulations will not prohibit this group.
oStabilize soil at the top and base of climbing routes where erosion is identified as a problem.