Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Fixed Anchors in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

It appears that the BLM is finally making some positive steps toward removing the long-standing fixed anchor ban in the Red Rock wilderness.  Following is an email that the Institute received over the weekend:


The Bureau of Land Management Red Rock/Sloan Field Office will be hosting two public scoping workshops focusing on new management decisions for permanent fixed anchors used by the climbing, canyoneering, and other recreation communities in the La Madre Mountain and Rainbow Mountain Wilderness Areas within Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  A planning matrix and timeline will be presented to help stakeholders understand how a resource management plan amendment could change fixed anchor management and how the amendment would fit together with future wilderness plans and a climbing plan.

The workshops will be taking place on: 
·         October 20 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southern Nevada District Office, 4701 N. Torrey Pines Drive, Las Vegas, NV  89130 
·         October 29 from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area Visitor Center, 1000 Scenic Loop Drive, Las Vegas, NV  89161 
Entrance fees will be waived for those attending starting at 1:00 p.m.; please tell the attendant at the Fee Station that you are coming in for the open house.

These workshops will include a 30-minute open house, a 20 minute presentation, and an hour workshop with stations and comment recorders to discuss potential management decision alternatives. A court reporter will also be available to take comments.

The public will have an opportunity to make formal comments during the workshops. Comments may also be emailed to rrc_fixedanchors@blm.gov or faxed to 702-363-6779 any time prior to the close of the comment period on November 18, 2012.

If you have any questions on the topic or the workshops, please contact Nick Walendziak at 702-515-5358.

The fixed anchor ban has been bad for Red Rock Canyon. A change in the policy could lead to the following things:

  1. A decrease in old webbing and cordage slung around trees and boulders.
  2. Safer anchors and descent routes.
  3. The development of new lines where bolts connect features.
We do not support bolting everything everywhere, but do support limited bolting with hand-drills in the wilderness.

Please attend the meetings or send your comments to the email above.

Jason D. Martin

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