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Arches NP Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan

Discussion in 'Archives - Yahoo Canyons Group' started by Ice, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Ice

    Ice Guest

    Please take a minute to read the alternatives and comment! It only takes a couple of minutes. My response is below to perhaps offer some guidance, you do not have to agree with me, but please take a minute to comment.

    My comment was basically I liked Alternative A (no change to current management)

    In the comment section I wrote the following:

    Please - Do NOT institute any additional permit system (outside of the current Fiery Furnace permit). Obtaining permits is a burden and removes much of the joy found in visiting Arches NP. Self issued permits have a habit of becoming ranger issued permits, free permits have a habit of costing at a future date. Obtaining a permit becomes problematic as you must adjust your schedule to the Visitor Center hours. A change in plans (say changing objectives in Lost Springs) can involve several hours of lost time and driving long distances over poor dirt roads. I would prefer to see the rangers time, money and energy spent doing more beneficial work than issuing permits.

    Submit Comments - This is where you go to let the park know what you think. http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=39025

    For those that want to see the Alternatives in a nutshell...

    Alternative A There are no established group limits for private rock climbing and canyoneering groups. No permits are required for climbers and canyoneerers outside the Fiery Furnace. Permits are required for all entry into the Fiery Furnace.

    Alternative B Group size limits for both rock climbing and canyoneering will beinitially established at 10 people per group. Group sizes may be adjusted (increased or decreased) based on monitored resource conditions and visitor experience. The NPS will continue to conduct research to determine the types, amount, frequency, and seasonality of rock climbing and canyoneering that occurs at Arches National Park. The park will implement a free self-issued climber and canyoneers registration as an effort to collect more information about climber numbers, routes, access points, and times when climbing is taking place. Trail counters will also be implemented to assist with use numbers. This self-registration system allows the park to maintain levels of backcountry use consistent with a high quality visitor experience, safety, and resource protection.

    Alternative C Group size for canyoneering will be initially established at five people per group. This number may be reduced for specific routes based on resource conditions. Group size for rock climbing will also be five people. This number will ensure that these groups remain small. A mandatory park-issued permit will be required and will be available at the VC desk or on-line. A daily use limit on sensitive resource routes will be set at 20 people.

    Alternative D There will be no restrictions on group size limits for either activity. Groups will be expected to self regulate themselves and to be informed of all route closures and park regulations prior to entering the park.
  2. aj.outdoors

    aj.outdoors Guest

    Thank you Shane. Comments entered...

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Ice" <iceaxe_us@...> wrote:
    Please take a minute to read the alternatives and comment! It only takes a couple of minutes. My response is below to perhaps offer some guidance, you do not have to agree with me, but please take a minute
  3. Ice

    Ice Guest

  4. Wayne Burns

    Wayne Burns Guest

    Thanks for all of the attention & nudges on this topic Shane, I just posted mine. Cheers, Wayne

    To: Yahoo Canyons Group From: iceaxe_us@yahoo.com Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 16:15:28 &#43;0000 Subject: [from Canyons Group] Re: Arches NP Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan



























    PLEASE post a comment!



    If noting else a short one line response "I support Alternative A (no change to current management)" would be awesome and let the NPS know you don't want a permit system in Arches.



    Post Comment Here!

    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=39025
  5. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    Thanks Ice for carrying the flag.

    I think it is worth pointing out that this is a preliminary round of alternatives and THIS IS A VERY GOOD SIGN. They don't have to do this, and they usually don't do this. Thus it is important that Canyoneers comment on this and get their voices heard. Personally, I'm commenting that something between A and B sounds most reasonable. "B" is heavy-handed, but "A" is probably a little bit light.

    Tom

    --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Ice" <iceaxe_us@...> wrote:
    PLEASE post a comment!
    If noting else a short one line response "I support Alternative A (no change to current management)" would be awesome and let the NPS know you don't want a permit system in Arches.
    Post Comment Here! > http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=39025
  6. TomJones

    TomJones Guest

    > --- In Yahoo Canyons Group, "Ice" <iceaxe_us@> wrote:

    PLEASE post a comment!

    If noting else a short one line response "I support Alternative A (no change to current management)" would be awesome and let the NPS know you don't want a permit system in Arches.

    Post Comment Here!
    http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=39025

    Here are my comments on the plan. TWO DAYS LEFT - JUST Do IT!

    Two days left - Here are my comments:

    Question 1: Is one of the four preliminary alternatives (A-No Action, B-Active Management, C-Regulatory, D-Minimum Requirements) already close to your idea of the best way to manage climbing and canyoneering activities in Arches National Park? If so, which one, and how might you modify it to make it closer to your ideal?

    I speak only to the management of Canyoneering in Arches National Park.

    Some elements of B-Active Management are appropriate, while others are not appropriate at this time.

    Elements of Alternative B:

    Access Trails - check, all good.

    Group Size Limits / Permits - A group size limit of 12 is standard in other NPS-managed units in Utah (Zion, GCNRA), and I would like to see that carried through here. If self-issued permits are implemented, please do so in such a manner that encumbers the visitor as little as possible. For instance, a kiosk at the entrance would be good. Activity that does not funnel through the main entrance (for instance, in the Lost Springs Area) should be specifically exempted from the permit requirement, as the four-hour drive around and back is onerous.

    Hardware Replacement and Route Establishment - for canyoneering, there is very little new-route activity in Arches. Opposite to climbers, canyoneers really have no idea going in what will be required on a new route. The canyoneering ethic is to leave no trace, or as little as possible. Establishing new canyoneering routes is the VERY ESSENCE of the Free and Unconfined Recreation Experience that the Wilderness Act states is one of the defining characteristics of Wilderness. Defining anchor standards for canyoneering is extremely difficult. We believe the Park can establish, if needed, no-new-route areas and no-rappel areas (for instance, for visitor safety), but creating a system for approval of new canyoneering routes is antithetical to Wilderness Management at this time. Motorized Drills are prohibited in the Arches backcountry already, as is using named features or climbing upon them. The Park should discourage new bolting by individuals.

    Visual Impacts - check, agreement on all points.

    Commercial Use - We support commercial use of Arches backcountry for canyoneering, under the provisions of Desert Highlights previous CUA's, which have been in place for 11 years with few problems. Any changes to the provisions of the CUA should be based on sound science, rather than being arbitrary and capricious. Desert Highlights has a strong safety record, therefore requiring a greater guide to client ratio is unnecessarily burdensome. Requiring additional certification seems arbitrary and unnecessarily burdensome. We support a maximum of three CUA's for canyoneering, and a reasonable system for allocating them. If significant impact to resources is validated, CUA limits should be based upon evaluation of IMPACTS FROM THE CUA HOLDER, rather than from impacts from all users (eg. if the CUA Holder is not creating impacts, they should not be prohibited from using the resource because recreational users are creating impacts.

    Monitoring - We support intelligent, scientific monitoring of impacts and visitor use patterns. We believe the methods of monitoring should be presented for review and comment, and subject to scientific scrutiny. (In many NPS units, monitoring is ad hoc and unsuitable for understanding the questions in play).

    Closures/Regulations - We concur will all points.

    Question 2: Which parts of any of the preliminary alternatives do you feel strongly should be included in the management of climbing and canyoneering?

    See Above.

    Question 3: Which parts of any of the preliminary alternatives do you feel strongly should not be included in the management of climbing and canyoneering?

    Managing for Visitor Experience is a difficult proposition. Visitors have varying expectations, realistic and unrealistic. Managing for Visitor Experience at other National Park Units has tended to impose a specific set of Norms unjustified by science and legislation. Arches National Park should avoid falling into this trap.

    Question 4: Do you have any other thoughts, ideas or comments regarding climbing and canyoneering activities in the park?

    Thank you for seeking comments on possible management styles beyond that required by law. Canyoneering is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Park, and with Wilderness values, and should be managed to minimize impacts to Park Resources, rather than to meet an arbitrarily chosen set of norms.

    Now, off to North Wash!!!

    Tom
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