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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Update on Climbing Prohibition in ASRA

Since its formation in 2008, CRAGS has worked continuously to lift the climbing prohibition in the Auburn State Recreation Area (ASRA). The ASRA is owned by the Federal Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and managed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). CRAGS has met with officials from both agencies over the years to discuss the climbing ban, written numerous letters and other written correspondence, requested and reviewed substantial documentation related to the ban; and lobbied state legislative representatives for support.

One of the challenges in realizing an end of the climbing ban is that the combination of state and federal jurisdiction has often made it difficult to understand who is calling the shots. For example, the climbing ban which began in 2003, was technically issued by the Superintendant of the ASRA, which falls under the jurisdiction of the State DPR. Indeed, as managers of the ASRA, it has been state DPR employees (park rangers) which have enforced the climbing ban. However, it was the Federal BOR that unofficially requested ASRA to issue the climbing ban in the first place, and has continued to instruct DPR to maintain enforcement of the ban.

Recently, CRAGS met with officials from the Federal BOR at the Quarry in the ASRA to discuss lifting the ban. During that meeting, BOR officials would not commit to lifting the ban immediately, but the meeting was positive in dispelling BOR's stated concern of potential danger to climbers from the active mining opperations occuring above the climbing routes in the Quarry. BOR officials did commit to continue discussing the issue internally and respond more formally to CRAGS' request in the coming weeks. CRAGS will continue to push for the cessation of the climbing ban. Stay tuned . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Good luck. Sounds like a lot of work playing the the politics game.