It’ll take you a few minutes to read and comment, but it’s worth the effort–the National Park Service has released its Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan for Arches National Park 2013. The plan offers three alternatives (A, B, C) and the Access Fund and Friend of Indian Creek are generally leaning towards B. Take a few minutes to follow the link above and review the options.
Plan A essentially does nothing and leaves the situation “as is.”
Plan B recognizes climbing and canyoneering as legitimate user groups/activities and proposes an evaluation/approval process for new routes as well as a mitigation strategy based upon permitting and group-size regulation.
Plan C is a “minimum management” approach and relies mostly on educational and informational efforts based upon social media and through visitor center interactions.
The Access Fund endorses Plan B, with a couple tweaks. Those include expanding the evaluation process to include local climbing resources, so as to expedite the process. In addition, first ascentionists would be required to estimate the number of bolts a project would require, rather than declare an exact number before developing the route.
Give a look and share your thoughts. Though I’ve never climbed in Arches I’d like to support those who do in collaborating with the Feds to create a sustainable, user-friendly plan.
And lastly–if you’ve let your Access Fund membership expire, re-up HERE!