SONOMA COAST CLIMBING ACCESS ALERT!!!!!

Issues related to climbing access and safety.

Postby rimfounder » Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:10 pm

I have pictures that date back almost 20 years. Weather they will help I so not know. Right now I an in Peru. So I cant so much other than urge everyone to put there 2 cents worth toward the powers that be and to infom others to speak their mind on this issue.
And your right L2C we should be writing letters to as many folks as possible


Jerry, planning@parks.ca.gov was found on the website that you directed us to, on the right side of the page first one. Seened like the right one. Hope fully it is the right one. Any other suggestions?
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Postby Dodrill » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:31 pm

H-
Quoting myelf from above:
I'm not sure who that address goes to, but if you look at the top right in the link in my original post you will see phone numbers and e-mail addresses for David Keck and Rick Royer. They are the planning people. Dave is in Sacramento and Rick is apparently acting superintendant or something at Sonoma Coast State Park. The public comments were supposed to go to Rick.

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22591


(From the link above)
CONTACTS:

California State Parks
Planning Division
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA
94296-0001

TEL: 916-653-9901
FAX: 916-653-4458
Email: planning@parks.ca.gov

Dave Keck, Supervisor
General Planning Section
TEL: 916-651-1193
Email: dkeck@parks.ca.gov
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Russian River District Interpretive Specialist
Rick Royer
(707) 865-2391
rroye@parks.ca.gov

I think its a good idea to send letters specifically to these guys.

Andrew,
Thanks for pointing that out. I'll look through old photos as well.
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Postby rimfounder » Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:53 pm

Hi Jerry thanks for posting the names and addresses. It certainly makes it easier to cut and paste.

I sent my comment to the planning parks address but I will also forward them to the others.

How is the progress coming along with meetings etc?
H
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Postby Dodrill » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:10 am

For anyone interested in talking about the issues at Sunset Rocks, looking at the impacts, etc, here is an opportunity. A group of us is meeting out there on Friday evening from 5:30 on to talk, get a game plan together, and perhaps climb if time allows.

Tentative Objectives:

Discussion
Begin a more productive dialog among climbers on this issue, working toward a more unified voice.
Talk over points of the General Plan that concern us.
Speak about any concerns, thoughts, ideas, perspectives we have.

Action
Identify and evaluate actual impacts to site, including damage to polish.
Discuss a plan for preserving climbing access and the climbing environment. (Access Fund)
Establish wordage for a petition for climbers to sign, expressing our point of view on this matter to land managers.

That's a lot to discuss. Anything else?

Image

(I posted this in upcoming events also.)
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Postby Dodrill » Wed Jul 11, 2007 9:21 am

It's been pointed out that perhaps I too hastily offered commercial groups up as a sacraficial lamb. I don't disagree. A discussion should be had on groups, how the current permit process works, and how it benefits the park as well as the participants.

I'm realizing that in the public eye, to the land managers, etc, it doesn't matter what kind of climber you are. All of us who climb out there are the climbing community, and our visibility, reputation, impacts, and voice are collective.
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Postby Moji » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:29 pm

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Postby learnin2climb » Thu Jul 19, 2007 4:30 pm

A response from Richard Royer:

Thank you for your e-mail. The Russian River District has just completed the General Plan for Sonoma Coast State Park; this was approved by the State Park Commission in early May. The General Plan is a programmatic document that will act as a guide for the planning decisions well into the future. As for specific projects; they will be dealt with on a case by case basis. In the case of the Sunset Rocks, the Russian River District is currently evaluating a “theory” that this rock may have been used by Woolly Mammoths, thousands of years ago as a way to groom themselves, hence the polished appearance of portions of the rock.. Again, this is a theory at this point and scientific research is currently underway in attempt to prove or disprove this theory. The local District Staff has had meetings in the past with local constituents, which included local citizens and representatives from the climbing community to discuss this issue. We fully intend to continue this dialogue as we continue through this process.



Currently there is no deadline for the process for the Sunset Rocks, it is ongoing and as information becomes available it is evaluated. Our Sector Superintendent, Linda Rath is the lead person on operational issues for the Russian River Sector; I am involved in planning issues for the Russian River District. Either one of us can assist you in any further inquiries you may have. We encourage members of the public to provide input on issues that are of concern to them.



If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Richard Royer
(707) 865-2391
rroye@parks.ca.gov
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Postby Dodrill » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:59 pm

Andrew! Great! Thanks for posting this!
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Postby learnin2climb » Fri Jul 20, 2007 3:13 pm

I sent a follow-up email and have yet to get a response. From the response I recieved, I believe the Park system is not pursuing this too aggressively. There may be a false sense of urgency regarding this issue, but I do think we should be conscious of the potential access issues and remain stewards of our local crags. Blatant destruction of the rock is not cool at any location.
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Postby Dodrill » Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:15 pm

I hope you're right about the false sense of urgency, and I hate to be sounding alarms unnecessarily. You're spot on that we need to watch this thing and be involved where we can.

I hope folks can forgive my exasperation at this whole thing when I saw those documents. So many times policy decisions slip by us and we don't know about it until its too late. We have to really stay plugged in to what is happening with our resources and have a working dialog with policy makers.

So far Rick hasn't responded to my e-mail either. Hopefully they are at least getting the idea that climbers are active and not going to roll over on this one.
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Postby Moji » Sun Jul 22, 2007 5:34 pm

I share your concerns Jerry.. I think it is VERY important to continue letters supporting climbing at sunset. My experience with Petaluma's Lafferty Ranch and other public issues has taught me that most gov response is designed to put people off. Not saying that the response L2C received was dishonest.. it's just designed to deflect. Royer's response lets us know we should continue to announce our interest and history to the park service on a regular basis, as there will be no notification of action in progress.
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Postby joe » Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:21 pm

Hi All
Yesterday, Sunday, was only my 2nd time to Sunset.
Was with a group of 8 and had a blast.
After stopping by Jerrys to get the lowdown on access issues.
I sent emails today to all three in on this thread who have
the say-so.
I'm not much of an activist, but put in my 2 cents
about how we cleaned up the usual OP trash left
at recreational areas, and how I think climbers in general
are respectful of areas they/we get access to.
It was a beautiful day, maybe some pics to follow.
Joe.
never too late
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Postby Dodrill » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:27 pm

Great Joe,
Thanks! Fun seeing you yesterday.

----------

I had a really interesting meeting today. Learned some new things about this and clarified others.
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Postby learnin2climb » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:33 pm

I recieved the following response from Linda Roth. Seems pretty generic, but she did add me to the contact list for when changes are made.

Dear Andrew,

Thank you for the recent letter regarding the rocks below Peaked Hill, also known as Sunset Rocks.

It is the Mission and responsibility of the California Department of Parks and Recreation to protect and preserve the State’s most valued natural and cultural resources. The Sonoma Coast State Park General Plan, approved in early May by the State Park Commission contains goals, guidelines and criteria to ensure natural and cultural resource protection, including significant Paloeontological resources of cultural importance at Sonoma Coast State Park.

The General Plan includes information regarding the rocks below Peaked Hill, otherwise known as Sunset Rocks, including the theory that these rocks may be unique rock slicks caused by Pleistocene mega fauna (mammoths or bison) rubbing against the rocks. The plan also recognizes that this area “is an uncontrolled publicly accessible rock-climbing area in Sonoma County and, as such attracts significant use by climbers, whose use could lead to deterioration of the resource” The plan also states that “evaluation and final determination of significance should be made on the “Rubbing Rock” as a significant paloeontological feature. Once this is completed, the Department will determine the appropriate management treatment for protection of this feature.”

We are currently monitoring this resource and evaluating its usage. Research is being conducted to verify the theory regarding the rock slicks. Special Event Permits are required for all commercial organized recreational group activities utilizing State Park Property including commercial organized rock climbing groups who wish to use Sunset Rocks. Sunset Rock climbing permits allow up to 25 people per group and requires proof of insurance. Individual recreational rock climbers are not required to obtain a permit.

We greatly appreciate the many efforts of responsible user groups and individuals who care enough to continually help us protect Sunset Rocks, educate other users and report issues that may arise in the area. I believe you would agree that our common goal is to protect this very special place.

As we continue to monitor and evaluate this resource and as research continues, we fully intend to continue the dialogue with local citizens and representatives of all user groups, including the climbing community, as we have done in the past. I have included your name and information to the contact list to notify if and when changes need to be made.

I hope this answers your questions and addresses your concerns. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.

Sincerely,
Linda Rath
Sector Superintendent
California State Parks, Russian River Sector
707-865-3121
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Postby rimfounder » Fri Aug 17, 2007 2:44 am

yep,
I got the same message. The problem I have is they already said they would keep us informed. And did not. Now the comment period is over. And climbers are the ones singled out as the potential threat.
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Postby Dodrill » Fri Aug 17, 2007 11:30 am

I got the same reply also. Thanks for posting it Andrew.

Here was my reply:

"Thank you for the response to my letter. I surely do agree about all of us wanting to protect this rock, and our park in general. Thank you for adding me to the contact list, I appreciate being included in the dialog.

Please forgive me for being alarmed at a few of the words in the General Plan. I believe I now understand the intent and general situation as it currently stands and am feeling better than when I wrote my letter. If the theory is indeed proven, the conversation of "then what?" will have to be addressed. I will point out, some of the wording is troubling from our perspective. "[The area] is an uncontrolled publicly accessible rock-climbing area... [that] could lead to deterioration of the resource" seems to me slightly misrepresentative of the situation and sheds a negative light on climbers. Perhaps "...unpatrolled publicly accessible area which attracts significant use by climbers..." would be more accurate. This site receives much use from various groups, of which, climbers are one. So far, there is no data to suggest that climbers are either out of control, or damaging the resource, though this perception does seem to recur. The primary damage which has occurred (spray-paint/grafitti, rock collecting, etc), is in places which are easily accessible to the general (non-climbing) public. My concern is that through proximity, climbers are wrongly associated with anything that happens at the rocks. Clearly this dialog is, and will continue to be, an important one. Thanks for taking the time to respond. It is greatly appreciated."
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