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COMPLETE BAN on climbing in Gatineau Park (near Ottawa)
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tradnomad


Oct 15, 2004, 5:32 AM
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COMPLETE BAN on climbing in Gatineau Park (near Ottawa)  (North_America: Canada: Quebec: Outaouais: Eardley_Escarpment)
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So I just heard on the news yesterday that the NCC is releasing its master plan for the Gatineau Park, and one of the impacts will be restrictions on climbing in the park.

I looked up up the master plan on their webpage (http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/...rplan/involved_e.asp) and had trouble finding specific information about climbing. From the maps they had it appears that climbing would only be allowed near luskville falls (i.e. Down Under and Western Cwm). But on another map the following was printed:

In reply to:
Forbid climbing on the Eardley escarpment until the conservation plan will be effective.

That doesn't sound good. :(

Does anyone have anymore information? Has anyone been involved in the consultation process??

(edited to change title)


yeti


Oct 15, 2004, 6:19 AM
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Re: Restrictions on climbing in the Gatineau Park [In reply to]
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FYI.....Here's some info for the Gatineau Park Master
Plan Public Consultation

>Gatineau Park Master Plan
>Public Consultation
>
>Hello everyone,
>
>The National Capital Commission (NCC) invites you to
the second and last
>public consultation on the review of the Gatineau
Park Master Plan. Once
>finalized, the Plan will be the guiding document for
Gatineau Park for the
>next 10 years, taking into account current realities
and trends.
>
>The goal of this consultation is to gather your
comments on the final draft
>of the Plan. Please visit the NCC's website to obtain
the appropriate
>documents.
>
>The public consultations will take place:
>
>* Mostly in French, on Wednesday, October 27, 2004,
at the Canadian Museum
>of Civilization, 100 Laurier Street, Gatineau.
>
>* Mostly in English, on Thursday, October 28, 2004,
at the Canadian Museum
>of Nature, 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa.
>
>Schedule:
>5:30 pm Open house
>7 pm Presentation
>7:30 - 9 pm Questions and comments
>
>Please send your comments or the questionnaire to the
attention of the
>Public Consultation and Community Relations division
by November 30, 2004.
>
>We look forward to seeing you on October 27 or 28.
>
>National Capital Commission
>40 Elgin Street, Room 202, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1C7
>Fax: (613) 239-5039
>Phone: (613) 239-5555 or 1 800 704-8227
>E-mail: info@ncc-ccn.ca
>Website: ncc-ccn.gc.ca
>
>Cheers!
>
>Elisabeth Lacoursičre
>Public Consultations and Community Relations
>National Capital Commission
>(613) 239-5196 ~ elacours@ncc-ccn.ca
>


genlock


Oct 15, 2004, 9:56 PM
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Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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The Eardley Escarpment might bo closed to climbing for 10years (as well as for mountain bike, skidoo and motorboat) as of 2005!!!


here's the source ( in french ) http://www.cyberpresse.ca/...,102004,816839.shtml

translation to come


Genlock


tradnomad


Oct 18, 2004, 5:40 AM
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Re: COMPLETE ban on climbing in Gatineau Park (near Ottawa) [In reply to]
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Ok, so here's worse news... this is from an article in todays edition of Le Droit (a Gatineau newspaper):

In reply to:
L'escalade de rocher qui n'est que tolérée, serait complčtement interdite en raison de son impact sur la flore de l'escarpement d'Eardley

There are public comments sessions coming up on the plan (see yeti's post) please attend and voice your objections to this!!


Partner missedyno


Oct 18, 2004, 6:09 AM
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crazylikeafawkes moved this thread [In reply to]
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crazylikeafawkes moved this thread from Canada to Access Issues & Closures.


floater


Oct 18, 2004, 2:26 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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My understanding is that there are to be restrictions put in place on areas that can be climbed but not that the entire escarpment will be "off limits" for 10 years!! No way Jose.

Anyway, I've also read that they are going to have touble enforcing their new restrictions... although they are planning to look at whether a federal law would give them more power for conservation.

What a farce man!


cjburchell


Oct 18, 2004, 7:33 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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Here is some info from the GatineauClimbing yahoo group:

Check out there master plan:
http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/corporate/plan_reg/tomorrows_plans/gp_masterplan/_pdf/summary_e.pdf

There is a meeting next week Thursday, October 28, 2004 at the Canadian Museum of Nature, 240 McLeod Street, Ottawa.

Schedule:
5:30 pm Open house
7 pm Presentation
7:30 - 9 pm Questions and comments

A few members of the ACC and Yann Troutet are planning to attend. I have other plans on that night and am unable to attend.

Chirstiaan


astro


Oct 19, 2004, 7:35 AM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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Wow, I must admit that I'm a bit unnerved by this...

I wonder what they mean in the "Master Plan" at point 10 on page 18 when they say “Ensure that recreational activities requiring infrastructures and posing a risk to personal safety do not take place in the Park (e.g. extreme sports)”… are they planning to classify rock/ice climbing under this section and who gets to define “extreme sports”?


tradnomad


Oct 19, 2004, 9:14 AM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Wow, I must admit that I'm a bit unnerved by this...

I wonder what they mean in the "Master Plan" at point 10 on page 18 when they say “Ensure that recreational activities requiring infrastructures and posing a risk to personal safety do not take place in the Park (e.g. extreme sports)”… are they planning to classify rock/ice climbing under this section and who gets to define “extreme sports”?

I've seen a couple of newspaper articles stating that climbing will be completely banned in the park due to environmental impacts. Also on one of the "zoning" maps on their website the majority of the climbing is in a zone only for environmental research (i.e. no recreation at all) with a note saying climbing will be prohibited.


shakylegs


Oct 19, 2004, 9:22 AM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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So, is this set in stone? Nothing will change the plan?
I'm just curious, wondering whether further public outcry can prevent this.


tradnomad


Oct 19, 2004, 9:25 AM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
So, is this set in stone? Nothing will change the plan?
I'm just curious, wondering whether further public outcry can prevent this.

As far as I understand, it is the proposed master plan and will become permanent sometime after the public comment sessions. So unless there is a big enough outcry from the climbing community then it will become written in stone.

As other people have mentioned, the public comment sessions are next week: Wednesday in french at the museum of civilization, and Thursday in english at the museum of science and nature.


frenznhiplaces


Oct 19, 2004, 12:22 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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A friend on the advisory committee stated that during the preliminary discussions the “tree huggers” had no issue with the users and writes to me:

“The worst part of this is that they have absolutely NO research to authenticate any environmental damage. It is speculation. Moreover, the damage caused by trails is so negligible and affecting such a microscopically small percentage of the park, it's not worth discussing.

Nobody of the consultation groups was in favour of their strategy. The NCC has a hidden agenda for sure. Revenue generation and commercial development in concentrated areas is definitely part of it.

This should NOT be happening, but the NCC is very much an autonomous unit.”


First of all, I became incensed upon reading the article in the weekend's Ottawa Citizen and called the above friend in desperation and disbelief. Without a doubt I will be attending the meeting on the 28th of October. With much hope, I suspect this is a cleverly disguised smoke screen designed to take the heat off the introduction to park fees. Which, incidently, I would gladly pay to gain access to the climbs and the mountain biking trails.

In regards to this being about “conservation” is completely laughable when you take in to account the amount of eco-tourist friendly reshaping that has occurred and is occurring at the Park. Now, let’s go to a larger scale, Algonquin Park welcomes more than 10 million visitors annually and after 50 years the Provincial Park Act has just been reviewed. Imagine if the solution to continued park preservation meant no more hiking, paddling or mountain biking in Algonquin Park? I think NOT.

This is without even touching base on how this sort of proposed change would effect not only local economy but also local spirit, so letÂ’s not go there shall we? Instead I would urge you to make your support seen and voices heard by attending one of the previously mentioned meetings.


Other friends who head the OVO - Ottawa Valley Offroaders donÂ’t seem to have a issue with the Ministry of National Resources. Last year while I enjoyed a day in Calaboogie it seemed obvious to me that these machines had more of an impact on the environment than my mountain bike. Yet, they have systems in place to safeguard that, my friend explains:

“Every year we (OVO) provide a copy of our insurance policy (that we have acquired through UC4WDA Inc.) to the MNR and sign off on a document that 'allows' us to take part in the use of the trails. Further
more, when we host larger events (like the one that your participated in) we sign an event specific agreement with the Ministry and provide to them before the event a $50/truck bond as a security deposit. Routinely, the MNR breaks their end of the deal and never full fills the contract requirements of pre and post running the trails that we use (which makes the contract null and void) but regardless, we on average provide a security bond between 2-3K to the MNR before each event. To date (in the threeyears that we have had this system in place) we have always been awarded a full re-fund. Part of this agreement includes waivers that the MNR provides, a map detailing exactly where we are going to be
within the trail system, documentation of any altercations that may have arisen with any four wheelers/motocross/hikers/bikers/etc., a posted notice of event at the event headquarters, final count of truck's participating in the event and as courtesy, we also provide before and after pictures of the camp area to show that we are good boys and girls that have cleaned up after them selves.”

Finally before my rant streak had ended I contacted my friend the Environmental Engineer for her take on the issue. She writes:

“...I'm all for more conservation, and support the plan - and thats from someone who spent 5 years studying this stuff in university. To be honest, I probably wouldn't have a problem if they cut the whole thing off from the public...”

However, her passion of conservation is limited, as I think she was smoking a cigarette when she wrote me the e-mail, so I have disqualified her comments in the name of complete and utter contradiction of life sustaining habits. :roll:

To summarize, it seems to me that some people would prefer to get their kicks experiencing life as though it were a TV screen, for those of us to want to use the planet the way that it was intended - with respect....

Step up, be seen, be heard!

Your support is needed.


floater


Oct 21, 2004, 7:09 AM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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I'll be at that meeting for sure.... Anyone know if things have been posted at the local climbing gyms. If anybody wants to read up on the plans and background information that will be presented on Thursday most of the information is available here
http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/corporate/plan_reg/tomorrows_plans/gp_masterplan/involved_e.asp


sir_chalkalot


Oct 21, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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This issue is also being actively discussed on the gatineauclimbing mailing list. Please join us by sending a blank email message to gatineauclimbing-subscribe at yahoogroups dot com.

George.

edit: correct error in address


Partner missedyno


Oct 21, 2004, 1:12 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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I have merged the two existing threads on this topic into this thread, and will now move it to Access Issues & Closures. Thanks to sir_chalkalot for the head's up regarding the duplicate threads.


Partner missedyno


Oct 21, 2004, 1:12 PM
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crazylikeafawkes moved this thread [In reply to]
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crazylikeafawkes moved this thread from Regional Discussions to Access Issues & Closures.


yeti


Oct 21, 2004, 1:18 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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Hello everyone,

This message is to have your input on what could possibly be a
positive outcome to the NCC's consultation on the Gatineau Park Master climbing ban.

Based on the NCC documents that are available on their web site, the
Commission is certainly considering a complete climbing ban on the
Eardley escarpment. However I suspect that it has come to this resort because no one at the Park really knows how, when and to what extent climbers frequent the escarpment.

I believe it can be argued that climbing does not threaten the ecology
of the escarpment as a whole. But climbers must also recognize that
climbing has very visible localized impacts, especially at the most popular
cliffs: trail erosion, destruction of cliff soils and vegetation, introduction
of non-native species, etc. (some of which may not be reversed in any
foreseeable time, with or without a ban). Access to private land,
trespassing and public safety issues (accidents) are also serious
concerns.

As a result, I think solutions may lies in a compromise between total
closure and total free-for-all. Firstly, many cliffs on the
escarpment see no climbing at all, either because they are simply not interesting or because they have not yet been discovered. Moreover, many recorded crags on the escarpment have only a handful of routes and don't see much traffic. Most of these cliffs retain a fairly high ecological integrity. From a conservation standpoint, these crags are good candidates for preservation. Halting any further route development seems like a minimum but if climber were willing to accept a closure of some of the least traveled cliffs, that would certainly be seen a sign of good faith in
the process and would constitute a tangible gesture in favor of
conservation.


Here is what I propose:
I am preparing a text that I plan to hand in at the consultation session
on the 28th. In it, I will try to acknowledge the known impacts that
climbing has on cliffs (I have a list of academic papers to back this
up). I will also attempt to put into context the small number of climbing areas with regard to the number of rock outcrops on the entire escarpment (I will try to use some satellite imagery I have). In addition, I will describe the 20 climbing sites of my guidebook as a function of their climbing-vs-conservation potential.

I will then propose a few partial-closure scenarios, where I balance
the conservation gain (percentage of crags preserved) against the climbing
loss (number of routes lost) of closing a number of crags, starting
with the least interesting for climbing. The results should normally
show an optimal solution where a maximum gain/loss ratio is obtained. I
haven't yet played around with the numbers, but I suspect they would add up to closing approximately half of the 20 cliffs (for example Red Rocks,
Left Twin, The Cirque, Froggy Crack, Castle Wall, Buzz Rock, and so on...)

In spite of the short notice, I would much like to have the feedback
of a maximum of local climbers on this position. Ideally a proposition that
could rally a wide consensus of local climbers could be voiced at the consultation.

Please feel free to comment on this proposition. Feel free to pass it around

Cheers to all,

Yann Troutet


tradnomad


Oct 21, 2004, 1:39 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Here is what I propose:
...
I will then propose a few partial-closure scenarios, where I balance
the conservation gain (percentage of crags preserved) against the climbing
loss (number of routes lost) of closing a number of crags, starting
with the least interesting for climbing.
...
but I suspect they would add up to closing approximately half of the 20 cliffs (for example Red Rocks,
Left Twin, The Cirque, Froggy Crack, Castle Wall, Buzz Rock, and so on...)

Hi Yann,

Your proposed solution sounds good to me, I don't mind giving up access to some of the less travelled areas as a trade off for being able to climb elsewhere.

My only concern would be that in the presentation of your idea if climbers seem too keen to give up access to some areas the NCC would push for more closures.

TN


sir_chalkalot


Oct 21, 2004, 2:01 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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In reply to:
A friend on the advisory committee stated that during the preliminary discussions the “tree huggers” had no issue with the users and writes to me:

“The worst part of this is that they have absolutely NO research to authenticate any environmental damage. It is speculation. Moreover, the damage caused by trails is so negligible and affecting such a microscopically small percentage of the park, it's not worth discussing.

Nobody of the consultation groups was in favour of their strategy. The NCC has a hidden agenda for sure. Revenue generation and commercial development in concentrated areas is definitely part of it.

This should NOT be happening, but the NCC is very much an autonomous unit.”

If this is true it would not be in our interest to assist the NCC by offering any sort of studies in support of their claims. Let them offer proof for their assertion.

George.


yeti


Oct 21, 2004, 2:03 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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[quote="tradnomad"]
In reply to:


My only concern would be that in the presentation of your idea if climbers seem too keen to give up access to some areas the NCC would push for more closures.

TN

Tradnomad, I think this proposition would only be the beginning of a negotiation with the NCC. How many crags they would chose to close is up to them. For now the number is: all of them. I think the idea would be to come to an agreement that would last at least the time of the 2005-2015 Master Plan. Future review would have to remain an option...


yeti


Oct 21, 2004, 2:11 PM
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Re: Ottawa - Gatineau : Eardley Escarpement in danger!!!!! [In reply to]
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In reply to:

it would not be in our interest to assist the NCC by offering any sort of studies in support of their claims. Let them offer proof for their assertion.

George.

George,

The fact is the NCC has been paying some attention to the impact of climbers, and I'm quite sure they're well documented. An acquaintance of mine was hired by the park in 2003 to do some vegetation surveys in the climbing areas. I e-mailed him asking about the results yesterday but haven't had his answer yet.

I thinks the strategy is to put all our cards on the table. Climbing is a fairly isolated activity on the escarpment and it can be self-controlled. That is what the NCC should be brought to understand.


floater


Oct 21, 2004, 3:21 PM
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I'm totally with Yann on this one. Sounds like an excellent plan with the presentation of data. Good job, I am impressed. I think it will look much better to go in with some information on impacts and areas that are currently heavily climbed........ and willingness to compromise with the park.

If the park has no information on the scenario it is much eaiser for them to close things down citing the fact that they need to gather information before they can decide. I doubt they will say,..... "ya well I guess we know nothing so continue to climb as we study".

As far as Tradnomad's
In reply to:
My only concern would be that in the presentation of your idea if climbers seem too keen to give up access to some areas the NCC would push for more closures
I don't think the NCC sees as climbers "giving up access" since the climbers don't "own" the areas in the first place, the park does. We have nothing in our possession to give up.... we can only ask the park for permission to continue to climb there. And if we show data and ask for compromises I think it comes across much better.

Shane


floater


Oct 21, 2004, 5:05 PM
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George. what is the e-mail address that I send the blank e-mail to ???

Is it gatineauclimbing_subscribe@yahoo.com????


Partner tim


Oct 21, 2004, 5:19 PM
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Anyone object to pinning this up on the FP?


sir_chalkalot


Oct 21, 2004, 6:07 PM
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In reply to:
Anyone object to pinning this up on the FP?

No, please do. This issue should get as much exposure as possible.

Thanks,

George.

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