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pud


Oct 4, 2009, 1:14 PM
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Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened!
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http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/angeles/projects/

9/12/2009
Scoping Notice: Williamson Rock Temporary Closure Resolution
The Angeles National Forest is asking for Public comments on a proposal to resolve the existing temporary closure in the Williamson Rock vicinity.

Williamson Rock is located on National Forest System lands within the Santa Clara-Mojave Rivers Ranger District, in upper Little Rock Canyon, Los Angeles County, California. The proposed action involves portions of T. 3N, R. 9W, Section 7, and T. 3N, R. 10W, Sections 11, 12, 13, and 14, SBM. The proposed action would reopen the area to dispersed recreation while providing required protection for Federally-listed biological species. The Forest is soliciting public input for the issues to be addressed in the environmental analysis.

Comments must be received within 45 days from the publication date of this notice (09/12). This comment period provides interested parties, including those affected by the proposal, an opportunity to make their concerns known. Comments may be mailed to Williamson Rock ID Team, ATTN: Darrell Vance, Angeles National Forest, 701 N. Santa Anita Ave, Arcadia, CA 91006, or electronically at dvance@fs.fed.us.

It looks like the USFS is finally going to take some action and are asking for public opinion. If all the folks that read this send a note to:

dvance@fs.fed.us

it will be hard for them to continue to deny our access to this valuable climbing resource

thanks!!
-wayne

(This post was edited by pud on Oct 4, 2009, 1:17 PM)


hstewart


Oct 5, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Re: [pud] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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Access Fund just posted this as an action alert on their webiste. You can submit comments quickly and easily using their advocacy tool with a pre-drafted letter that you can customize. It literally takes 60 seconds to submit comments.

http://www.accessfund.org/action


bware


Oct 5, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Re: [pud] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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Thanks for posting this up, Wayne.

Recently the US Forest Service released their proposed actions for reopening Williamson Rock. You can find the scoping letter at the end of this post.

Speaking on behalf of Friends of Williamson Rock, we are in general agreement with the proposed actions stated in the scoping letter. This compromise was arrived at after many discussion with the USFS, Access Fund, a few field trips, and a lot of work. Big thanks to Troy Mayr for putting the time in and not letting this go, and big thanks to the people at USFS who really are trying to make tough decisions about what's best for the forest and the people who use it.

Thanks also to all the hundreds of local climbers who respected the closure.

FoWR would like to ask you to write in with your support of the proposed actions. Letters on paper with stamps always carry more weight than email, so print that puppy out, put a stamp on it, and send it off before October 26. Email is good too.

You can find the FoWR position at

http://williamsonrock.org/blog/?p=137

An email generator and sample words can be found at

http://www.accessfund.org/...208267&aid=13208

Please mail your letter to:
Angeles National Forest
Williamson Rock ID Team
ATTN: Darrell Vance
701 N. Santa Anita Ave
Arcadia, CA 91006

dvance@fs.fed.us

Some general writing points (put into your own words):
You are in support of the proposed actions.
State why climbing at Williamson is important to you, the beauty of the area etc.
Climbers (you) respect and care for the natural areas in which we climb and are committed to access and conservation.
Climbers are good stewards of the area.
Climbers are willing to work with the USFS and other agencies to mitigate the problem.
Williamson is a very valuable resource to climbers (no alternative crag like it).
Include your contact info (include name, address and email)

Cheers,
Brent Ware
on behalf of the Board of Directors, FoWR

From the USFS:

_______________________________________

Proposed Action

In meeting the needs for action, the following measures are being proposed:
Development of facilities along Angeles Crest Highway to create a focal point for recreation management, and provide basic public needs for parking and sanitation.
• A trailhead and parking area will be developed at the existing large turnout in the saddle on Kratka Ridge, on the north side of CA-2 (T. 3N, R.10W, SW ¼ NW ¼ Section 11). The designated parking area will be striped to facilitate management.
• As part of the trailhead, a ‘sweet smelling’ toilet (SST) shall be installed at the parking area to limit human waste disposal in the vicinity of Little Rock Creek. In addition, bear-proof trash bins will be installed at the trailhead to reduce the potential for garbage deposition in the area.
• An information kiosk shall be provided to explain the sensitivities of the Williamson Rock vicinity and promote eco-friendly activities and ‘Leave No Trace’ principles. A map board will also show the areas that are off-limits to recreational use.
• All other pullouts and potential access points from along CA-2, between Eagles Roost Picnic Area and the proposed Kratka Ridge trailhead, will be physically closed and (where warranted) rehabilitated to prevent unrestricted access to the upper Little Rock Creek vicinity.

Designation and development of a single access trail to Williamson Rock to protect the quality of the visitor experience, promote human safety, and promote the recovery of species.
• The ‘Long Trail’, which runs approximately 0.9 miles from the Kratka Ridge saddle to Williamson Rock (T. 3N, R. 10W, SW ¼ NW ¼ Section 11, & N ½ NE ¼ Section 12), shall be constructed. This trail, which provides both scenic and reasonably safe access to Williamson Rock from CA-2, shall be designated ‘Hiker only’ to enhance the primitive setting of the area. This is consistent with the Angeles NF Strategy of the Southern California National Forest Plan, which permits low impact recreational activities in Critical Biological Areas, such as Little Rock Creek. Trail alignment and design will be consistent with Forest Service Manual and Handbook direction. No dispersed camping will be allowed within the Williamson Rock vicinity.
• Signage and barriers will be strategically emplaced to keep traffic on the trail. An area closure will be enacted to limit through traffic along the trail to the Williamson Rock vicinity only. Two drainage crossings exist on the designated route through areas that do not carry appreciable water during the climbing season and are not within MYLF-occupied habitat. These will be direct, perpendicular crossings with identified (and signed) closures outside the designated crossing areas.
• All other Williamson Rock ‘user-created’ braided trails and paths along scree slopes, which have historically provided direct access into MYLF habitat, will be subject to closure and (where warranted) limited rehabilitation at their outlets. The routes’ closure, combined with implementation of visible signage and physical obstructions, shall remove direct public access to the creek at the base of Williamson Rock.
Designation and development of a primary staging area in order to manage recreational use at Williamson Rock.
• The Long Trail terminus at the east side of Williamson Rock will receive limited improvement as a staging area for climbing activities: an information kiosk that will display a map of the existing climbing routes available for use and clearly-identified closed areas. Eco-friendly climbing principles (plant and animal avoidance, packing out all garbage, etc.) will also be stressed to aid in public understanding of conservation and recovery needs for the area.
• An area-appropriate physical barrier will be constructed along the interface of the Williamson Rock staging area and the creek. Appropriate signage will be emplaced at primary access points.
Closure of areas on permanent and seasonal bases, as necessary, to protect the habitat and reproductive success of species.
• A permanent closure will be implemented for a distance of 50 feet from centerline of Little Rock Creek. In order to preserve the species and its critical habitat, all stream-based rock climbing routes (e.g. the “Stream Wall” and “London Wall”) will be permanently closed to reduce the potential for human/frog interaction.
• To minimize impact to raptors that nest within a portion of the climbing area, portions of the rock may be subject to seasonal closure. Subject closure will consist of a biologist-determined buffer zone for the nesting site, applying to all climbing routes that intersect this zone. Closure shall be carried out in an effort to avoid impacting the birds during nesting season, and enacted on a basis determined by Forest Service monitoring.

Management of recreational use to protect the primitive solitude of climbing and the quality of the visitor experience, as well as perpetuate resource protection in the Williamson Rock vicinity.
• A Williamson Rock Area Management Plan is under development, with specific procedures for management activities, and enforcement. Climbing-specific measures will include a map of all existing mapped climbing routes, restricted and permitted activities at Williamson Rock, etc.
• In order to ensure the effectiveness of management, controls will be subject to compliance monitoring. As management feedback dictates, use may be subject to limitation, both in time, season and numbers. Specific use period monitoring will include on-site checks of the trailhead area, stream crossings, and staging area for compliance.
Strategic management to restore habitat and implement recovery actions for TES populations.
• Management of the human factors within the Williamson Rock vicinity will be coupled with the ongoing regime of biological enhancement activities by the agency to provide species recovery.

In 2002, the ANF participated in creation of the Conservation Assessment and Strategy for management and recovery of the MYLF. Key components of the document include habitat protection and enhancement, inventory, monitoring, database development and data storage, research, information and education, coordination, cooperation and collaboration among management agencies, funding to accomplish goals and objectives, and reporting. The Forest is committed to utilizing that document in management of the Williamson Rock area.
• Ongoing tri-annual surveys by the USGS of the MYLF populations in the Angeles National Forest and annual supplemental condition surveys will be conducted for all sensitive botanical and biological species within the area by Forest personnel.
• The Forest will also continue planned projects for fish barriers and removal in the discrete MYLF habitats within the ANF in order to aid in species recovery.

Proposed actions will be designed to retain the natural character of the Williamson Rock area, allow limited recreational rock climbing, while maintaining the habitat characteristics to provide protection for species-at-risk (Forest Plan 2005, Part 2, pp. 10-11). In order to reduce conflicts with recreation activities, infrastructure will be designed to direct use away from sensitive areas (Forest Plan 2005, Part 1, pp. 33-35). Successful management will provide the ecological conditions to sustain viable populations of native species and neutralize or reverse the declining trends in threatened, endangered, proposed, candidate, and sensitive species populations (Forest Plan 2005, Part 2, p. 26).

It is anticipated that an Environmental Assessment and Decision Notice will be prepared in conjunction with this proposed action. The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an opportunity to participate in the environmental analysis for this project. The comment period provides those interested in or affected by the project an opportunity to make their concerns known. NEPA requires that the potential effects of federal actions and possible alternatives to those actions be disclosed to the public. Issues identified during scoping will help determine the range of issues to be considered in the environmental analysis and will help determine whether alternatives to the proposed action should be developed and analyzed.

Your comments must be postmarked or received within 30 days of the date of this letter. Comments may be mailed to the following address:
Darrell Vance, Williamson Rock ID Team
Angeles National Forest


bware


Oct 20, 2009, 1:50 AM
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Re: [pud] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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Just a reminder. The deadline is next Monday. We need to get a strong response for this. Last time we had over 500 paper letters written. It ain't a done deal. Write a letter supporting the actions proposed by the USFS, lick the envelope, put a stamp on it, drop it in the mail. All you SoCal locals, step up! All you folks who were driving out to the Quarry at 6 am all summer long because the climbing is DONE at noon, this is your chance to get a high-altitude summer crag afternoon crag re-opened.

The Access Fund online gizmo is good too, as is email, but nothing says love like a letter in the mail.


papa_eos


Dec 23, 2009, 9:55 AM
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Re: [bware] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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For those not on the taco.



Another 2 years of these climbers going to New Jack, Jtree and Malibu.


dugl33


Dec 23, 2009, 10:12 AM
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Re: [papa_eos] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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It's probably staring me in the face, but what is the date of the article? Thanks.


snoopy138


Dec 23, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Re: [dugl33] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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online version, date is yesterday ...
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/...national-forest.html


dugl33


Dec 23, 2009, 11:05 AM
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Re: [snoopy138] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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Unfortunately no printer access, but email sent...

********************
December 23, 2009

Angeles National Forest
Williamson Rock ID Team
ATTN: Darrell Vance
701 N. Santa Anita Ave
Arcadia, CA 91006


Dear Mr. Vance:

I am writing this letter in support of the ongoing dialogue between the Williamson Rock ID Team and the Friends of Williamson Rock and efforts to restore access. Since moving to Ventura, CA, in 2007, I have hoped to visit this spectacular area and enjoy the climbing it has to offer. On the verge of 2010, this hope remains.

Climbers are passionate and dedicated to their sport for a variety of reasons. Consistently, though, I have witnessed a willingness and desire to act as good stewards to the land, with sensitivity to the natural resource, other users, and the environment.

I have spent enough time visiting National Forest, State Park, and National Park lands to come to the conclusion that this attitude is often unique to climbers. In my local Sespe River area it is not uncommon to find piles of used shotgun shells, signs destroyed by gunfire, clay pigeons, etc. I have been amazed at the quantity and variety of trash at local popular swimming holes, from pizza boxes to dirty diapers. These same areas suffer from graffiti and words scratched in the rock. I have never seen a climber act in such an irresponsible manner, and I would go so far as to say it is frequently through the efforts of climbers such areas are cleaned up and maintained.

A person I respect and admire once said, "assume best intentions". This approach has served me well time and time again. My own involvement with Williamson Rock has obviously been very limited, but I have seen a similar spirit of cooperation be very effective for all concerned at The Pinnacles National Monument with regards to climbing management and the California Condor. With the public funds available from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the groundswell of interest and commitment to our shared goals of climbing access and protection of the mountain yellow legged frog habitat, we are facing an ideal opportunity to move forward.

I hope the Angeles National Forest and the climbing community can continue to work together to regain access to this remarkable area. Thank you for your ongoing efforts.

With best intentions,



DL
Ventura, CA


bware


Dec 26, 2009, 9:48 PM
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Re: [dugl33] Your chance to get Williamson Rock re-opened! [In reply to]
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This shouldn't be a surprise. The closure expires yearly at the end of December - the USFS had to either renew the closure or reopen Williamson. Given the content of the scoping letter, and the construction implied by those terms, Williamson was not going to be opened til late in 2010 best case. Even that was not very plausible since no work is likely until the snow goes away up there. After that, there's roadwork, toilets, trail building, construction down at the climbing area, etc. It's not just a matter of removing a sign and letting climbers have at it.

That said, it doesn't hurt to continue to let the USFS know that this is important to lots of people even with the aftermath of the Station Fire.


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