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Author Topic: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney  (Read 358 times)

OldEric

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Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« on: March 27, 2007, 03:40:48 PM »

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/white_mountain/projects/projects/assessments/rumney_rocks/rumney_rocks_scoping.pdf

Whoops - you can't just click throught - you'll have to cut and paste.

Thoughts?
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joane

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 05:17:29 PM »

Surprise OE, , you  CAN click on the link you gave and get to the  4 page  report.

I read through it very quickly and will offer  more thoughts on it later .

 I' m not sure what they mean  by their   determining  when   it is acceptable   "socially" and "environmentally" to do mixed and  ice climbing there... :'(
Sounds like there are  some  reasonable ideas for  plans concerning  various environmental issues but  I'd be interested in  learning about  specifics from people who  have climb there.
I guess many climbers will be happy if they  prohibit placing more fixed protection there! Then again, others will be happy if  bolt chopping is curtailed, that is if it happens there of course and I have no idea if it does..
It could become oppressive if there is  too much regulation envisioned for the climbing area, I'll have to re read the report.  While  there could be some  benefits to physical trail maintenance and the like and infusion of $$$$ for it, extracting fines  and penalties for violations  can really create a lot of upheaval for community relations too. Kids generally don't have a lot of spare change... and kids do a lot of climbing. So if rules are made and enforced in a draconian  way,  climbers , often  especially  young climbers might suffer unnecessarily for "infractions" of "rules" but this really depends on  how it is handled.
 I imagine that the community likes having  people  climb there  now  in view of the $$ they bring in for  food, chalk , etc etc?
It would be nice if the parking was more accommodating I think but I am not sure they contemplate this , again I'll reread the report. But many climbers might see additional or improved parking conditions as unattractive development.  Still   there are so many climbs there, it would be nice if  more parking  could be  made. Also less haggling I would  guess on finding parking? 
So there are  some good  and not so good aspects as always.
 Aren't there a lot of parameters for using the area  resulting from when this area was purchased from the private landowner's and sold to the Forest Service? Wasn't there some kind  of use plan  made then?

Comments on this Report are  due April 20th...not much time.  It certainly is a beautiful spot to climb at Rumney.
Thanks OE.
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bluesnpolitics

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 07:56:00 PM »

As long as they don't charge climbers, I don't care what they do. Rumney is so populated already that I can't imagine the forest service doing too much to mess it up. I assume they are worried about holds breaking when they refer to controlling mixed climbing. If that is the case, they shouldn't limit pure ice climbing. I don't like the idea of too much oversite for climbing crags, but I'm actually surprised it has taken this long for Rumney to get this kind of attention. Sounds like a good idea to me as long as climbers stay involved.
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slink

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 10:57:58 AM »

The good things of this plan would be a trail to keep people off of the road,trail maintenance,parking lot work and erosion control.The work that has been put into the area has been great and done by a few good people<Thanks.Mixed climbing in Rumney would either destroy the endangered fern habitat or be on an existing route,which could break off holds.So far most climbers respect the perigrine closures and the fern habitat so it has not been an issue yet.Most cliffs in Rumney have had there potential worked to the max,except for a few of the outer cliffs which are being developed.Have fun and climb safe.
 Jim :D
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jclimbs

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 03:33:48 PM »

To me it sure looks like the Forest Service proposal is all about making it better for climbing there.  I don't think a new fixed protection restriction and mixed climbing limitation would be a bad idea, even though those could be considered restrictions. Bottom line is Rumney has indeeed become so crowded and is full of a lot of "clueless" climbers that something has to be done.  What they propose sounds like a definite improvement. As far as establishing fines for violations, I don't care how old you are! If you are old enough to climb there on your own you are old enough to be responsible and act accordingly.  Respect, responsibility and accountability should have no age exemptions.

The only thing I'd like to see them add is a NO DOGS rule.  This topic has been discussed on this and many other forums - at Rumney the dog thing has really gotten out of control.
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Admin Al

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 05:27:26 PM »

The only thing I'd like to see them add is a NO DOGS rule.  This topic has been discussed on this and many other forums - at Rumney the dog thing has really gotten out of control.

I don't think No Dogs is necessary. just a Dogs Must Be Leashed. that would be A-OK.

--al
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jclimbs

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 08:54:14 AM »

Al, unfortunately I disagree, even though I am a dog owner and lover of all creatures myself.  The problem with Dogs Must Be Leashed rule is that it won't be enforced.  People will unleash them at the crags. And having dogs there in addition to all the overcrowding with people adds to the erosion and impact (fecal, etc).  I'd love to take my dog climbing but it just isn't appropriate anymore (IMHO). Then again, as I said, that was a different thread a while back.   :) A Leash Law would be better than nothing at all, but I feel a No Dogs rule is easier to enforce and will improve the climbing there for everyone.  The Forest Service wants to know what will improve climbing there, not necessarily what makes everyone happy.
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Admin Al

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 12:54:30 PM »

A Leash Law would be better than nothing at all, but I feel a No Dogs rule is easier to enforce and will improve the climbing there for everyone.  The Forest Service wants to know what will improve climbing there, not necessarily what makes everyone happy.

good point... frankly I just leave Riley at home these days. I think that he misses going out to the crag with me, but I don't like to leave him tied up for hours & I don't like to let him run around all over by himself for hours while I climb. it's probably for the best.

--al
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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2007, 02:08:09 PM »

seems ok over all, especially the paths,  but some things to think about:

"These concerns relate to the physical environment of Rattlesnake Mountain, and the social aspect of the climbing community."

"When issues are no longer effectively addressed by application of standards and guidelines,
climbing plans for specific areas should be developed to minimize environmental and social
impacts. WMNF Land and Resource Management Plan page 2-22."

I wonder what this means - a few rotten apples or just the large increase in use???

"Establish a moratorium on new fixed climbing protection on selected crags. This moratorium
will be located on crags that:
Are identified as having Threatened, Endangered or Sensitive plant species.
Are potential new nesting sites of Peregrine Falcons.
Social concerns have indicated that the crag has reached the carrying capacity for
fixed protection."

Sounds like no more new routes as this could be a very broad and flexible definition.

"Establish where and when mixed (rock and ice) climbing at Rumney Rocks is environmentally
and socially acceptable."

where and when??? between what dates? Wonder what mixed climbing being "socially acceptable" means? Cannot ice climb on estabilished rock routes as that scars the rock and pisses people off???

"Construct hardened staging and belay areas, clearly defined at the base of the crags."

Will these areas be required use? If they are full does that mean you cannot climb there as they are required use?

This wont be cheap to do - I bet you can count on increased parking fees and/or use fees like at the Gunks.
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tradmanclimbz

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2007, 04:31:49 PM »

Those stageing  belay areas are allready there in many places. just open your eyes and you will see how much work has been done. often you are standing right on it and take it for granted. Yes you should stay on the trails and  within the stageing areas. If they are full then the climbs are also most likly full.
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joane

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 05:27:30 PM »

 I'd like to just clarify a bit  in response to jclimbs,  " As far as establishing fines for violations, I don't care how old you are! If you are old enough to climb there on your own you are old enough to be responsible and act accordingly.  Respect, responsibility and accountability should have no age exemptions."

Would you want to be  fined for:
knocking down lichen off rocks?
knocking down loose rock? (aren't you supposed to  do that in sport climbing areas?)
failing to walk single file  on a path?
climbing a rock route in the winter  using crampons? ice axe?  pitons? ice screws?
leaving your gear, markers whatever there?
using colored webbing at  rappel points if not otherwise in place?

What is "socially acceptable" mixed climbing?
Never on  Sundays? or only on  rock routes already impacted with bolting? or prohibitions on it generally ( aren't there something like 50 ice/mixed clmibs here?).  Has it caused a lot of damage or something?
So  it should be that the regulations that are compatible with what responsible climbers do anyway. I  reviewed in the Mountaineering Freedom of the Hills book published by the Seatle mountaineers which also publishes a  bunch of stuff about climbng  in the White Mountains. Their last chapter on  environmental impact is really good and the above list are some suggestions for minimum impact mountaineering. How they describe mixed  climbing (Mixed Terrain) in a couple of paragraphs  would also be a good common  working description to use so that everyone knows what is being talked about. Again you might have some people  who don't  climb not  really understand what it is all about.

So  to  try a different  perspective I was trying to say that controlling conduct can be overdone.  There is sometimes bad law/rules,  sometimes good law/rules executed   in draconian ways,  petty regulations that make no sense , invasion of personal decision making ( I always like the NH  sensiblities in making the wearing of a seatbelt required for  kids but optional and recommended for adults, that's good rule making to me).  People suffer if when and as  they are cited for  violating  any law or rule. Let's get those murders and  thieves but really too much regulation can be ineffective and work against the very objectives it is trying to  accommodate (take for example the new Oregon law requiring  climbers to wear beacons--so not all  rule makers know anything about climbing).
 Personally I don't think it is healthy to have so little confidence  in  our youth that we have to write  a guide book for every step they  make and  being in the developmental stages,  and not the military,  obeying rules and regulations sometimes is not the  very first thing they think of. Think of the famous observation that  in alpine climbing if you don't see a sign marked "crevasse" then  you  don't need to look for any.

So as someone  already pointed out, if they use climbing standards to develop their plan, it can be a great plan and have a positive  impact on  climbing at Rumney.  But it can also be the opposite. So why not  express  concerns rather than assume it will all be done just as  every climber would  wish? And be reasonable?
And  I  wonder why it is happening anyway?  Was it expected?  Are climbers not  self regulating properly there?  What does the place look like? These are just things to think about and  comment on to them and I only mention them for that purpose alone.
As has also been said,  improving the parking would be  highly desirable  to someone like me.  But as  has also been noted on this thread, $$$ may come from your pockets to do it.
 I thought it looked like a truly great place to climb but it's not likely that I will find myself  impacted one way or the other by the plan because I can't  get to climb, including there,  often  enough as it is! ;D

Best wishes for some good climbing!



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ed_esmond

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Re: Forest Service - management plan investigation at Rumney
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 07:57:25 PM »

hi all,

my understanding of this is that once the recreational use of an area, like rumney, gets to a certain level; the usfs is required to develop a management plan.

they are not anti-climbing and do not wish to regulate rumney any more than is needed.

the proposals listed in the report were not developed solely by the usfs.  the district ranger and other fs personel met with a group of "locals" to develop this list. the "locals" included mark sprague, jimmy shimberg, brady libby, ward smith, myself and others.

my impression was that the usfs was mostly concerned with environmental degredation.  for example, soil compaction at the base of the cliffs was one thing mentioned.  they also were concerned about rare and endangered species of plants whose locations have not been mapped and may be affected by climber activity.  (apparently, there are species of sedges that are difficult to identify, that may be present.)

they are aware that the climbers have an excellent record concerning the rare ferns and nesting peregrins.

they did not seem to be as interested in the "ethical" issues that climbers find so important.  in fact, those issues were added to the list by the "locals."

examples from my personal perspective: mixed ice climbing at certain locations at rumney would be ok (ie. shimmy's bolted routes between holderness corner and the parking lot wall,) but unlimited mixed climbing would be bad (imagine someone drytooling up "technosurfing.")

i also personally believe that some crags are "climbed out." (can you imagine another route added to the 5.8 crag?  i can't....)

the usfs wanted climber input on these issues to help limit climber impact on the area.

i am not so naive as to think that the usfs doesn't have an agenda; but i am also certain they are very interested in maintaining good relations with the local climbing community.  in fact, they need the rumney climbing community for "maintenance" and "self-regulation" as they don't have the funds to do it themselves.

the usfs knows it has a"goldmine" at rumney.  for little investment, they have an area that generates tremendous number of "man-hours" of recreation. (remember, the usfs isn't just about cutting down trees anymore....)  to them, having people climb at rumney is worth as much as a hundred clear-cuts.

if you have questions or comments about the proposal, it's good to discuss them here; but it would be more helpful to contact the usfs directly.  i'm sure they will very interested in your opinions.

respectfully,

ed e

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