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Access Fund Will Sue Federal Government to Defend Bears Ears National Monument


Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
Robert Michael wrote:

This. Thank you.

For several years now, there has been a growing movement in Western states, led by Republican politicians and, get ready to be surprised-- representatives of those who want to mine, drill, log, and graze federal lands-- to take back "their" lands that the federal government "stole" from them (this is a lie that a little open-minded research will reveal-- much BLM land is land these states deemed useless and didn't want).

Yes, reducing these monuments will mean that the feds still control them, but you have a Congress and a president interested in leasing, selling, or outright giving away these lands to the states and/or private entities.

And, I know this is a climbing site and GSENM is not so well-known for its climbing (though it is for canyoneering), but please don't forget about GSENM in your advocacy and defense. It has been around much longer than Bear's Ears has, and it is one of largest and most spectacular unspoiled landscapes in the country. It deserves equal support and defense.

Also important for the outdoor industry as a whole to work together as, other than the climbing designation, interests are fairly aligned

Caleb Mallory · · Seattle, N.Carolina, &Hong… · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 425
bus driver wrote:

In semi-related news. . .

https://www.ksl.com/?sid=46211347&nid=148&title=rep-chris-stewart-proposes-national-park-in-grand-staircase-escalante

Also, what is the deal with wilderness study areas? They have been designated all over southern Utah and forbid fixed anchors. Are the "studies" ever going to end and any of this ever going to be open for anchors?

He's a conservative though, so he can't possibly be for the environment or public lands. 

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 156
Jon Frisby wrote:

Also important for the outdoor industry as a whole to work together as, other than the climbing designation, interests are fairly aligned

Completely agree.

BruceH · · New Harmony, UT · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 45
jg fox wrote:

Has anyone ever sued Yosemite National Park for climbing deaths?  Denali for West Buttress accidents?

Worst case scenario would probably lead to a permanent anchor ban.  A lot of cracks are going to have hexes for rap anchors.

The NPS was sued by the parents of a climber who died in Yosemite in 1999: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-9th-circuit/1299977.html

Such suits are possible under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which waives federal sovereign immunity for a variety of (you guessed it) torts.  

Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 156
Caleb Mallory wrote:

He's a conservative though, so he can't possibly be for the environment or public lands. 

He's not. The details are all there in that article, maybe sometimes unwittingly.

The last influential conservative who was for the environment and public lands was Teddy Roosevelt, and he would be a moderate Democrat in today's world.

“We feel that’s a win-win. You love tourism? So do I,” Stewart told KSL. “People will come for a national park, but many of them won’t come for a monument.”

People already come from all over, and part of the appeal is that it's not the circus that Zion and Arches and Bryce are, inside or out. The small communities along the monument do not hurt for business. Torrey, Boulder, and Escalante are always busy during the tourist seasons. I know because I've been there at those times.

“Look, for all those people who say monuments are good for tourism, a national park is even better,” said Stewart, whose district includes Grand Staircase-Escalante.

Utah’s sixth national park would be funded to include “all the things that come with it,” such as roads, restrooms, campgrounds, trails and a visitor center, Stewart said.

Yay, more development! So short-term jobs for locals that will quickly dry up, and permanent eyesores. Awesome! Also, see above.

The size and exact location of the proposed park is unclear. Stewart said it would be about 100,000 acres, but Trump's monument decree sets the area called Escalante Canyons at more than 243,000 acres.

So he actually proposes protecting less land than Trump does, but with no clear plan. That doesn't sound fishy at all. But let's say he's being honest. What would he see be done with the rest? Hmmm...

A retired National Park Service senior superintendent, Poe said he would be concerned about lodges, cabins and other construction inside the park.

"We want to see the Escalante Canyons and the entire monument with as little development as possible," he said. "I really like what the BLM has done here with Grand Staircase where the development is in the communities."

Preserving the wilderness aspect was the entire purpose.

"All of the talk about a national park is just a diversion from the Utah delegation's intent to remove protection from 2 million acres of southern Utah," he said.

No way. Just couldn't be.

Only Congress can set aside land for a national park

Yeah, that's gonna happen.

As for the rest of the article with all its happy horseshit from Utah reps...

"It's basically an admission by the Utah delegation that their concern that President Trump does lack the authority to repeal the monument by executive order, so they're setting up the backup by doing it as legislation," he said.

The Native American Rights Fund opposes Curtis' bill, saying it purports to speak for the tribes the group represents — Hopi, Ute Mountain Ute and Zuni — though no one has spoken to them.

bus driver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 1,000

An example of what the "locals" want to do with the scenic byways in the area.   Maybe some blip billboards afthe rock tunnel

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,205
Dave Kos wrote:

I agree with your position on this issue, and in general as to the agenda and competence of the president.

But if you criticize him for using childish names and then call him a childish name in the same sentence, it doesn't make our tactics any better.

We've reached a point where the only reliable characteristic of the current president and his party is that they take the low road: use personal insults, logical fallacies, hypocritical claims, outright lies and disinformation with strident consistency.  Politics has always had it's ugly side, but we are now in a position where our leadership actively encourages the worst kind of behavior.  It is unprecedented.

Let's remind ourselves to take the honorable path: fight this ignorance with logic, facts, and the principles of law.  We can win this.

Donation sent.

Yep.  Trump disgusts me, and the reactions I see to him on a regular basis remind me that the other side of the Isle is not really a lot different in many ways.

Not only did I donate, I challeneged a group of other s to donate and will match everything they throw down.
That makes their dollars X4 when that gets matched with the private anon donor's offer to match to $100k.

 Perhaps it will motivate some additional giving.  The AF's annual budget is about $2M for all that they do.  It's amazing that they can accomplish what they do with that, but they'll need a bump up to maintain their current programs and also get to the steps of the highest court.

So how much is the area worth to you in it's present state?  I've spend $10,000 on vacations that were less fantastic than any one of several given year's visits there.
So I am putting down some money here.

And others?

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40
Shannon Davis wrote:

Bears Ears was the first National Monument proclamation to specifically acknowledge rock climbing as an appropriate and valued recreation activity,” says Brady Robinson, Access Fund Executive Director. “This was a huge win for the climbing community, as the Bears Ears region is home to a substantial amount of world-class climbing. We cannot afford to lose that acknowledgement or allow the climbing experience to be compromised.”

Under President Trump’s December 4th Presidential Proclamation #9558, rock climbing would also lose its acknowledged status as a valued and appropriate activity, and approximately 40 percent of the climbing areas at Bears Ears would lose enhanced national monument status,including Valley of the Gods, Harts Draw, Lockhart Basin, and a portion of the climbing at Indian Creek. 

Donation sent. This lawsuit is absolutely about climbing access. It would be a huge setback if this written acknowledgement of climbing is taken away. 

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

So they are suing because rock climbing is no longer acknowledged status but isn't as of now taking away access?

Seems like it is a huge chuck of money that could be used to buy / open up access to new climbing.

telepaulk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 70

VisperScale, 

this does regard climbing access as I understand it.  You should come visit Indian Creek and check out the climbing there! It's the BEST crack climbing in the world!  Not all of it is removed from protection under this order, but some of it is and as far as I'm concerned it should all be protected for reasons beyond climbing.  This is about more than climbing access!!!

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,205
Robert Michael wrote:

Here is the question I ask, and the one that is most relevant to me here:

Whom do I trust the most to manage the unspoiled lands we have left: the federal government, state and local governments, or private entities?

In almost all cases, I will choose the feds, not because they are always efficient or because they always do things well (I agree they often do a poor job) but because the others almost always put short-term economic interests first. And often, those others display an outright hostility to conservation and to environmental protections. Utah's state government and its federal delegations are among the most hostile, if not the most hostile.

You mean, like compared to the Nature Conservancy? World Wildlife Fund? Utah Open Lands Trust?  Access Fund?
Shoot, I'd go private entity if that is what you mean.  I put my money where my mouth is and donate heavily to these groups in order to preserve unpreserved lands becuase I trust the outcome and efficiency of them moreso than I'd expect to if I lobbied for 'preservation' by the feds.

The Feds will at times develop it, restrict it in ways you didn't anticipate, allow deleterious access when it suits them, sell or trade portions of it, and occasionally make a nice park out of a nice place, but their "mission statement" is not always clear or accurate, in my opinion.

If The Nature Conservancy had control of Yosemite, do you think we'd have had this right here?



ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235
telepaulk wrote:

VisperScale, 

this does regard climbing access as I understand it.  You should come visit Indian Creek and check out the climbing there! It's the BEST crack climbing in the world!  Not all of it is removed from protection under this order, but some of it is and as far as I'm concerned it should all be protected for reasons beyond climbing.  This is about more than climbing access!!!

So they are officially saying you can't climb there anymore? Or is that just assumptions that are being made about it? Would it not be better to try to put the money towards expanding the area that is protected to included climbing sections that are being left out than trying to reject the entire thing they are doing for areas that don't have climbing?

Pnelson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 185
Tony B wrote:

You mean, like compared to the Nature Conservancy? World Wildlife Fund? Utah Open Lands Trust?  Access Fund?
Shoot, I'd go private entity if that is what you mean.  I put my money where my mouth is and donate heavily to these groups in order to preserve unpreserved lands becuase I trust the outcome and efficiency of them moreso than I'd expect to if I lobbied for 'preservation' by the feds.

The Feds will at times develop it, restrict it in ways you didn't anticipate, allow deleterious access when it suits them, sell or trade portions of it, and occasionally make a nice park out of a nice place, but their "mission statement" is not always clear or accurate, in my opinion.

If The Nature Conservancy had control of Yosemite, do you think we'd have had this right here?



Sooo, you're saying that you think the land management for climbing at a place like the RRG is more ideal than that of Indian Creek?

Dan Evans · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 85

I asked this on their FB page, but never got a reply. What is the purpose of the Access Fund suing in addition to Patagonia? It seems they have already announced their intent to file suit and have billions of dollars to pay for any sort of associated legal fees. Is this a joint effort under the same lawsuit?

bus driver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 1,000

Just to be clear. You can still climb in the "unprotected" areas. They will be just the same status as all of Indian Creek before the Bears Ears designation one year ago. I'd rather see the Access Fund not get on Trump and team consevative's shit list by suing now. 

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
ViperScale wrote:

So they are suing because rock climbing is no longer acknowledged status but isn't as of now taking away access?

Seems like it is a huge chuck of money that could be used to buy / open up access to new climbing.

It threatens climbing access, sets a hugely negative precedent for threatening climbing access on other federal lands, and opens up substantial opportunity for the climbing landscape to be significantly degraded even if climbing access remains (for example by allowing extractive industries to operate in the same area).  This is exactly what the Access Fund should be focusing on. 

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10
Dan Evans wrote:

I asked this on their FB page, but never got a reply. What is the purpose of the Access Fund suing in addition to Patagonia? It seems they have already announced their intent to file suit and have billions of dollars to pay for any sort of associated legal fees. Is this a joint effort under the same lawsuit?

My understanding is yes -- they are joint plaintiffs: http://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/06/boulder-access-fund-patagonia-sue-donald-trump/

I think it makes a lot of sense to have several different 'interests' represented in the lawsuit.

Brandon Baldwin · · Sahuarita, AZ · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 15

It's not obvious to me which side of this argument is stronger.  Obviously, I like the idea of protecting the lands while maintaining access for climbing and other outdoor adventures, I am on this forum after all.  I'm not convinced a National Park or Monument designation is the best way to do that.  It seems that areas with such designations are overcrowded and over regulated making it difficult to camp, climb or explore without reservations/permits months in advance.  Does the designation eventually create this problem by driving people to it who otherwise wouldn't have been interested or is the designation required because the areas are already overcrowded and in need of further regulation?

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Okay I have a few questions for all to stimulate some thought. Jumping on band wagons and joining lynch mobs is so cool in 2017 but perhaps we should think about what else could be going on.  

  1. Do you trust the government and government administrations?
  2. Do you trust the government to efficiently use your money?
  3. Do you trust the government  to most efficiently run a national park/monument?
  4. Do you trust someone who wears a suit to work in Washington D.C. to understand SW Utah? 

For me its no, no, no, and no. 

The reason you and others dont TRUST the government is something of a cultural phenomenon not rooted in fact/reality. The issue becomes one of lack of accountability/transparency and a misalignment of interest between those elected to gov and those they represent. Politicians are corruptable given our system and therefore you dont trust them... fix the government re align the interests and you should restore trust in the government. The solution is not removing, destroying or gutting the fed government and its important protections and necessary functions because the population doesnt trust it, its make it a system you can trust.

There are fundamental and philosophically important reasons for the feds to control/protect these areas over state and local control. 

Fix the issues dont buy into the broken fed/govt cant do anything argument. That concept is merely a political tool...

Morgan Patterson · · CT · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 8,767
Dave Kos wrote:

Ugh, that's cut and paste straight from conservative media.

Turn off the talk radio and turn on your brain.

Thank you Dave...

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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