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Haycock Bouldering Possible Closure


Original Post
Larry S · · Easton, PA · Joined May 2010 · Points: 840

I just saw a small discussion on this on Facebook, Apparently there's a proposal on the PA game commision's adgenda for this month restrict access to game commission lands for all non hunting/trapping uses between the last Saturday in September thru the 3rd Saturday in January, then again from the second saturday in April thru Memorial Day, Except on Sundays.

This could severely impact access to Haycock, and possibly Mt. Gretna (never been there - is it on game lands?) - and any other climbing areas on game lands.

See page 37 of the agenda here - portal.state.pa.us/portal/s…

The meat of the proposal:

(c) Additional prohibitions. In addition to the prohibitions contained in the act pertaining to State game lands and § 135.2, except with the written permission of the Director, it is unlawful to:

  • * * * *
(5) [Ride] Hike on foot or ride a nonmotorized vehicle, conveyance or animal from the last Saturday in September until the third Saturday in January, and [before 1 p.m.] from the second Saturday in April through [the last Saturday in May] Memorial Day inclusive, except on Sundays or while lawfully engaged in hunting, trapping or fishing.

(23) Ride on designated bike trails, snowmobile trails or horse trails or hike on foot on any lands or waters designated as State game lands, unless the person is in possession of a valid hunting or furtaker license or a valid SGL permit signed by its holder. This provision shall not be construed to apply to:
(i) Persons 15 years of age or younger or up to one person accompanying another person in possession of a valid Pennsylvania hunting or furtaking license or a Commission-issued trail permit.
(ii) Persons using the Appalachian Trail, Laurel Highlands Trail, Horse-Shoe Trail, rails-to-trails or other trails on State game lands under current written agreement or other formal legal authorization permitting such use.

Apparently comments can get sent to pgccomments@pa.gov
Crossing · · Breinigsville, PA · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 1,242

I believe Mt. Gretna is a nature preserve and not on state game lands. Anyway, does anybody know the motivation behind this proposal?

Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Thank you for sharing Larry! I dont know the motivation behind this either Crossing, bummer. Gretna, Gov Dick, Rock Run and many other popular spots shouldnt be effected (affected?) by this, whew! There are more than a few that will be however...

Thank you Larry for bringing this situation to light. Anything I can do at all besides express my opinion and dislike? Im open to ideas if there are any to help out.

Larry S · · Easton, PA · Joined May 2010 · Points: 840

"in order to manage the game lands for its intended uses, the following proposed rulemaking is being offered for Board consideration. This proposal allows the agency to disseminate information to the secondary users of game lands that do not purchase a hunting or furtaking license (and therefore do not receive the annual hunting and trapping digest) and to collect information from these individuals to further protect and enhance the primary purposes of hunting, trapping, and wildlife management on game lands."

Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

bump! Im at work now but want to learn more about this tonight...

question: should the Access Fund be alerted? We have a really nice PA representitive that Ive communicated with before. Worth it to contact them?

Larry S · · Easton, PA · Joined May 2010 · Points: 840

They are probably in a better position to work with the PA game commission than any individual on here.

Abe Traven · · Boise,ID · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 230

Yes. Without a doubt contact the Access Fund. This would be a terrible blow to a wonderful area. Hunting season is at prime bouldering time.

M Sprague · · New England · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 4,999
The Stoned Master wrote:... and many other popular spots shouldnt be effected (affected?) by this, ...
Affect. To remember: "The arrow affected (verb) the Aardvark" "The effect (noun) is eye-popping"
Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Thanks Mark! I seem to always forget that one.

Once I am off of work I will definitly contact the PA Access Fund rep. I will post here what comes of it (if anything, you never know) so that we can all be "in the loop"

Larry you're the man for bringing this to light, thank you dude!

Seth Derr · · harrisburg, pa · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 2,060
Crossing wrote:I believe Mt. Gretna is a nature preserve and not on state game lands. Anyway, does anybody know the motivation behind this proposal?
The only part of Gretna on state game lands is the Infinity Wall. But this is a shitty proposal regardless. For what reason? How many climbers / hikers are getting shot? Are the funds generated in the sale of hunting licenses used to maintain state game lands? Is the presence of non hunters trappers on state game lands directly contributing to overpopulation of critters in the state? Who can we all get all sassy with to prevent this from happening?
Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,759

Prob just trying to get people to buy hunting licences. . . buy a license, go climbing anyway and say ur hunting or scouting to hunt, "Just need to send this boulder to get a good view... sir!"

Seth Derr · · harrisburg, pa · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 2,060

haha. "I swear to god sir it ran up that boulder over there and the only way for me to chase it was to try to climb to the top in the most difficult way conceivable."

MojoMonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 66

Sounds like this is the result of the delayed plan to charge non-hunters a yearly fee to use State Game Lands?

It is worth knowing (I didn't) that the lands are not funded by tax money.

GoErie.com wrote:The Game Commission purchases state game lands through revenues from hunting and trapping license fees, gas and oil leases, and timber sales on state game lands, Capouillez said. Game lands are not funded with any tax dollars, he said.
Though land is also donated.

GoErie.com wrote:The conservancy, a nonprofit conservation organization founded in 1932, has purchased and transferred 41,000 acres -- primarily in western Pennsylvania -- to the Game Commission for game lands use, according to Allison Schlesinger, director of communications for the conservancy.
The change in plan is not necessarily supported by groups that have donated land.

GoErie.com wrote:Officials with the Pittsburgh-based Western Pennsylvania Conservancy oppose the Game Commission's proposed user permit for non-hunters.
Western Pennsylvania Conservancy wrote:The conservancy supports that these (game) lands should be open to the public without charge. We purchase the property and hand it over to the Game Commission to be used as game lands. We partner with the Game Commission on a lot of land acquisitions.
Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Bump! I e-mailed the Access Fund regional representitive (Bob Value) just now and attached a copy of the proposal that I got from the link that Larry provided. I will definitely share what his response is and convey any news, information or instructions he gives.

Definitely a bummer...

MojoMonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 66

Also interesting from the above article (Bill Capouillez is the Game Commission's bureau director for wildlife habitat management):

GoErie.com wrote:If the proposal is implemented, Capouillez said the cost of a user permit would be more than a hunting license. That might encourage more non-hunters to purchase a hunting license and save money. In that scenario, the Game Commission would benefit by receiving more federal reimbursements for selling more hunting licenses. However, a potential drawback is non-hunters who purchase a hunting or trapping license would have to invest time in passing a Game Commission safety course.
Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Thanks Mojo for sharing those quotes and information!

I got an e-mail back from Bob Value and he says:

...I had been following it since it hit last summer and then of course it was dropped. This round came out of the blue fast. We had a very quickly organized pow wow today between myself, the AF policy analyst, the southwest pa CC and Dana aat Doylestown gym and came up with a proposed policy position. I have also reached out to the Central PA CC for their input on our meeting. We hope to put out a policy statement and proposed form response late next week in an eblast to all east coast AF members and hope that they will respectfully provide comment along those guidelines. Our basic premise is that a free permitting system with the intention of communicating and educating non hunters as to proper etiquette safety precautions and expectations of them as visitors is a great idea but that properly executed that should eliminate the need for seasonal restrictions and the restrictions appear almost in contradiction with the permitting premise.

and:

...I think what is really important is that no matter what we don’t go off half cocked in any commentary with the Game Commission. I am a hunter and my day job makes me interface with H-burg. This wasn’t aimed specifically at climbers and a lot of other user groups are rallying the troops..what we don’t want is leaving a bad taste at the end of the day with the GC about climbing. Their current position is one of tolerance as long as we play by the rules regarding use of the properties (I ran this up a flag pole through a high placed business associate). The fact is IF they see us as a fly to be swatted they at least over here in the west have ammo to swat away. There has been sport development on SGL and one major SGL with probably 10 or more separate areas in it has an endangered species that lives in the rock and the biologist who did the survey specifically mentioned climbing as a threat so we really don’t want to come off looking like a-holes when / if people choose to comment..why we are trying to get a model response together

Bob encouraged me to pass on the information. Thank you Bob for the speedy and informative reply! Thoughts anyone?

Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Bump!

Kyle Stapp · · Pennsylvania · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 3,935

Bob added the following in an additional e-mail I received this morning:

Again feel free to pass this along...It behooves folks to skim the county inventories etc for the ones that their favorite crags are at just to be aware of any potential issues. The inventories are not just gamelands. If for example one were to look in Fayette County one would eventually see the commentary on the Green Salamander and rock climbing potential impact. I looked again in the county where my backyard crag McConnells Mill is located and saw some commentary about limiting climbing to existing areas. I have a great relationship with the DCNR so posed the question of substantiating back up for this general and broad sweeping statement by the biologist…nobody can put their hands on it. At any rate this project was a joint GC/FC/DCNR & Conservancy collaboration. Again knowledge is power.

http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/cnhi.aspx

Gordon88 · · Pennsylvania · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 0

Thanks for the update. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do to help the access fund.

Dan Allard · · West Chester, PA · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 776

Here's some more information on Keystone Trail Association's site with recommended actions we can do to have our voice heard including the PGC meeting details (January 25 in Harrisburg) for public comment.

archive.constantcontact.com…

Thanks for reading and acting!

Bob Value · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 0
Dan Allard wrote:Here's some more information on Keystone Trail Association's site with recommended actions we can do to have our voice heard including the PGC meeting details (January 25 in Harrisburg) for public comment. archive.constantcontact.com… Thanks for reading and acting!
Heh all, I finally found my log in over here.

I had a conference call late Thursday with the Joel from the Western and Scott from the Central PA Local Climbing Orgs and Dana from the Doylestown Gym representing Eastern interests for the calls sake along with Eric and Zach from the Access Fund.

We put together an initial position statement and bullet points for a model letter. Folks were gonna to circulate among memberships etc and tomorrow any potential changes would be due. At that point an Access Fund E-blast will go out through the action alert system by end of the week with that info urging response. I realize that not everyone that is following this may be a member so I will post the position statement and our suggested bullet points in this thread once I know its "official".

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

North Eastern States Partners
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