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Red Rock threatened by development

Original Post
Paul Van Betten · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2009 · Points: 0

If you care about the future of Red Rock Canyon, log on to and educate yourself about the threat. On Aug 17, seven Clark County commisioners will decide the future of development in Red Rock. This is for real!

JWG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 0

There is a meeting in Blue Diamond tonight the 27th at 07:00PM on this topic please come and join

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

This is a disaster waiting to happen. Climbers: please take action. Go to, find the contact information for Clark county commissioners and contact them now!

Also see an earlier post about the topic here:…

And if don't believe it, read the developer's official application to the county here:….

Of special interest to climbers is their claim that much of the proposed development will not be that visible from the state road or the parks' loop road... anyone who's climbed at RR knows that the entire Blue Diamond Hill is plainly visible from most of the cliffs and ridges in the area. If this monstrosity is allowed to become reality, it will completely change the experience of climbing in this gorgeous area.

Popular opposition to this CAN make a difference, but we need to get off our butts and contact the interested parties (actually in this case, we can even stay on our butts and e-mail them!)!! Noone else will do it for us.


Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

I've contacted the BLM district manager about this. I am hoping the agency will get involved in this debate (if they're not already) and consider a land swap with Rhodes.
We also need to contact Clark county offcials and our US representatives.

Here's the contact info (sources: &

BLM Southern Nevada District Office:
Mary Jo Rugwell, District Manager,
4701 North Torrey Pines Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89130
Phone: 702-515-5000
Fax: 702-515-5023

Clark county commissioners:
All commissioners can be reached at: (702) 455-3500
All commissioners can receive faxes at: (702) 455-3271
Clark County Commissioners, 500 S. Grand Central Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89155
Steve Sisolak, District A,
Tom Collins, District B,
Larry Brown, District C,
Lawrence Weekly, District D,
Chris Giunchigliani, District E,
Susan Brager, District F,
Mary Beth Scow, District G,

US Senators and Representatives for NV: (and yes, even if you don't live in NV, it doesn't mean you shouldn't contact them)
Senator Harry Reid (D- NV), 202-224-3542,
Senator Dean Heller (R- NV), 202-224-6244,…
Representative Shelley Berkley (D-01), 202-225-5965,
Representative Joe Heck (R-03), 202-225-3252,…

phil broscovak · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 1,631

Everyone Pay attention!!!!!
This really is critical!

Steve Starsja · · Sterling, MA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 0

So I went to and "What can you do?" #3 says "SIGN THE PETITION."

The petition looks like it's been down since April 14 (and it says it'll be fixed by that weekend...) What gives??

I love RRNCA and want to help....


Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,280

RR has become my #1 reason to come visit Vegas. It must be saved, if just for the loss of tourism to area. Hopefully we mean more than just another casino to the area.

Steve Starsja · · Sterling, MA · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 0

Thanks John!

... and Woodchuck, I agree with ya

Ryu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 50

I'm really bad at writing... anyone has a template/guideline? Bullet points? Thanks.

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

All: thanks for taking this seriously, 'cause it is!


I know the petition is down. The group that runs the site is very disorganized IMO. I offered to help them with an awareness campaign several weeks ago and never heard back. But this is precisely why WE need to act.

I really think that e-mailing or calling county, BLM, and congressmen has more impact than any petition anyway.

I do not have access to the numerous e-mails I wrote this morning (I am at work), but you don't have to write much. I actually don't think that what you write counts as much as just writing something.

Key points:

  • Red Rocks is a unique area: world-class rock climbing, unique desert environment (oasis-like fauna and flora in a desert environment), amazing and still relatively intact views
  • The area proposed for development is fully and plainly visible from most places on higher ground at RR, particularly many of the more popular climbs. Development there will irreparably alter the experience.
  • There are still plenty of other areas around Las Vegas that are available for development if needed. The Red Rocks NRA should be preserved at all costs.

Write a quick e-mail and make several copies. Send each individually to ALL addresses in my last post. I did exactly that yesterday and this morning, and have received several replies already.

IMO, we should focus on the BLM and Congressmen. All the county is likely to do is to limit the density of the development based on zoning rules, not prevent it. What do others think about this?

Most of all: TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!! ASK THEM TO WRTITE E_MAILS TOO. Send them copies of your e-mail if you'd like. Even form e-mails are better than nothing.

I've posted mirror links on SuperTopo and, but there are many more sites I do not know about. I certainly hope that the climbing community will react and stand up to this. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!
Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

Does anyone care????

Ryu · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 50

Thanks for the key points.

Ming · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,955

I care! I have posted the link on my facebook and everything else and will try and keep this link appear on the home page of

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

Thanks guys.
It just makes me really angry to see that threads like "Tell me about your scars" get more replies than this one... Makes you wonder if climbers care about anything other than their own navel.

Andy Kowles · · Lyons, CO · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 65

Bump. I rejoined just so I could post to this thread.

Here is the email I sent today to the BLM and all County Commissioners. I have received one reply already. Take a moment to write one yourself.

Regarding the Rhodes Development near Red Rock Canyon


My name is Andrew Kowles and I am an avid rock climber and a frequent visitor to Red Rocks. I have been following the events surrounding the Mr. Rhodes' proposed high density development near Red Rock Canyon, a cherished and historic national public climbing area.

I strenuously object to the proposed development for economic and aesthetic reasons.

- Housing Price Degradation: I question the public good of this development when Nevada housing has been hit so hard by the Great Recession and Financial Crisis of 2008. More development serves only to enrich Mr. Rhodes, at the expense of the wealth of area homeowners.

- Tourism: This will negatively affect tourism revenues.

- It is clear that the spectacular views from the cliffs in Red Rock Canyon will be negatively affected by this development.

- Is there not a less aesthetically damaging location where Mr. Rhodes could build instead that would provide the tax revenues of the new housing, but would not be so damaging to the area's majesty? Might I suggest a land exchange with Mr. Rhodes' venture?

Please, I beg you to consider my arguments in the upcoming process.

Most sincerely,

Schlapp Schwanz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 0


Tom Mulholland · · #1 Cheese Producing State! · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 50

Here's my email going out to everybody:

Regarding the Rhodes Development near Red Rock Canyon

Dear ,

Red Rock Canyon is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the great state of Nevada, and I am dismayed to learn that this world-class area is threatened by high density development just outside the park boundaries. In my opinion, this will irreparably damage the aesthetic that attracts tourists, hikers, and climbers from around the country.

Not only are there many other areas in Las Vegas where new development can take place, but I contend that more housing development will only serve to further depress housing prices in and around the city. Beyond economics, I encourage you to consider the philosophy of the great preservationist John Muir. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” Red Rock Canyon may be the best place for the citizens of Las Vegas to experience nature in this way, and further development can only detract from this experience. Beyond this, it is an area beloved by thousands of people, both in Nevada and throughout the rest of the country.

Thank you for your consideration,
Tom Mulholland

  • EDIT: Got a Delivery Failure for Senator Reid's email address as listed above. He has an email form page as well at the link below.…
Tyson Anderson · · SLC, UT · Joined May 2007 · Points: 126

Here is a good "climber's eye view" of the land in question.

It's taken from the top of Cloud Tower and that giant hill off to the right with the tailings on it is where they want to build a small city. If you have climbed out at Red Rock much you will recognize that you can get a similar view from a majority of the routes in the canyon.

Tyson Anderson · · SLC, UT · Joined May 2007 · Points: 126

Also, did anybody else read through the report submitted by the developers ?

The bit about the viewshed analysis is particularly infuriating:

"As depicted on the two Composite Viewshed Analysis exhibits, very little of the proposed
project site can be seen from the visually sensitive corridors of SR 159 and the Red Rock
Canyon Loop."

They are trying to argue that since you can't see most of the project from the road that it has very little impact on the recreation area. Views from other parts of the canyon aren't even really addressed. I guess the only users of the canyon they are concerned about are the people that don't get out of their cars.

alpinglow · · city, state · Joined Mar 2001 · Points: 25

The link to Sen. Reid posted above worked for me.

Please post link to meeting Aug. 17?

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

I've updated the contact info for senator Reid to his contact form (although my e-mail to him did not bounce... but I'll send him another via the form to be sure).

I could not find official notice/agenda of the August meeting on Clark County's website (their agenda only covers the first week of August...), but according to the meeting will be:

August 17 (Wednesday),
9:00 a.m.,
Clark County Government Building, Commission Chambers

It goes without saying that attending this meeting in person if you can is essential! If you live in Vegas, please consider taking the time to do so!

A bit more about this meeting for those of you who have not had time to read the various articles: here's a short excerpt of an article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, published on July 7 (full article here:… ):
Eight years ago, county commissioners voted to limit the density on Rhodes' land to one home for every two acres. The state passed a statute mirroring the county's code.
Rhodes later filed a lawsuit challenging the restrictions.
Last year, a federal judge struck down the state law and was preparing to rule on the county's code. That prompted commissioners to vote 4-3 to let Rhodes apply for higher-density use.

The reason why this matters, even though I personally am opposed to ANY development on the hill, even at one house per two acres, is that at the lower density, the plan may simply not be financially viable. Also, the lower density zoning reduces the commercial value of the land, and makes it easier for the BLM to offer a swap, assuming they had any interest in doing so (I have not had any answers from them yet).

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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