Author Topic: Post 4 - Update on Giant/Dix UMP's & Fixed Anchors  (Read 353 times)

Offline arockclimber

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Post 4 - Update on Giant/Dix UMP's & Fixed Anchors
« on: March 03, 2003, 07:44:33 pm »
Now that you've seen some information pulled from the plans here are some interesting arguments put forward by climbers at the DEC public comment meeting.

     -Climbers volunteer their time for the good of the land and to aid the DEC whenever called upon.  The past two years local outdoor stores have set up "Adopt a Crag Days" with the DEC to do trail work at the Beer Walls and Spiders Web with volunteers.  Climbers intend to continue this work every year going forward.  

     -Local climbers aid the DEC with locating Peregrine falcon nest sites, and all climbers fully support restricting climbing access during nesting season to insure the success of these majestic birds.   (When I climb I feel a close kinship to these birds.  What climber hasn't watched a falcon float effortlessly next to us on the cliffs and wished we could do the same with such power and grace?)

     -Local climbers aid the DEC with technical rescues.  The DEC doesn't have enough resources to deal with technical rock or ice rescues.  There is a list of local guides and very experienced local climbers who will drop anything in a heartbeat, and will respond as quickly as they can to assist the DEC when a climber or hiker is in trouble on technical terrain.

     -The federal government is back peddling when it comes to banning fixed anchors in many areas, leaving local management to asses the situation.  Many federal, regional, and local land managers now think twice before calling a fixed anchor an "installation".

     -Some think that the DEC's interpretation of 6 NYCRR 190.8(g) is too literal.  Here is the complete code for 6 NYCRR 190.8(g)-
__________________________________________________________________________________________g. No person shall deface, remove, destroy or otherwise injure in any manner whatsoever any tree, flower, shrub, fern, moss or other plant, rock, fossil or mineral found or growing on State land, excepting under permit from the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation and the Assistant Commissioner for State Museum and Science Service, pursuant to section 233 of the Education Law as amended by chapter 121 of the Laws of 1958, nor shall songbirds and their nests and other wildlife be molested or disturbed at any time, except during the open season therefore, if any.

     -If the DEC is to equitably and fairly enforce this policy with all user groups, there will be lots of unhappy people.  The hikers will have to stop using crampons and hiking poles, because they "deface" the rocks on hiking trails with "scars".  The bushwackers will have to stay on trail now, because off trail travel destroys and injures trees, plans, and ferns.  Hunters and fisherman do the same when they walk off trail or in a stream.

     -We should refer to rock, ice, aid, and snow climbing as MOUNTAINEERING.  This keeps us together with a unified interest, and mountaineering is a "conforming use" according to the 2001 update of the APSLMP (Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan).  "Conforming use" list pulled from the APSLMP:

__________________________________________________________________________________________Recreational use and overuse
1. The following types of recreational use are compatible with
wilderness and should be encouraged as long as the degree and intensity of such use does not endanger the wilderness resource itself: hiking, mountaineering, tenting, hunting, fishing, trapping, snowshoeing, ski touring, birding, nature study, and other forms of primitive and unconfined recreation.

     -Most folks support the proposed restrictions on large groups at the Beer Walls and King Phillips Spring with some modifications.  Most agree that the maximum group size should be from 6 to 10 climbers.  Many thought that restricting groups to one route will make environmental damage worse by having lots of climbers walking around the base while they wait to climb.  Suggestions of allowing two ropes per group were put forward.  Other suggested expanding the restrictions to all areas to prevent "bleed over" to other areas.  If groups are only restricted from certain areas, they will move to others that are not restricted.  This would further expand concentrated impact damage into areas not previously favored by large groups.