Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

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Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by mike_anderson » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:15 pm

I'm curious if anyone out there has themselves gotten permission from the Forest Service to bolt on their land, or if they know of someone who has.

Please feel free to include any excruciating details about disinterested bureaucrats.

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Post by Wes » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:26 pm

Yes, but you are out of luck til the LAC process is complete. After that, things *should* be easier. I you don't know what the LAC process is, then I am sure Bill can give you an overview.
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Post by Josephine » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:28 pm

The LAC process was finished last year *BUT* the results were never published and until that happens nothing happens :-(
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Post by mike_anderson » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:46 pm

Yeah, I read about the LAC process on their outdated website. Being a guv'ment bureaucrat myself, I know that sometimes it takes a little prodding for stuff to get "done".

So I suppose they have collected all their data for the LAC, but they're waiting for some authority figure to decide on the which option to implement? Maybe they've decided but not finished writing regulations? Maybe there was a delay because of the change in administration...sometimes they like to wait for the new politicians to take over so they don't have to do stuff twice.

In looking at the LAC materials on line it looked like it only addressed areas in the Red River Gorge proper...it didn't seem like it applied to other parts of DBNF. All of the place names listed seemed to apply to existing cliffs in the RRG region (what Ray lists as E. Gorge, N. Gorge, Middle Gorge, Lower Gorge, Upper Gorge, Grays Branch or Tunnel Ridge Road). As I'm sure you all know there is a ton of rock in DBNF that is not in that area. I noticed that oil drilling is an "acceptable change" in these regions, but I'm sure drilling 1/2" x 4" holes will be ruled an unacceptable impact.

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Post by toad857 » Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:49 pm

it's not the drilling, it's the droves of assholes that follow

(present company excluded, of course)

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Post by mike_anderson » Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:09 pm

Yeah I know, it's just ironic. Soul-less corporations are allowed to exploit our public lands, but the impacts of regular citizens are unacceptable.

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Post by pigsteak » Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:56 pm

mike_anderson wrote:Yeah I know, it's just ironic. Soul-less corporations are allowed to exploit our public lands, but the impacts of regular citizens are unacceptable.
spoken like a true bureaucrat...corporations are made up of , um, regular citizens..it just happens to be easier to demonize a 'corporation", the same way folks slam "gov't"
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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by captain static » Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:12 pm

mike_anderson wrote:I'm curious if anyone out there has themselves gotten permission from the Forest Service to bolt on their land, or if they know of someone who has.
Yes, prior to the approval of the current Forest Plan in April 2004. Such approval was obtained according to the Climbing Management Guide written by the Forest Service for Red River Gorge. Terry Kindred is the person who was most successful in negotiating this process.

Post 2004 Forest Plan permission is explicitly required to install fixed anchors anywhere within the entire Forest. Throw in LAC and two different sets of requirements are needed, one for the Red River Gorge National Archaeological Historic District and one for the rest of the Forest.

The RRGCC has an LAC Committee that endured sometimes monthly meetings over a four year period with others involved in the process including local citizens, local politicians, archaeologists, environmental groups, and equestrian interests. The result was a decision that there should be a balance between recreation and resource protection in this special area. Since LAC was approved on December 31, 2008, the Forest Service has been quietly implementing LAC, mainly focussing on mitigating camping impacts and closing non-system trails. They have also been working on obtaining funding for an expanded implementation of LAC.

After four years of grueling meetings the LAC committee has frankly taken a year off. We do have an agreement in place of how a Climbing Management Plan, required by LAC, will be written and over the winter months we will be moving forward with that. After a draft CMP has been written there will be a public input process, first among climbers, and then from the general public. Still a lot of work to do.

On the bright side, throughout the LAC process we have pushed the concept of having climbing approved on a crag by crag basis instead of a route by route basis as was the case with the old Climbing Management Guide. As far as the rest of the Forest we figure that when the CMP for Red River Gorge is approved we can use it as a template to create a CMP for the rest of the DBNF.

I would encourage Mike or anyone else interested in getting involved in this aspect of the RRGCC's work to attend our 2010 Strategic Planning Meeting that I think will be sometime in January.
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Post by mike_anderson » Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:51 pm

Bill, thanks for the info, that is helpful.

One comment I have is that I disagree about using the RRG CMP as a template for the rest of DBNF. The current RRG regulations are very restrictive, and justifiably so because of the vast amount of use the area sees. Other portions of DBNF don't see the same traffic and should be managed more liberally. Simply copying the RRG CMP over to the rest of DBNF would set us climbers up for overly aggressive regulation and more frustration. Most national forests around the country do not restrict climbing outside of wilderness areas...DB is the only one I know of that does (all of my experience is from back West, though). My personal stance is that climbing should not be regulated in DBNF outside of the RRG proper. That is the easiest/fastest plan to implement and the best one for climbers.

So is the official USFS stance that everything is on hold until the CMP is completed?

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Post by captain static » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:12 pm

mike_anderson wrote:So is the official USFS stance that everything is on hold until the CMP is completed?
Yes, because the 2004 Forest Plan wipes the slate clean and they have no procedure approved under this plan for reviewing and approving new climbing with fixed anchors. The CMP not only needs to be completed but also subjected to a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and decision.

The cliffline may contain either threatened and endangered species (White Haired Goldenrod, Virginia Big Eared Bat, etc.) or cultural resources, things that the Forest Service are mandated to protect by Federal Law. In the Forest Plan the basis for regulating climbing is the same whether in Red River Gorge or somewhere else in the Forest.
DBNF Land and Resource Management Plan wrote:1.C-REC-2. Any new areas developed for cliffline related recreation activities, e.g. rock climbing, bouldering, or rappelling must receive Forest Service authorization prior to development. Improvements to existing developments that may substantially increase the use of a cliffline related area must also receive prior authorization from the Forest Service. Activities that constitute development include, but are not limited to:
a) Permanent installation of safety devices such as bolts, straps, cam devices, or chocks
b) construction of access trails
c) clearing of vegetation
A significant portion of any CMP will need to address the above. The Red River Gorge CMP will have to additionally address how climbing impacts will be managed to keep them within the Limits of Acceptable Change established by the LAC process.

CMP's are pretty much the norm now whether on Forest Service, National Park, or BLM land. I went to an Access Fund summit a few years ago attended by various Federal, State, and local government personnel involved in climbing management. The goal of the summit was to share information and to work towards some type of common approach to managing climbing on government owned land.
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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by clif » Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:33 pm

bump?

if someone in the know has the time, i'd be interested in learning the key details of the current situation. thanks.
training is for people who care, i have a job.

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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by Josephine » Wed Oct 26, 2011 5:54 pm

Last I heard, the situation is unchanged. the LAC is still in the "languish" phase. Someday it might get pulled out of that phase and acted upon. I'm sure there will be a BIG announcement when that happy day comes.

Captain, any more news?
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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by captain static » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:24 pm

An outline of a CMP for RRG has been reviewed by the USFS and parts of the narrative have started to be filled in. I am the person writing the CMP with input from recreational ecologist, Chris Carr, and the Access Fund. I had hoped to be farther along but got sidetracked by having to write the grant application for Roadside and then preparing to present at the AF Summit the weekend before R'Fest. Now that R'fest responsibilities have wound down I should have time to dig back into it. Once a rough draft is completed the CMP will be reviewed by the RRGCC LAC Committee to produce a first draft. The first draft will be presented to the climbing community to produce a final draft to be submitted to the USFS. Once the draft CMP is in the hands of the USFS we will see in what direction they take it.
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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by pigsteak » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:48 pm

so not to be too sarcastic, but are we talking years here, and not months?
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Re: Has anyone ever gotten permission to bolt on FS land?

Post by caribe » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:21 pm

pigsteak wrote:so not to be too sarcastic, but are we talking years here, and not months?
Nothing will move unless someone wants to put up a route or two and they make some noise about it. Malcolm X: The squeaky hinge . . .
Last edited by caribe on Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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