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Be clear about the bird closures around here, OK? YOU ARE ON CAMERA!


Original Post
Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180

DISCLAIMOR:  I am not in control of this and I do not speak for the USFS.  
I just happen to have a relationship with the USFS stemming from being a former Board member of the LCO, and from volunteering on the Eagle Monitoring program, and have been trying to re-negotiate the closure extent.   Which is remarkably pertinent here, because we recently started an effort to negotiate a shrinkage/reduction of a closure right next to a nesting area that we believe is unnecessary large.  Likewise, some of you may have noticed that the closures are smaller, more restricted in time, and that the USFS has grown much more climber friendly.
We are being encouraged to self-police as an alternative to being policed by law enforcement.  And it would be great if nobody f&@#ed that up, right?
But I digress...

I am sure that a majority of climbers already know that the Eagle nest sites are monitored by camera from late January to mid August.  
There are nest cams and cams on the rock overall set to monitor the birds, but can photograph anything else that moves in the area, for that matter.  These pairs are being studied by the USFS.

Which leads me to the next point...  (As history sighs, and repeats itself AGAIN... 'You know, this happened a few years ago, right?')

Earlier today, pictures from a USFS Bird cam of a pair of climbers in the wrong place at the wrong time were sent to me by a USFS volunteer.
The pictures were NOT YET shared with the USFS officials or law enforcement.  I and a few others were asked if we can identify those climbers.

I don't really care what happens to a few climbers who did the wrong thing, but I would like to be sure that the community as a whole, will not suffer their mistake.
So... put yourself in my shoes for a moment.  What would you do?  Or maybe ask yourself what would I do?
So here we go... 

For those who have been around long enough, you might recall 2 years ago something like this happened on a different route in in the same nesting territory (Which contains multiple nest sites).
Pictures were sent to the same group of us (climbers) and the person was identified.  He got let off of the hook specifically because he owned up to it and he got eaten alive on this site.
You might recall that the offender ended up in the USFS office to turn himself in.  The thread here was removed because the kid didn't need to suffer his whole life for it, and like I said, he owned up to it.
The USFS thought maybe he (and the community) might have learned from that, and that he was unlikely to repeat his mistake.
I was kinda hoping the legend of that ordeal might discourage people from repeating the mistake, but clearly not fully.

Back to the main point...

The pictures I mentioned were taken on the USFS cameras.  It is federal property, and it was closed, so give that some thought.
Would anyone like to PM me and raise their hand and convince us that we don't need to go chase them down?
If you do, I'll send you a nice set of 10 pictures of the two of you on your 'proj as a reward.  The light was great yesterday between  2:12PM - 3:32 PM, so they would be pretty nice photos for your collection.

For my own part, I hate to see someone suffer too much for a stupid mistake, but at the very least, I don't want the USFS seeing this as if we don't care.
So how much energy do we have to put into this?  And we know exactly what route at what time on what date and have photos already.
It's a small world, and the internet is a big place.   Think it over, and send me a PM if there is something you'd like to get off your chest.

On the other hand, if someone has to go to the trouble of hunting... then someone might get 'shot' in a metaphorical sense.  
Should we post the pictures here for the community to Identify the climbers if we can't figure it out like last time?

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 867

Post em up.  I've got my pitchfork ready!

Christopher Roberts · · Boulder, CO · Joined Apr 2002 · Points: 70

Post the Pics. The closure postings are clear here, in the canyon, at trail heads etc. 

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

They will set an example for people to follow on what not to do. Fuck them. Risking access for everyone. Pitchfork those motherfuckers. Time to burn. 

jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

Post pics for great justice and much lulz.

J. Albers · · Colorado · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 1,791

For crying out loud. The closures are CLEARLY posted. Folks who climb there are willfully disregarding the closure (and the climbing community's needs and reputation). Post the pics. Identify the people. Contact them and let them eat some community shame. Then have the mods remove this post so that it isn't a permanent bitch slap (unless of course the offenders have zero remorse...well then leave it up I guess).

Thanks for the efforts Tony.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
Greg D wrote:

Post em up.  I've got my pitchfork ready!

To post them up (as in "PUBLISH"), I probably need permission from the legal officials at USFS... which means I have to go through legal channels.
And that costs time/$, and they might want to recoup that.

It is probably a lot better for all involved if we don't have to "get legal" with that, since the fine is up to $100k if the birds are disturbed (IE: Abandon a nest site).
And since we have photos of the birds there on 2/26, 2/28, 3/1, and 3/8, and they decide not to nest there after all... then were they disturbed?
I'm just saying I would not bait a legal official with that question if $100k is on the line.

Like I said, I don't speak for the USFS, but I can speculate a bit based on what I know.
And like I said, it is my experience that all are better off if someone is proactive about the situation.
It is also possible that other people who know about this (who have seen the photos) will post here, and contacting them is also OK if so.
I don't know if the others want to self-identify as USFS Vol's or as 'the bad guys' but the cat is out of the bag years ago about me, so I don't care.
That's why I am posting this note first.  To be clear, I don't care who handles it, but it needs to get handled one way or another, and it will.

Last time, the offender had the opportunity to go in and have a chat with the District Biologist about his mistake and assure them that he'd help others understand why the closure exists, and then he was let off the hook.  The USFS folks stated last time something to the effect that 'we felt nothing further needed to be done given the reaction of the climbing community and the attitude of the offender.'
(BTW: The story for 2 years ago, complete with USFS & violator's statements about it, will be in an academic paper under review on 'Institutional Enforecement, Signaling and Deliberation.')

EDIT TO ADD:
I must also mention that posting pictures here gives the offenders nothing left to loose.
Having something left to loose gives them some further incentive to do the right thing if they were on the fence about it.
Else... they loose that too.  So I'll hold on to those cards for a bit, thanks.  But they can be played if need be.
Last time the offender contacted me on day 4.  He did not contact me on the site so I I figured out who it was and wrote to him personally.
He was out of town for a long weekend and got back to teh net already blowing up on him and my messages of 'you should contact me ASAP...'
Mistake on my part - I should have considered that climbers are often off-line for 3 day weekends, and I already know these guys are not working 9-5 since they were climbing from 2-3:30 yesterday.
So I'll give it a few days.

Like I said, I don't care how we resolve this, so long as we get it resolved, and I'll keep names/pictures private if that is part of the deal.
But yeah, if we can't get it resolved, I will look into publishing the pictures here to figure out who it was.  And for that matter... everywhere else too.  
Then the USFS can have the offenders and they know we, the climbing community, are not condoning the violation nor protecting the offenders.  
It should be clear that we are not putting up with it either.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180

PS- Also worth mention.  Did you know that bird watchers and photgraphers use very very high power scopes to look for eggs or hatchlings in the nest from an opposite ridge?
The eggs are about the size of the numbers on your licence plate.  If you can see one, you can see the other.  

I'm just sayin'...

So if you have friends that climb in Bocan and drive a silver car, (possibly an audi wagon?) perhaps you could direct them to this URL.
We don't know for sure what the offenders were driving, but a bird monitor did log a silver car in that area and I just heard second hand that it might have been an Audi Wagon.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,097

i would say give them a few days to come forward, and if they don't, then post the pictures.  perhaps we can donate to a small fund that will pay the first person who rats them out...

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 867

Nobody likes a rat. 

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146
slim wrote:

i would say give them a few days to come forward, and if they don't, then post the pictures.  perhaps we can donate to a small fund that will pay the first person who rats them out...

I would give them to "early" next week. Also might be worth posting something at the local gyms - with similar details as provided here and to contact XYZ. Otherwise, get the tiki torches out if the USFS wants to release the photos.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

Don’t post their picture unless you need help to identify.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
Greg D wrote:

Nobody likes a rat. 

Luckily, I don't care about that too much.
Or at least I care about it a lot less than I care about us loosing the gains we have made in access to these areas and the scope of the closures.
And I thought we were on the verge of further shrinkage thereof.  The discussion had already been opened.

But people are NOT making a good case for opening nearby crags by climbing on the very same F%$#ing rock that the nest is on 6 weeks after the closure started on one of the days the birds were seen at that cliff's nest.


Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
Bill Kirby wrote:

Don’t post their picture unless you need help to identify.

Right.  That's the point.

Last time it turned out to be a young student who was way too casual about what he did, but also very very sorry about it.
He went in and owned up to it to make sure that it was understood that it was him and not climbers in general who made the mistake.  
He boffed it like a kid, but at least owned it like an adult, and in part, we made an example of him here so that the USFS didn't have to.

I don't personally know the people in the pictures, but I can see that they are young and still climbing moderate routes (P1 Bitty Buttress) with backpacks on, and not too quickly, at that, and apparently doing laps on TR on it (?).

Seems like relatively novice climbers to me.  So...  Hopefully acculturation is all that is needed, but I'm not fully in control of anything here.

I'm just talking about what I was asked to do, that being to
#1) To help make sure people understood what "CLOSED" means.  (and)
#2) Identify the climbers and refer back to #1 for them.

That does not necessarily mean publishing pictures.
But I did just find out that a different Volunteer did contact the USFS a short time ago (the one who saw the car).
So the cat is out of the bag.  Now it's a "We shall see" situation.

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,097
Greg D wrote:

Nobody likes a rat. 

everybody likes a rat a helluva lot more than they like somebody who fvcks everything up for everybody else though....

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Tony B wrote:

Right.  That's the point.

Last time it turned out to be a young student who was way too casual about what he did, but also very very sorry about it.
He went in and owned up to it to make sure that it was understood that it was him and not climbers in general who made the mistake.  
He boffed it like a kid, but at least owned it like an adult, and in part, we made an example of him here so that the USFS didn't have to.

I don't personally know the people in the pictures, but I can see that they are young and still climbing moderate routes (P1 Bitty Buttress) with backpacks on, and not too quickly, at that, and apparently doing laps on TR on it (?).

Seems like relatively novice climbers to me.  So...  Hopefully acculturation is all that is needed, but I'm not fully in control of anything here.

I'm just talking about what I was asked to do, that being to
#1) To help make sure people understood what "CLOSED" means.  (and)
#2) Identify the climbers and refer back to #1 for them.

That does not necessarily mean publishing pictures.
But I did just find out that a different Volunteer did contact the USFS a short time ago (the one who saw the car).
So the cat is out of the bag.  Now it's a "We shall see" situation.

You gotta do what you gotta do so access is around for the rest of us. 

mark wallach · · Boulder, CO · Joined Mar 2010 · Points: 0

Bust 'em. They are either too stupid or too uncaring to be permitted outdoors without adult supervision.

JaredG · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

Big brother is watching!

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,180
JaredG wrote:

Big brother is watching!

You know that if a Libertarian has to tell you that you are being paranoid about the government, then you might just be taking it a bit too far.
It's isn't the NSA, it's the US forest service.

The truth of the matter is that 'Big Brother' is monitoring/studying golden eagles & trying to establish where the nests are so that they can OPEN the rest of the territory to climbers rather than leave the whole territory closed.

And dumb kids are climbing RIGHT IN FRONT of their cameras.  And you expect WHAT to happen?
Frankly, I think it is kinda cool when a biologist doing federal work can find a few established locals and ask them: "Can you go handle this?" rather than making a criminal case of it without resorting to that at first impulse.

wendy weiss · · boulder, co · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 10

Thanks for doing this, Tony. It's about climbers' access, but it's also about eagles. We're lucky to have golden eagles right here in our own BoCan. They're worth a little inconvenience to our climbing plans.

Neil Kauffman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 291
Tony B wrote:And since we have photos of the birds there on 2/26, 2/28, 3/1, and 3/8, and they decide not to nest there afterall... then were they disturbed?

Speculations. That is a problem with many of the bird closures, many are blanket closures with no continued monitoring efforts. This approach has left some in the climbing community upset with how the agencies are managing the land. We need facts and science that informs reasonable management strategies. This is the way to cooperate with the community, gaining support for projects, rather than  trying to enforce policies that don't make sense.

No, I do not believe the photos should be posted, as a way to "catch" and shame the offenders. Furthermore, if there are cameras monitoring public lands, the area should be signed to notify and provide transparency. 


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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