Mountain Project Logo

Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council needs your feedback


Original Post
Orphaned · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 11,790

Dear Fellow Climber,

The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council would like your feedback to determine whether climbers support or have concerns with the climbing management initiative as written in the wilderness management plan for the La Madre Mountain and Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Area. Your feedback is important in helping guide the future of climbing in wilderness areas for Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. If you have not read the climbing management initiative already, please take a few minutes to review or website: LVCLC.org. The information is the rock climbing management initiative as written in the wilderness management plan. After you have read it, please click on the link below to begin a survey. Your answers are completely confidential and there is no way anyone can identify who is providing the survey answers. This survey is very brief and should take no more than 10 minutes of your time. Please feel free to contact me at lbuchina@yahoo.com if you have any questions or concerns. Again, your answers are extremely important to us.

surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=…

Thanks for your time.

LVCLC

Andrew Carson · · Wilson, WY · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,530

I wrote a long letter to the BLM over a year ago commenting on their 'ideas' for climbing management. Has something changed since June '07? This initiative is certainly appreciated, to keep people informed and involved, but if there is nothing new from the BLM, this seems a little dated.

Karsten Duncan · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 2,550

Do I have to pay a fee for the LVCLC to support my opinion? Last time I checked they did.

For what's its worth I support the management initiative.

chris ansari · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 45

Andrew,
The climbing initiative within the wilderness management may be modified to some degree. The purpose of the survey is to find out what climbers think of the initiative so that the LVCLC can voice a clear opinion based on the user group it represents. The hope is that hundreds or thousands of climbers will take the time to review the plan and fill out the survey based on their own opinions.

Karsten wrote:Do I have to pay a fee for the LVCLC to support my opinion? Last time I checked they did. For what's its worth I support the management initiative.
To all interested in joining the LVCLC, please do not be misinformed by Karsten's statement. Anyone can attend our meetings and share their opinions. To my knowledge, it has always been that way. There is a $10 per year($0.83 a month) membership fee that helps the LVCLC and its mission. This membership, which might separate the casually interested person from the more involved person to vote for the LVCLC's board of directors. As many people realize, this is fairly standard for most organizations.
Aaron S · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2006 · Points: 150

Anyone have a link to the actual plan?

Andrew Carson · · Wilson, WY · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,530

To get a copy of the plan, one way to do it is to go to the LVCLC home page and follow links to current issues/bolting, and you will find the BLM's initial proposal. It takes some time to get through it.
I think anyone who climbs at RR should look it over and comment, and there is a larger issue here that might not be apparent to most climbers. The FS ban on fixed anchors in Wilderness still hangs over us from '99. This is the first Federal land management agency that is close to finalizing a plan for climbing management in Wilderness, and it is very likely that other agencies will use this as a template as they contemplate their own needs in this area. Thus, what happens in RR might well happen across the country.
Check it out, comment, raise hell.

chris ansari · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 45

Aaron,

if you check out my personal page here on MP, I have the climbing iniative portion of the wilderness management plan in jpeg format (Rainbow Wilderness photos).

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 6,167

Same proposal, just the BLM may finally be getting around to it's next draft based on our past comments?

What's new here is that you are asked to share your comments with LVCLC.

In my opinion, it with worth everyone's while to read the whole proposal, so that you can see how the BLM proposes to restrict other user groups and you can think about where climbers fit into the larger scheme of protecting the remaining wilderness values of this beautiful area.

I think some of the reasoning behind BLM proposals for dealing with hunter's camps and with geo-caches bear directly on the bolting issue.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,387
Doug Hemken wrote:What's new here is that you are asked to share your comments with LVCLC.
Done. Are the comments and results going to be posted at some point? I wouldn't mind a copy of mine.

Cheers,

-Brian in SLC
raygay · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined May 2006 · Points: 180

Certainly the BLM should have a sound management plan for the wilderness areas around Red Rock Nevada. But my reading of the proposed management plan as it pertains particularly to the control of bolting and establishing of new climbing routes leads me to conclude that the BLM is focused on the wrong priorities. It seems that the drafters of the management plan have indulged themselves in taking a side on the long-standing debate about the ethics of bolting. This should not be the role of the BLM as an organization or its individual staff. There could be so many other higher priorities in managing the wilderness area to preserve and protect the wilderness experience.

The proliferation of common use trails, the effect of visitors' dogs on the wildlife, and the marking of the red cliffs with white climbing chalk are more legitimate concerns than limiting the number of bolts and the number of new routes with bolted anchors and protection. Bolts are usually totally inconspicuous unless you are within 50 feet or so anyway. I support the responsible use of bolts to provide safe rock climbing opportunities, both for first ascentionists in establishing a new route and for those who follow. I'd like to see the BLM partner with the climbing community to focus more on education instead of enforcement of ever expanding regulations. (And I completed the LVCLC survey to express these same thoughts.)

Larry DeAngelo · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Nov 2002 · Points: 4,445
raygay wrote:Certainly the BLM should have a sound management plan for the wilderness areas around Red Rock Nevada. But my reading of the proposed management plan as it pertains particularly to the control of bolting and establishing of new climbing routes leads me to conclude that the BLM is focused on the wrong priorities. It seems that the drafters of the management plan have indulged themselves in taking a side on the long-standing debate about the ethics of bolting. This should not be the role of the BLM as an organization or its individual staff. ...
Ray, I think you are getting the wrong message from the plan. Though I am not affiliated with either the BLM or the CLC, I have been involved in countless hours of discussion and brainstorming with the local BLM guys over the last several years. Here is my interpretation:

The BLM wants no part of an ethics debate. They are not trying to eliminate sport climbing. The Red Rock supply of sport-bolted routes already numbers in the thousands, and there will certainly be more. These are mostly in the non-wilderness part of Red Rock, and are thus unaffected by the current plan.

There are a few reasons to expect that bolt management is essentially guaranteed to be part of the wilderness plan. Importantly, the BLM has the authority to regulate them (stemming from the Wilderness Act of 1964). There is also an institutional expectation that bolts will be regulated-- this goes up the organizational chart back to Washington and may be related to outcry from non-climbing outdoor users. Third, and most related to the point you bring up, is the differing impact patterns characteristic of the "sport" and "trad" approaches.

The classical traditional climb consists of climbers hiking to the base, disappearing up a cliff face, descending, and departing. The sport approach, which is essentially dependent on bolts, is associated with swarms of people hanging around on the ground for long periods of time. Not only is the impact magnified, but the Wilderness Act specifically states:

"where man himself is a visitor who does not remain"
"without permanent improvements"
"the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable"

So, if the proposed plan appears tilted away from sport climbing, it is not because of a misplaced intrusion of the BLM into climbing ethics. Rather, it is the result of a direct congressional mandate. I think the objective of the proposed plan is to allow the use of bolts where they are incidental to the mountaineering experience, and restrict them when the function is the construction of outdoor exercise equipment in a primitive area. (The details of the plan are also affected by other elements of the regulatory framework, specifically NEPA. Lots of explanation on the CLC site.)

If you, as a climber, disagree with the the BLM objectives, I think you will have a long, steep road ahead of you. Probably have to start with a call to your congressman. If the above objective is palatable, I think the best approach is to help the BLM sort out the details in a manner that minimizes the burden on climbers while still protecting the wilderness resource.

Again, nothing here but my highly unofficial opinions...
raygay · · Las Vegas, Nevada · Joined May 2006 · Points: 180

Larry, perhaps I am getting the wrong message from the plan. I appreciate knowing your interpretation. It stimulated some thoughts that will take a lot of words to express. My apologies for taking up so much space to do so.

The matter of interpretation is fundamental to this issue. Part of my concern with the plan relates not only to how the plan will be interpreted and administered, but also goes back to the root of how the Wilderness Act of 1964 is interpreted and administered.

You explain that the Wilderness Act of 1964 specifically states:

"where man himself is a visitor who does not remain"
"without permanent improvements"
"the imprint of man's work substantially unnoticeable"

My interpretation of these statements allows me to comfortably take the position that a reasonable number of bolts to facilitate safe traditional climbing, for climbers of all levels from beginner to advanced, does not violate the Wilderness Act.

As to the first statement, placing anchor and protection bolts for safety does nothing to encourage a visitor to remain in the wilderness area. So, I don’t see how this facet of the Wilderness Act applies to the discussion.

As to the second statement, I don’t believe that a reasonable number of strategically placed anchor and protection bolts would ever have been construed by the original framers of the Wilderness Act as “permanent improvements”. It seems much more likely that the law was written with the intent to prohibit roads, structures and other facilities usually associated with the advance of “civilization”. In fact, the proposed provisions of the management plan give credibility to this interpretation since the proposed plan itself establishes a framework for the BLM to permit additional bolts. The question simply boils down to a judgment about what constitutes a reasonable number of bolts. Past experience with the bureaucracy of the BLM gives me little confidence in the ability of the BLM to make reasonable, much less expeditious, judgments on this issue.

As to the third statement, as I said in my previous post, bolts are usually quite inconspicuous, even “substantially unnoticeable”, except to those who are up close and looking for them. I agree that a rock face grid-bolted and festooned with new shiny hangers would be aesthetically displeasing in a wilderness area. Not only that, bolting on such a scale might attract hordes of sport climbers similar to those present in the Calico Hills. This would indeed be detrimental to the spirit of a designated wilderness area. I do not endorse and would strongly oppose the establishment of single pitch sport climbing routes in the Red Rock scarp because, as you rightly point out, swarms of people hanging around on the ground for long periods of time would have a large detrimental impact on the natural area.

I understand and accept that a bolt management is essentially guaranteed to be part of the wilderness plan. I only hope that the BLM will make interpretations on how to manage bolts in a way that is consistent with the original intent of the law (not as extreme environmentalists or anti-bolt fanatics would like now to interpret the law), is practical to administer, encourages education on good outdoor behavior, and does not impose unreasonable and unnecessary restrictions on those who are responsible in their outdoor behavior.

J. Thompson · · denver, co · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470

The part about not allowing bolts in the first hundred feet is irresponsible and dangerous.
Is the BLM trying to promote "R" and "X" climbing? that's sure what it appears like.

I'll have to comment on with them I guess.
I'm just not convinced they listen.

josh

Andrew Carson · · Wilson, WY · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,530

There are many many problems with the BLM's proposal, but climbers (that's us, right?) need to step up and comment, and get involved. They, the BLM, have had public input sitting on their desk since June '07, so if you're just getting up to speed with the plan, you're on the late side. But it's never too late until the govt. signs off on the final document.
Thousands of climbers visit RR Canyon in a calendar year. Where are their voices?

Larry DeAngelo · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Nov 2002 · Points: 4,445
J. Thompson wrote:The part about not allowing bolts in the first hundred feet is irresponsible and dangerous. Is the BLM trying to promote "R" and "X" climbing? that's sure what it appears like.
Just to clarify, the proposed plan does NOT contain a prohibition on bolts in the first hundred feet. It says if you want to bolt close to the ground, you don't get the simplified permit (you have to have the "permit 2" instead).
Andrew Carson · · Wilson, WY · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 1,530

So, if it's placed 89' feet off the deck, "permit 2"; 103', go to "permit 1"? That's a workable plan?

Larry DeAngelo · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Nov 2002 · Points: 4,445
Andrew Carson wrote:So, if it's placed 89' feet off the deck, "permit 2"; 103', go to "permit 1"? That's a workable plan?
Maybe I'm missing your point-- what is unworkable about that?
J. Thompson · · denver, co · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
Larry DeAngelo wrote: Just to clarify, the proposed plan does NOT contain a prohibition on bolts in the first hundred feet. It says if you want to bolt close to the ground, you don't get the simplified permit (you have to have the "permit 2" instead).
Fair enough, guess I missed that part.
However by having 2 different plans, or permits at all they are just making it weird.
Hand drilling only has worked VERY well in every other wilderness area.
I think if this plan moves forward you will just continue to see the rogue bolting that is currently going on.

josh
lin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0
J. Thompson wrote: I think if this plan moves forward you will just continue to see the rogue bolting that is currently going on. josh
Just to play devils advocate. Does the BLM know that climbers are still rogue bolting currently? If they do why should they consider allowing new bolts and limits if they know climbers will do anything they want anyhow? I mean, shouldn't climbers be working with the BLM instead of against them? It seems a little two faced to say lets work with the BLM and then the next day go bolt a new route.
Lee Jensen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2004 · Points: 935
Andrew Carson wrote:So, if it's placed 89' feet off the deck, "permit 2"; 103', go to "permit 1"? That's a workable plan?
Larry DeAngelo wrote: Maybe I'm missing your point-- what is unworkable about that?
This is what is unworkable about "permit 2":

1. 30 day review.
2. Applications only reviewed once a month.
3. One application per person.
4. Only five permits, drawn at random, are reviewed.

So if you want to put one single bolt at foot 99. Please wait a month, only work on one route, hope you are the lucky five.

You had better not need a bolt when you are doing a FA with only "permit 1". This seems like it is only going to create very dangerous behavior.

I really don't get what plans like this are trying to accomplish. What is the real problem that is being solved? It seems to only create a environment for litigation where the BLM is now responsible since they are "managing" it.
J. Thompson · · denver, co · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
lin wrote: Just to play devils advocate. Does the BLM know that climbers are still rogue bolting currently? If they do why should they consider allowing new bolts and limits if they know climbers will do anything they want anyhow? I mean, shouldn't climbers be working with the BLM instead of against them? It seems a little two faced to say lets work with the BLM and then the next day go bolt a new route.
The BLM is not stupid...ofcourse they know.

The thing is climbers are working with the BLM. Some VERY specifically.
The belief I get from alot of folks is that certain climbers that worked with the BLM on this plan have interjected their personal agendas and not looked at the climbing community as a whole.

The problem I see is that the BLM is trying to manage something that doesn't really need any more managing.
The standard in every wilderness area in the country is no power drills. This standard has been very effective.
Now enter the BLM....which doesn't have alot of experience in the management of these areas....and they want to reinvent the wheel.

Is the rogue bolting right? It depends on your opinion, and there are many things to consider. Is it helping with the climber BLM relationship? Probably no.

Should the BLM realise that they will NEVER be able to affectively enforce the permit process? Yes.

Those canyon's are to big, they don't have enough man power, nor will they.
What they will do is push First ascentionist's underground.

They should encourage the climbing community to rally around itself.
No power drills in the wilderness is an appropriate way to do that.
There is a much better chances of climbers self policing this common standard.

josh
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Nevada
Post a Reply to "Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council needs your f…"

Log In to Reply