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Climbers in Harper's Magazine article
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japhyr


Jun 22, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Registered: Dec 27, 2003
Posts: 77

Climbers in Harper's Magazine article  (North_America: United_States: Kentucky)
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There is an article in the current (July 2008) issue of Harper's Magazine about the Daniel Boone National Forest. The article discusses the difficulties rangers, law enforcement, and others have with enforcing appropriate preservation and management of the forest. The article does not focus on climbers, but it gives the uninformed reader an impression that climbers are not helping the situation at all.

For example, "[archaeological] Looting is so rampant nationwide that the US Geological Survey now omits archaeological sites from its topographical maps. But here in the Daniel Boone, the Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition routinely publishes locations of archaeological sites suitable for climbing..."

Someone closer to the area than myself might want to read the article and maybe write a letter clarifying what climbers do to help manage the resources appropriately.


captainstatic


Jul 28, 2008, 7:18 PM
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Registered: Jul 7, 2003
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Re: [japhyr] Climbers in Harper's Magazine article [In reply to]
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The following was submitted in reply to the Harper's article:
In reply to:
Letters
Harper’s Magazine
666 Broadway
New York, NY 10012

Re: “Crimes Against Nature” by Kathy Dobie
Harper’s Vol. 317, No. 1898, July 2008

It is unfortunate that Kathy Dobie wrongly demonized rock climbers in her otherwise excellent article about Daniel Boone National Forest and Red River Gorge, Kentucky. With some fact checking she would have found that climbers work actively with the Forest Service to protect cultural and biological resources. For example, in 2000 archaeologists conducted a Phase II excavation of a Native American site using a $10,000 dollar grant from the national climbing organization, the Access Fund, and volunteer labor from the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition. Also, the Climbers’ Coalition does not publish the locations of archaeological sites. We do publish climbs that are closed due to conflicts with cultural and biological resources. Such sites have been fenced off by the Forest Service and these closures affect less than two dozen out of over 700 climbs in the Gorge.

Climber’s vehicles are favorite targets of the thieves mentioned in the article. By providing information on break-ins to law enforcement, climbers have assisted in the apprehension of these criminals. In discussing our mutual interests with Dr. David Pollack of the Kentucky Heritage Council he came to realize that the presence of climbers discourages looters. To demonstrate our commitment to protecting archaeological sites the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition sought and was granted Consulting Party status to the Memorandum of Agreement between the US Forest Service, the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation that governs the preservation of Heritage Resources in the Red River Gorge National Register District.

Very truly yours,




Bill Strachan, Executive Director
Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition


japhyr


Jul 31, 2008, 9:07 PM
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Re: [captainstatic] Climbers in Harper's Magazine article [In reply to]
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Thank you for posting this. I thought climbers would have some positive role in the management of the forest, and it was good to read your concise, specific response. If this does not get printed, would you post a description of any response you do get?


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