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Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008.
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ocean


Dec 19, 2008, 5:26 AM
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Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008.
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Dear Climbers,
As you may or may not know, climbing at Shenandoah National Park, VA will be affected by a newly released Environmental Assessment. This Environmental Assessment will inform a Rock Outcrop Management Plan which will have an impact on climbing in Shenandoah National Park. Public comments on the Environmental Assessment for the Rock Outcrop Management Plan (EA/ROMP) closes December 19, 2008. This plan, once finalized and published, will guide the management direction for Rock Outcrops in the park for the next 10-15 years. The EA/ROMP has very strong implications for rock climbing. The National Park Service (NPS) has several options that may restrict access to climbing areas. It is imperative that climbers make their voices heard with regard to the options that favor climbing in the park. We need you to formally submit comments (preferably via <http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen >) to the NPS before close of business, December 19th. To make this as easy as possible, below is a list of key points and a template for a letter. It is very important that all climbers respond, regardless of where you presently reside in the world. If you live locally, please emphasize the significance of the park as a climbing area and for climbers in the region and nation. If we are to convince the NPS to select a management option that favors climber interests, we need climbers to comment - the more the better. Again, don't procrastinate, please submit your comments today.

Sincerely,
Mid-Atlantic Climbers



[LETTER TEMPLATE]

[your mailing address and e-mail address]

[date]

Superintendent
Shenandoah National Park, National Park Service
Attention: ROMP EA
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East
Luray, VA, 22835

RE: Comments regarding the Environmental Assessment for Rock Outcrop Management Plan (ROMP) for Shenandoah National Park.
Dear Superintendent:

[state your name, why you're writing, where you live, that you vote, and your overall feelings about the Environmental Assessment for the Rock Outcrop Management Plan (ROMP) after reading the Key Points Summary]

[explain why you value Shenandoah National Park, how long you have been climbing there and how often that you go there and state your support for Mid-Atlantic Climbers and the Access Fund]

[state your position on the specific concerns that the Environmental Assessment document options creates for climbers, using the Key Points Summary as a guide if you like but using your own words]

[tell the National Park Service what you want them to do by using the Key Points Summary as a guide but again in your own words]

[thank the Superintendent for his/her time and consideration of your constituent interest]

[your name]



[KEY POINTS SUMMARY]

Overall:
• There are 4 alternatives in the EA/ROMP
• Option A is a status quo option which essentially says the park service does not take any actions
• Option B balances recreation and conservation and is the best choice for climbers.
• Option C balances recreation and conservation however favors the preservation of natural resources over climbing in many areas
• Option D expands recreation in the park at the expense of natural resources and conservation.
• Mid-Atlantic Climbers suggests that you support Option B with specific comments on points made in option B.


Bolting:
• Option B provides for maintenance of existing bolts and addition of new bolts in the park via an approval system. This discourages “grid bolting” and installation of un-necessary bolts, however in other parks, there have been moratoriums placed on maintenance of existing and addition of new bolts while an approval process of bolts is developed.
• Mid-Atlantic Climbers suggests that you comment that A MORATORIUM ON BOLTING NOT BE INSTITUTED while an approval process for bolting is developed.
• Since climber input is important for any bolting approval process, Mid-Atlantic Climbers suggests that you comment that the National Park Service agrees to include the local climbing community in any bolting approval and permitting process.
• Mid-Atlantic Climbers also suggests that you comment that climbers should NOT be limited to climbing where bolts have been placed.


Climbing Management Plan:
• Option B calls for a Climbing Management Plan. Written with the input and collaboration of the climbing community, a climbing management plan will increase climber rights in Shenandoah National Park. A well written climbing management plan protects climbers against arbitrary closures and establishes climbing as a legitimate activity within the park.
• Mid-Atlantic Climbers suggests that you comment that a climbing management plan needs to be prepared with active consultation with the local climbing community. Specifically, a climbing management plan should be prepared with a Memorandum of Understanding with the climbing community and that climbers are very willing to work with the National Park Service to meet NPS concerns.


Cliff Closures:
• Option B leaves open that climbing areas may be closed to protect rare resources from visitor impact.
• Mid-Atlantic Climbers suggests that you comment that climbers are generally very environmentally conscious and would consider and honor access restrictions where the need for these can be demonstrated through sound scientific research. However, the National Park Service should pursue other means to protect rare resources and only use closure as a means of last resort.


(This post was edited by ocean on Dec 19, 2008, 5:28 AM)


Partner epoch
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Dec 19, 2008, 5:34 AM
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Re: [ocean] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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If this is something that need be replied to ( I assume by mail ) by today, why then is this being posted today and not a few weeks ago?

I hope all goes well with the management plan.


ocean


Dec 19, 2008, 5:39 AM
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Re: [epoch] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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My current understanding is that it just need to be post marked by the 19th. However I'm currently doing a little digging to see if I can get an email to respond to.

Smiling this would be easier if my main contact at the NPS was not on holiday.

Ocean Eiler
ocean@dcmetroclimbing.com or Adoptacrag@dcmetroclimbing.com

Regional Coordinator for Virginia
The Access Fund
www.accessfund.org

DC Metro Climbing
www.dcmetroclimbing.com

The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S.
climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in
1991, the Access Fund supports and represents over 1.6 million
climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing; rock climbing, ice
climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Five core programs support
the mission on national and local levels: public policy, stewardship &
conservation (including grants), grassroots activism, climber
education, and land acquisition.


Partner epoch
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Dec 19, 2008, 5:40 AM
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Re: [epoch] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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Here's the link to comment electronically


http://parkplanning.nps.gov/...amp;documentId=25100


Partner epoch
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Dec 19, 2008, 5:42 AM
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Re: [ocean] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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In reply to:
We need you to formally submit comments (preferably via <http://parkplanning.nps.gov/shen >) to the NPS before close of business, December 19th.

Pretty much means that they need to have it by COB today.


ocean


Dec 19, 2008, 5:43 AM
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Re: [epoch] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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Ask an you shall receive:

http://parkplanning.nps.gov:80/...amp;documentId=25100


Ocean Eiler
ocean@dcmetroclimbing.com or Adoptacrag@dcmetroclimbing.com

Regional Coordinator for Virginia
The Access Fund
www.accessfund.org

DC Metro Climbing
www.dcmetroclimbing.com

The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S.
climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Founded in
1991, the Access Fund supports and represents over 1.6 million
climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing; rock climbing, ice
climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Five core programs support
the mission on national and local levels: public policy, stewardship &
conservation (including grants), grassroots activism, climber
education, and land acquisition.


ocean


Dec 19, 2008, 5:45 AM
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Re: [ocean] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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lol you beat me to the punch. good looking out.


Partner epoch
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Dec 19, 2008, 5:50 AM
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Re: [ocean] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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That's a HUGE assessment plan document too. I gave up after skimming through page 60-something.

Good luck!!


ocean


Dec 19, 2008, 5:54 AM
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Re: [epoch] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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Thanks it took me 48 hours to read the full think and understand it. I hope we can motivate people to be aware of whats going down.

Ocean


zealotnoob


Dec 19, 2008, 6:42 AM
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Re: [ocean] Public comments on the Shenandoah National Park's Rock Outcrop Management Plan closes December 19, 2008. [In reply to]
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Done and done. I'll post what I wrote, if it might help get some juices flowing:

RE: Comments regarding the Environmental Assessment for Rock Outcrop Management Plan (ROMP) for Shenandoah National Park.
Dear Superintendent:

When I discovered climbing a little over two years ago, it sank in not just as a hobby, but as something that pervaded every aspect of my life. It's not just something that keeps you fit, or your mind keen, it's about deep interaction with the environment--subjecting one's self fully to the texture of stone; the quality of the air; vast landscapes.

Since I started climbing, I have visited the Shenandoah many times and have found it to be a gem among other climbing areas on the east coast. The rugged approaches and remoteness of the various cliff faces inspires a sense of adventure you simply do not get elsewhere.

In fact, the adventures I've had at Old Rag were a direct inspiration for my January and February '08 expedition in Patagonia.

That is, the Shenandoah is exceptionally important for climbers in this area. As such, you will generally find climbers to be stewards of the land who practice and preach the "leave no trace" ethic.

We ask that you keep us in mind as you decide our relationship with it for the years to come.

I believe your "option B" best reflects our interests.

Thank you for your time and consideration on this important matter,

Dan R


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