Action Alert Regarding NPS Wilderness Fixed Anchor Proposal

Action Alert Regarding NPS Wilderness Fixed Anchor Proposal

The Access Fund has posted a call for climber input regarding the National Park Service’s draft of its wilderness management policies which was released back in January.  This policy, referred to as Director’s Order 41 or DO #41, will have a direct impact on areas like Yosemite and RMNP among others.  Here is what the Access Fund has to say with regards to DO #41:

While DO #41 isn’t perfect, the approach is generally one that climbers, conservation organizations, and federal land managers have agreed upon for more than a decade. The Access Fund believes that climbers should support NPS management guidance that focuses on solutions, ends bolting controversies, and improves the management of NPS wilderness.

However, climbers should advocate for several clarifications and improvements to DO #41. Most importantly, we believe individual parks are best suited to determine whether prior authorization is to be required for new fixed anchor placements and we oppose a de facto ban on new fixed anchors pending completion of individual climbing management plans. While there are many in the climbing community who would prefer that the NPS simply allow climbers to self-regulate, this isn’t a viable policy for the NPS to adopt system-wide. Without some standard guidance, more regulation (including outright bans) are a real possibility.

Together with partners like the American Alpine Club and the American Mountain Guides Association, the Access Fund has outlined a position statement with four key points of improvement they would like to see.  The four points touch on authorizations for fixed anchor replacement, avoiding an interim ban on new anchors placements, details of a climbing management plan and clarification of what exactly “sport climbing” will mean within the context of these new guidelines.  Full details on the four points can be read here.

The NPS is holding a public comment period that is open until March 10, 2011.  If you are interested in having your voice heard on the matter you can do so on the NPS website by clicking here.

Posted In: Access


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