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Save Cave Rock
Submitted By: M. Morley on Mar 13, 2003

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Climber Alert
Save Cave Rock
March 5, 2003

Dear Fellow Climber:

My name is Brian Biega and I am a certified guide who has been climbing and guiding in the Donner Summit/Tahoe region for the past 13 years. As you undoubtedly know, Donner Summit/Tahoe is a climber's haven with a wide variety of crags and climbing styles to choose from. One of the more popular sport-climbing destinations is Cave Rock, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, Cave Rock is literally on the brink of imminent closure.

The public comment period for the Forest Service's management plan for Cave Rock will close on March 31, 2003. Thus, it is crucial that the climbing community provide its input before the Forest Service makes an ill-advised decision and closes Cave Rock. To this end, I have prepared the attached petition.

My goal, with your help, is to collect thousands of signatures throughout Northern California, Nevada and beyond. I have started this process at my home gym, the Sacramento Pipe Works. From my experience, more people will sign if the staff discusses the petition with members and actively circulates it. If the petition just sits on the front desk, no one will notice or sign it. By acquiring a mere 20 signatures per day you will fill the petition in 10 days.

I have attached (Save Cave Rock Petition & EIS Summary) some background material for you and your members' review. For more information, contact the Access Fund at The Final Environmental Impact Statement may be found on-line at:

Also, I encourage climbers to write individual letters to the Forest Service in care of:

John Maher
Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit
Attn: Cave Rock
870 Emerald Bay Road, Suite #1
Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Letter writing tips can be found at:

Lastly, please return the signed petition to me no later than Monday, March 24, 2003, and I will personally deliver them to the Forest Service in Lake Tahoe.

[In your own words, write the Forest Service and tell them that Alternative 2 (allowing for a voluntary closure at Cave Rock) is the best compromise of recreational and Native American interests. Some additional points are:

"Alternative 2 would allow public access, including rock climbing, on the National Forest at Cave Rock. However, climbing would be managed to decrease the current level of use by reducing the number of climbing routes. Thus, under Alternative 2, most existing routes will remain accessible, however no new routes or bolt installation would be permitted. Maintenance of existing routes by climbers would be conducted only with prior permission from the Forest Service. Alternative 6, on the other hand, would prohibit rock climbing yet allow continued access to all other user groups and is thus patently unfair. Moreover, Alternative 6 raises serious Constitutional questions because it seeks to exclude otherwise legitimate users public lands to accommodate the religious interests of one group. Furthermore, Alternative 6 employs a novel and unprecedented interpretation of the National Historic Preservation Act that could impact public land across the country by similarly excluding recreation use in favor of religious preference." -ed.]

Thank you in advance for your help with this very important matter. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at

Brian Biega
308 Vine Circle
Rocklin, CA 95765

Reprinted with permission of Brian Biega

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