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COVID-19 request

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Sonny Lawrence, Mar 27, 2020.

  1. Sonny Lawrence

    Sonny Lawrence

    Dear CAC members and friends,

    The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and impacts us all — in our daily lives, through our family and friends, or by the announcements and news reports coming from around the world. This is the time of year when many of us look forward to trips we have been planning for months, and the feelings of awe and gratitude we experience in our National Parks and public lands. Difficult as it may be to accept, it is becoming clear this year will be different.

    Many land managers and public health authorities are implementing closures of various public lands. As always, please do your part to maintain our good relations with these authorities by respecting the letter and spirit of these closures.

    Protecting Vulnerable Communities: While it is tempting to head for the desert or the mountains in pursuit of social distancing, the often tight-knit rural communities in these areas are especially vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19. Many have limited access to medical facilities and other vital resources. These communities usually rely on tourism money for their prosperity but are now begging everyone to stay away for their very survival. We ask that you play your part in protecting these gateway communities by limiting travel for recreational purposes. Stay local to play outdoors instead.

    Risk Management: Search and rescue is resource intensive in the best of times, but the added strain COVID-19 is placing on first responders, medical facilities, and park staff is already crushing. SAR teams all around the country have reported a very high call load this past week - in some cases busier than a typical years' summer holiday weekends. Most SAR rescue teams rely heavily or exclusively on volunteers. Because social distancing just isn’t possible during a SAR mission, many of those volunteers are excluding themselves during this crisis because they (or members of their households) are at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Accidents can happen to anyone, and when they happen to you these selfless volunteers will be leaving their families during an incredibly stressful time to attend to you. Now more than ever you can show your support for SAR by being extra careful to not need their services. A trip to the hospital poses heightened risks of its own and again you will be diverting already strained resources to help you. Other, non-medical facilities and services essential to a successful trip may be limited or unavailable due to closures.

    If you do choose to venture outside, please make appropriate risk decisions. Canyoneering is inherently high risk and a rescue from a canyon is incredibly resource intensive. Consider taking an easy hike on a local trail that you know well and leave canyoneering for better times.

    Supporting Businesses: Gateway communities and outfitters face enormous economic challenges as bookings dry up and visitation to popular destinations looks set to be heavily impacted. As with many other industries, workers are being laid off or facing pay cuts, and companies are struggling to stay in business. Please look for opportunities to lend support where it is needed: Leave that trip deposit for a future trip or class. Order that piece of gear you've been considering.

    To the extent that travel and in-person gatherings are not possible, we hope you will find ways to make a difference in your local community, rediscover resources for outdoor recreation that are close by, and stay engaged with the broader canyoneering community online. A crisis on the scale of COVID-19 provides us with new opportunities to challenge and to discover ourselves.

    Stay safe and stay well,
    Board of Directors, Coalition of American Canyoneers.
  2. Kuenn


    Leadership by example.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
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