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Thread: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

  1. #21
    It's terrible that Deer Creek got closed but Land Management Agencies have to deal with all of us, including those that do destory and have no respect. I don't feel that most of the people participating in these online forums are the ones out vandalising the land, we're just the ones who get the short end of the stick. Really sucks and sadly things like this will continue until everyone in the world has a great land ethic. Best not let other Agencies close canyons due to similar issues...ropes caught, trash, placing more bolts, etc.!
    You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn
    contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone
    and through the thornbrush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your
    trail, you'll see something, maybe. ~Edward Abbey

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  3. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Deathcricket View Post
    If they consider this a holy place and some people tore it up, closing it seems like a good thing and makes perfect sense to me. *shrug* Not sure what the huge mystery is. I'd get pissed seeing rope grooves and my holy hanging gardens getting torn up too. It's pretty obvious they were being disrespected.
    Deathcricket, you make a fair point here. But there are some nuances that are really important in the Deer Creek matter. First, most of the impacts you mention above are not from canyoneering. Roughly 30,000 people/year visit Deer Creek from rafts (mostly) and from backpacking from the North Rim. My guess is that the slot sees 100 full descents/year, 200 tops. We are the smallest user group by far. The NPS didn't close Deer Creek, they only closed a tiny piece - the slot. So the impacts listed above will continue unabated. In other words, the NPS tossed us (canyoneers) under the bus to try to pacify the tribes. We're the sacrificial lamb. As far as canyoneering impacts, I can assure you that there are none of note. Here's why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cej8hTIMWL4

    I've been to Deer Creek many times and I've witnessed flash flooding. It's a crazy place! Nothing is left when it's over. No plants, no bolts (sometimes), and a totally different channel to the Colorado River. In fact, I've seen tons of rock that fell above the slot swept away in a single flood. People have left ropes, and we've gone in to remove them - no big deal. We've been self policing Deer Creek for about 4 years because the tribes were sensitive about the area. Frankly, as a community we need to self police more often.

    Here's the thing: the tribes believe that all of Deer Creek is sacred and they want it all closed. The WHOLE thing. The slot is a tiny part of the real estate at issue. The NPS responded by closing the slot because they thought we were too small a user group to do much about it. The tribes said "thanks! ... now when are you going to close the rest?" As a result, the boaters and backpackers are generally supporting us. They see the slippery slope. We are not powerless to get this reversed if canyoneers get even modestly involved.

    I'm one of the canyoneers just elected by all of you to the American Canyoneers board. My focus on the board are access issues, like Deer Creek. I've spoken to Access Fund and Outdoor Alliance about their experience with land managers when tribal religious rights are involved. I've learned that the NPS did not follow the law, under the National Historic Property Act, section 106, with this closure process. Essentially, it must involve a public process. I've learned that the reason for the closure (a "Traditional Cultural Property) declaration under NHPA was completely misapplied in the Deer Creek case and would be subject to challenge. In short, we believe that the NPS is on very thin ice, and with dialog, they might reconsider their position. But if we do nothing and shrug it's over, and we haven't held our land managers accountable to managing those lands for the benefit of all Americans. Of course, if canyoneers get the reputation for being unorganized and easy to roll over we can expect more closures in other places.

    Grand Canyon is not the only place with issues. Certainly Death Valley and Arches have actions underway that require our involvement ASAP. Just about every other canyoneering destination has some kind of access issue too. The goal of American Canyoneers is to try to keep these places open for all of us.

    I'll post more on the general access challenges under a dedicated thread shortly. It would be great to hear some feedback from the Bogley crowd on how we can better keep our playgrounds open. In the mean time, we're gearing up to fight for our rights at Deer Creek and we have a lot of help from the far larger Grand Canyon organizations on this issue. There will be a time soon when a call to action will come out to comment. If members of our community are willing to invest 5 minutes to comment, we might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

    Best Regards,

    Rich Rudow

  4. #23
    Thanks for detailed reply, Rich.

    Keep us in the loop and I am sure many of us will comment when needed.

    I think the NPS is on thin ice in multiple ways on this one and its good to have people holding them accountable.

    Phillip

  5. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by superstition View Post
    Deathcricket, you make a fair point here. But there are some nuances that are really important in the Deer Creek matter. First, most of the impacts you mention above are not from canyoneering. Roughly 30,000 people/year visit Deer Creek from rafts (mostly) and from backpacking from the North Rim. My guess is that the slot sees 100 full descents/year, 200 tops. We are the smallest user group by far. The NPS didn't close Deer Creek, they only closed a tiny piece - the slot. So the impacts listed above will continue unabated. In other words, the NPS tossed us (canyoneers) under the bus to try to pacify the tribes. We're the sacrificial lamb. As far as canyoneering impacts, I can assure you that there are none of note. Here's why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cej8hTIMWL4

    I've been to Deer Creek many times and I've witnessed flash flooding. It's a crazy place! Nothing is left when it's over. No plants, no bolts (sometimes), and a totally different channel to the Colorado River. In fact, I've seen tons of rock that fell above the slot swept away in a single flood. People have left ropes, and we've gone in to remove them - no big deal. We've been self policing Deer Creek for about 4 years because the tribes were sensitive about the area. Frankly, as a community we need to self police more often.

    Here's the thing: the tribes believe that all of Deer Creek is sacred and they want it all closed. The WHOLE thing. The slot is a tiny part of the real estate at issue. The NPS responded by closing the slot because they thought we were too small a user group to do much about it. The tribes said "thanks! ... now when are you going to close the rest?" As a result, the boaters and backpackers are generally supporting us. They see the slippery slope. We are not powerless to get this reversed if canyoneers get even modestly involved.

    I'm one of the canyoneers just elected by all of you to the American Canyoneers board. My focus on the board are access issues, like Deer Creek. I've spoken to Access Fund and Outdoor Alliance about their experience with land managers when tribal religious rights are involved. I've learned that the NPS did not follow the law, under the National Historic Property Act, section 106, with this closure process. Essentially, it must involve a public process. I've learned that the reason for the closure (a "Traditional Cultural Property) declaration under NHPA was completely misapplied in the Deer Creek case and would be subject to challenge. In short, we believe that the NPS is on very thin ice, and with dialog, they might reconsider their position. But if we do nothing and shrug it's over, and we haven't held our land managers accountable to managing those lands for the benefit of all Americans. Of course, if canyoneers get the reputation for being unorganized and easy to roll over we can expect more closures in other places.

    Grand Canyon is not the only place with issues. Certainly Death Valley and Arches have actions underway that require our involvement ASAP. Just about every other canyoneering destination has some kind of access issue too. The goal of American Canyoneers is to try to keep these places open for all of us.

    I'll post more on the general access challenges under a dedicated thread shortly. It would be great to hear some feedback from the Bogley crowd on how we can better keep our playgrounds open. In the mean time, we're gearing up to fight for our rights at Deer Creek and we have a lot of help from the far larger Grand Canyon organizations on this issue. There will be a time soon when a call to action will come out to comment. If members of our community are willing to invest 5 minutes to comment, we might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

    Best Regards,

    Rich Rudow
    Very cool vid of the flashflood. Wow...

    I'm not familiar with the area. So I went ahead and googled Deer Creek falls and I got this pic.
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    If this not the area that the complaint of rapellers destroying the vegetation comes from?

    Don't get me wrong though and take my comments as discouraging. I'm all for policing our own and managing our resources properly. i hope you get some traction on the "due process" argument. We can't close stuff just because someone finds a rock holy or a bush. But if we are going in there and doing damage like the argument suggests then it's a legit argument IMO.
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  6. #25
    DeathCricket, that is the place. I've rappelled those falls many times and it's quite easy to avoid damaging the vegetation. I'm sure that someone hasn't been as careful though and educating canyoneers about the sensitive places in slots is a worthwhile effort. But when floods hit the vegetation is blasted by boulders, gravel, grit, logs, etc. It grows back very fast, unlike the other impacts mentioned that have nothing to do with he slot. It's very similar to other slots where people should be mindful of their impacts. But in the end, the vegetation damage claim is simply subterfuge to close the slot in deference to the tribe's religious beliefs. I'm not against an accommodation for the tribes beliefs, but the NPS never opened the issue up for public discussion to consider trade offs that weren't so unilateral (as they are required to do by law). In a similar case at Devils Tower the NPS was able to strike a balance between the tribes and climbers. At Deer Creek they never made an effort. How come? Same agency right?

    It's an incredible slot and I wish more canyoneers had a chance to experience it. Here are a few photos from last trip through Deer Creek in March (photos 53 to 69 only):

    https://picasaweb.google.com/103150781226238429325/2012RaftTripPhotos#



    Regards,

    Rich Rudow

  7. #26
    Do you honestly look at that photo and think, "wow, rappelling probably destroys the vegetation there?" I drew in on the photo you linked where the rappel path actually is. You'll see near the top there are two places you have to step over vegetation. It's incredibly easy. The rest is essentially foliage free. I'm very suspicious, given the flimsy arguments in this letter, that vegetation is truly getting destroyed. With any thought or care, you can easily avoid any impact at all.

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    For comparisons sake, this is roughly the Grand Canyon equivalent to shutting down Mystery in Zion because it has a waterfall with vegetation on it that's being destroyed by canyoneers. It's simply not significant, especially when compared to all of the other impacts to the area in general. Of all the impacts, it's easy to argue that canyoneering is the LEAST impactful activity of all the activities that takes place in the area. How loud would you complain if Mystery got shut down for an argument this flimsy?

    But even if there was a significant impact - shutting this place down simply because of religious reasons is asinine, and illegal. There are multiple workable compromises to allow the Pauite to have unimpeded access to the area at special times. Remember though, this is not native land, this is NPS land. This is OUR land. Yet this document makes no mention of any compromise or any other solutions. They simply shut it down, with no discussion period. On the basis of religion. Without even explaining a legitimate reason other than "they observed damage to plants one time."

    The hypocrisy of the tribes laying claim to this area as "sacred" while continuing to develop every other stretch of land they actually own further shows the hypocritical nature of the claim. Western Grand Canyon has been completely overrun by jetboats and helicopters. The Navajo are proposing building a tram down to the confluence of the the LCR near the most sacred site in the Hopi religion.

    The bottom line is the justification provided in this letter at the very least hypocritical, and very likely illegal.

    Another look at the rappel -
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  8. #27
    I would highlight cultural is different than religious but that isn't an issue legally right now.

    If I had to guess, the NPS intentionally made a reactionary decision that impacted a very small user group in order to garner favor with the tribes due to the proposed developments you have mentioned. The NPS has little control or leeway over what happens on the tribal land but it will greatly impact how the canyon is experienced within the park (and therefor how it will be managed). I have a gut feeling that Deer Creek is a sacraficial lamb for bigger issues. They need leverage to prevent such significant infrastructure from being developed in places such as LCR.

    A guess really, but considering the mood in the region in seems a fair assumption. It doesn't make their decision any more legitimate.

  9. #28
    Its even a greater shock considering how much trespassing happens by boaters into places like Havasupai canyon (we only have a legal right to limited access) and all the other lands in which rafters hike without appropriate permits on river left. Of all the groups, the canyoneers seem the most diligent about jumping through all the hoops, not just NPS.

    The claims of abuse and impact just don't hold much water in the context of all activities within the entire NPS GC system.

  10. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeyBiggs View Post
    Do you honestly look at that photo and think, "wow, rappelling probably destroys the vegetation there?" I drew in on the photo you linked where the rappel path actually is. You'll see near the top there are two places you have to step over vegetation. It's incredibly easy. The rest is essentially foliage free. I'm very suspicious, given the flimsy arguments in this letter, that vegetation is truly getting destroyed. With any thought or care, you can easily avoid any impact at all.
    I find it funny that you admit you have to "step over" vegetation in one sentence, then dismiss the point that others (who are less considerate) don't just trample it out of carelessness. I simply was stating that I see lots of vegetation and it's not the smooth sandblasted rock face the previous statements would have us believe. Further while you as a conscious, considerate person probably stay close to the waterway, others might not. As a stunt rapeller, I could probably kick half those bushes in the teeth on my way down. And lastly, it's well known as a "previously brainwashed Mormon" (feel free to correct my words if poorly chosen) that you despise most religions and show little respect for peoples belief systems. At least based on your previous statements over the years here, I don't know you. But I don't think that makes the opposing point any less valid is all. This place is obviously sacred to the tribe, and from the looks of it, it would be sacred to me, should I ever visit it.

    A better solution IMO is to work with the tribe, acknowledge that their beliefs are important to them and we also find the canyon precious and want to preserve it for everyone to enjoy. Acknowledge that the hanging bush gardens will not be damaged by us rapping the falls and that we leave no traces. And that we will educate our people to respect their holy place and not screw it up. Maybe read and sign a note on the permits like we already do in Zion. Like Behuinin for instance, the rangers say to not rap off the right side on the 2nd to last rap (when getting a permit), ropes get stuck. A simple "take care to not thrash the plants on your way down and ruin the view, we are on thin ice with the tribe" and a "don't throw boulders off the cliff" would probably be enough to completely stop the behavior. And i don't think i ever stated it was impossible to rap this without harming a single leaf. I'm simply stating that I'm sure people were observed not respecting this holy place, which probably gave them the excuse they were looking for.

    Once you dismiss the tribes point of view and belittle it because it's not the same value system you have, you draw a line that is hard to cross in negotiations. I think Superstition's argument about legal due process not being followed is a very good one, and have said so in previous statements. Your argument that they do respect nature here when it suits them, but then don't in other areas seems pretty weak to me and I don't think would get much traction because it attacks their belief system. I think the key to winning this battle would be having a coherent argument. They have "observers" documenting canyoneers disrespecting their holy canyon. We have to get around that without being offensive and find a solution. It' just can't be dismissed as casually as you are doing. *shrug*
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  11. #30
    The problem with that approach is it gives the NPS leeway when its requirements sound explicit. We aren't required to succomb to that expectation immediately, the NPS was required to provide a public input process. They skipped an important step and hence the responses. Working with the tribe is several steps away. The canyoneering community has already gone above and beyond with regards to the GC and should be applauded for their herculean efforts. We haven't seen such proactive efforts in the community before (largely because of timing and our community maturing).

    I was turned off by his religious remarks on the subject as well....but it should be pointed out that the tribal issue is another special interest like us. They should not be treated with any privilege outside the law, which seems to have happened.

    In this case it seems like they were granted favors at the cost to the canyoneering community.

  12. #31
    did you not read the original letter or my response? you'll see no mention of rope grooves. or what you call "holy hanging gardens" being destroyed it says "plants were torn out." the rest of the impacts listed are not in the gorge, or from technical canyoneering. i encourage you to read the whole thing.

    These points are all addressed in my response. But i'll review again. You will notice i said this very clearly:
    I'm not going to argue that my personal desire to enjoy this area should trump the religious beliefs of the tribes.
    To expand, I have no problem respecting their beliefs, they can believe whatever they'd like, right up until their demands of respect infringe my rights. Period. This particular situation has nothing to do with my personal religious beliefs. It has to do with a hasty closure on public lands for religious reasons. I don't believe the closure is legal.

    Further, there has been no attempt to come to a compromise on this situation from the park service, no attempt to speak with canyoneers, river runners, or the public. In fact, many parties have been active in trying to have a dialog with the tribes and park concerning the closure. They've essentially said "it's not up for discussion." Perhaps you have some ideas on how we can proceed?

    I also stated quite clearly in my original letter that the impact to the vegetation is a legitimate concern.
    In regards to technical canyoneering impact 1 -
    This is a legitimate concern. But impacts from rappelling pale in comparison to
    the impact of a flash flood. The vegetation has demonstrated an ability to
    grows back quickly. Though careful rappelling will result in little to no
    impact to the vegetation.
    I don't think anyone should be tearing the place up, obviously. Does it justify the closure? No. A little education on this place is VERY easy. Every boat that launches at Lee's ferry has to be checked out. It's very easy to ask people to be careful here. Every hike that goes there has to have a permit. It's very easy to inform hikers how to treat the slot when they get their permit. It's very easy to enforce - there is always a crowd at Deer Creek. If you behave poorly, someone will see it.

    You characterized what is happening this way
    "I'd get pissed seeing rope grooves and my holy hanging gardens getting torn up too. It's pretty obvious they were being disrespected.
    There are no rope grooves. Where'd you get that idea? And there are no holy hanging gardens in the rappel line. As shown by the photo I posted and the photo you linked. There is some vegetation at the top of the rappel, but it's easily avoided.

    Further - the letter does not make any mention of WHY the narrows are sacred to the tribe. How can I respect their beliefs if I don't know why it's sacred? You said it perfectly, if you went there too, it'd probably be sacred to you as well. Does that mean we should shut it down to protect your belief system, because you saw a photo on the internet and called it sacred?

    The federal government can not use religion as a justification for a closure. If there were cultural resources at risk, it would be something to consider. But there aren't. There are no cultural resources present in the slot to protect at all. It's a flash flood causeway. It's completely cleaned out on a regular basis. All the plants are destroyed. And it always comes back. The area is visited by 30,000 people a year. The only reason this very narrow stretch is closed is because a tribe is claiming it as such. There are literally no cultural resources present, period. We have a US constitution that addresses these types of policies, and it's called the establishment clause in the first amendment.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
    My personal beliefs have nothing to do with this particular issue, nor have I framed my arguments from that perspective. I've simply stated that it is not an appropriate justification. I'm perfectly happy to work with the tribe to give them time so they can observe whatever religious rites they'd like at the site. Perhaps we should have a month where it's shut down to all visitation so the tribes can observe their beliefs. Or any of a number of other compromises. But that's just the thing. For whatever reason, the park refuses to engage us, the tribes refuse to engage us, and these discussions happened behind closed doors. I'm sure there are compromises that can be made. But in order to make a compromise, you have to be able to engage the parties involved. So far, the feds and the tribes don't want to play ball. I'd love to hear your suggestions on how to proceed.

    To be clear, you do realize this is federal land, not indian land, correct? This was shut down without any due process, on the basis of protecting a religious site for the native tribes, and the justification was that plants were being damaged. I have responded to each of those issues.

    Your response is essentially to say that "if they say the plants are being destroyed, it must be true." i responded with photos that show that plants are not significantly harmed, and rich provided photos of a flash flood. Look at the photos, do you really see an impact there that justifies this closure? Does the impact to the plants degrade the place as to destroy the potential for the place to be considered a TCP? To believe that, in light of all the other non-canyoneering impacts, is simply laughable.

    I get where you are coming from though. you have a great internet persona to protect, the good old boys here on bogley probably enjoy it. You simply love to argue, to put up a show. It doesn't matter the topic, it doesn't matter if you are right or wrong. You just love to see people react. You are a classic internet troll. And unfortunately, bogley is just a sandbox to stir up your LOLz.

    relevant

  13. #32
    This is cross post from the Grand Canyon Rafting Yahoo Group, the Grand Canyon Hikers Yahoo Group, and the Canyons Yahoo Group: RRFW is River Runners For Wilderness and they have adopted a similar position as American Canyoneers on the Deer Creek closure. They did a great job with this post providing a lot of backup information that's worth exploring if you're more interested in the issue.

    I would certainly encourage anyone here to comment on this action (NPS contact below). You can also comment to me (rich_rudow@trimble.com), on Bogley here, and/or on AmericanCanyoneers.org . I intend to collect any comments that have not been submitted directly to the NPS and will convey the comments during the September 10 NPS call.

    Regards,

    Rich


    RRFW Riverwire - Your comments needed on DeerCreek Narrows Closure
    August 17, 2012

    Deer Creek Narrows from the “Patio” to the bottom of the spectacular Deer
    Creek Falls has been closed to all visitation by Grand Canyon National
    Park
    Superintendent David Uberuaga. The Narrows section is where Deer Creek has
    carved a tight slot canyon exiting far above the Colorado River.

    The closure was made without stakeholder or public input, and is
    considered
    to be a non-negotiable action. The National Park Service received a number
    of unsolicited comments and concerns about the closure, and is now
    officially taking comments on the action.

    In support of the closure, Superintendent Uberuaga has released an open
    letter and other descriptive documents to interested and affected parties
    in
    advance of a September 10 teleconference to discuss the action. The pdf
    files may be downloaded and viewed at the RRFW website:

    Deer Creek Background Information http://tinyurl.com/cqd6o3l

    Deer Creek closure letter from GC http://tinyurl.com/c5bmkcn

    Deer Creek closure photos http://tinyurl.com/c3keaug

    The Background Information provided by the NPS describes visitor impacts to
    the entire Deer Creek canyon area including heavy trailing, deterioration of
    the river bank from boat landings and tourist activity, graffiti, and damage
    to vegetation and rock art. Other impacts not listed include emergency
    helicopter evacuations, large stone slabs being rearranged at Deer Spring,
    and helicopter maintenance flights servicing the Deer Creek Valley
    backpacker and river runner toilet.

    However, none of these impacts apply to the Narrows themselves, only to
    surrounding areas which remain open and unaffected by the closure. Within
    the Narrows, plants, foot tracks and rocks are regularly and violently
    removed by natural flash flood flows, making any human impacts
    indiscernible.
    The document also describes at length the designation of the area as a
    Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) by area Native American tribes which,
    among other considerations, claim the area as sacred to spiritual and
    religious traditions. According to the Park’s own description, depending
    on
    the site, a TCP finding does not necessarily require visitor restriction,
    closure or even preservation.

    RRFW has learned that at least part of the motive for the restriction may
    have been climbing equipment that was abandoned at the top of Deer Creek
    Falls. Members of the canyoneering community removed the equipment at
    their
    own cost and risk.

    “Good climbing and canyoneering practices and respect for natural areas
    require self-policing,” notes Jo Johnson, Co-Director of River Runners for
    Wilderness. “Regulations to specifically protect against damage from
    anchor
    hardware make sense, but a year round closure of the entire portion is an
    extreme reaction.”

    Hiking through some of the Narrows does not require special equipment
    although a rope as a hand line offers hikers more security. Each year a
    few
    visitors, including canyoneers, rappel down the falls, but the vast majority
    of hikers in the slot canyon simply turn around and retrace their steps back
    to the “Patio”, leaving no trace of their presence there.

    “Visits to the Narrows portion of Deer Creek Canyon are often spiritual and
    transcendent experiences, treasured by thousands over the many decades since
    river running began” observed Johnson, who is a climber and river runner.
    She also noted “Personally, I feel that it is possibly the most hallowed
    of
    the many special experiences afforded visitors to Grand Canyon.”

    RRFW urges readers to examine the documents carefully and make your opinions
    known to the Superintendent’s office by sending an email to Laurie Parish at
    laurie_parish@nps.gov

    Please also cc RRFW at Riverwire@rrfw.org

    Besides including your broader observations, if you have a personal
    connection to the Narrows, mention that as well.

    For a deeper look at canyoneering in Grand Canyon, see a video trailer here:
    http://www.lastofthegreatunknown.com/

    This action was taken by the National Park Service (NPS) in the 2012
    Compendium of Designations, Closures, Use and Activity Restrictions,
    Permit
    Requirements and Other Regulations.

    The 2012 Compendium is posted online here:
    http://rrfw.org/sites/default/files/...endium2012.pdf

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~
    RIVERWIRE is a free service to the community of river lovers from River
    Runners for Wilderness. To join, send an e-mail address to
    riverwire@rrfw.org and we'll add itto the RRFW RIVERWIRE e-mail alerts list.
    Join RRFW's listserver to stay abreast of and participate in the latest
    river issues. It's as easy as sending a blank e-mail to
    Rafting_Grand_Canyon-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
    Check out RRFW's Rafting Grand Canyon Wiki for free information on
    Do-It-Yourself Grand Canyon rafting info
    http://www.rrfw.org/RaftingGrandCanyon/Main_Page
    Check out new items and donate at the RRFW Store! RRFW is a non-profit
    project of Living Rivers. https://www.rrfw.org/store

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    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~

  14. #33
    Rich,

    Thanks for championing this issues and for keeping us in the loop.


  15. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by CarpeyBiggs View Post
    Your response is essentially to say that "if they say the plants are being destroyed, it must be true." i responded with photos that show that plants are not significantly harmed, and rich provided photos of a flash flood. Look at the photos, do you really see an impact there that justifies this closure? Does the impact to the plants degrade the place as to destroy the potential for the place to be considered a TCP? To believe that, in light of all the other non-canyoneering impacts, is simply laughable.
    Once again you kinda missed the point. Or I didn't type it right. Let me restate and see if this helps you comprehend. Perhaps you are to overwhelmed by my internet persona and upset or something.

    Just because nature flashes and "destroys" the canyon by natural means, doesn't mean we are allowed to. It's like arguing that carving your name in the sandstone is ok because it will erode by natural means eventually. Natural causes are one thing, human impact is completely another. Any human damage that can be observed and quantified is to them a valid reason. instead it would be more effective to argue that we will instead minimize our already minimal impact and discontinue the following activities, as listed by them. Human impact is considered a desecration, acts of god and nature don't impact the "sacredness" of a site.

    And honestly I barely read your whiny letter. I was more responding the the American Canyoneers link, which was much more interesting to me. I even quoted it with my original statement. This part....

    [QUOTE] Vandalism diminishes elements of integrity of setting, materials, workmanship, and feeling.
     Social trails disturb material contexts, damage archaeological materials and artifacts, harden soil, disturb plant populations, and encourage water erosion. These disturbances diminish elements of integrity of setting, materials, and feeling.
     Plant disturbance from rappelling. Though the narrows gorge is not vegetated, the face of the falls is. Visitor
    Your safety is not my responsibility.

  16. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by superstition View Post
    This is cross post from the Grand Canyon Rafting Yahoo Group, the Grand Canyon Hikers Yahoo Group, and the Canyons Yahoo Group: RRFW is River Runners For Wilderness and they have adopted a similar position as American Canyoneers on the Deer Creek closure. They did a great job with this post providing a lot of backup information that's worth exploring if you're more interested in the issue.

    I would certainly encourage anyone here to comment on this action (NPS contact below). You can also comment to me (rich_rudow@trimble.com), on Bogley here, and/or on AmericanCanyoneers.org . I intend to collect any comments that have not been submitted directly to the NPS and will convey the comments during the September 10 NPS call.

    Regards,

    Rich
    Glad to see this is gaining traction with multiple user groups.

    The NPS should not feel like it can so blatantly ignore procedure and stakeholders when deciding policy that impacts our experiences (which they are ordered to protect as much as the resource).

    The park service in this case has (had) the potential to coordinate a respectful and productive gathering of multiple stakeholders to hammer out a solution. Its action instead has been to leave our group's leadership out in the dark and without influence.

    Hopefully a letter writing campaign is all we need to remind them that we won't be ignored so easily.

    Phillip

  17. #36

    Re: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

    Quote Originally Posted by superstition View Post
    Certainly Death Valley and Arches have actions underway that require our involvement ASAP.
    Which area(s) in DV have been or are in danger of being closed?

  18. #37
    Content Provider Emeritus ratagonia's Avatar
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    Re: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

    Quote Originally Posted by Candace66 View Post
    Which area(s) in DV have been or are in danger of being closed?
    see new thread - DV Wilderness Mgmt Plan up for comments.

    Tom

  19. #38

    Re: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

    Quote Originally Posted by ratagonia View Post
    see new thread - DV Wilderness Mgmt Plan up for comments.

    Tom
    Thx...headed over there now.

  20. #39

    Re: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

    I'm proud to support in any way I can to re-open it or keep it open. But in the end when the govt just does what they want no matter how asinine it it (like they've done in Zion) then I'll do what I do in Zion. Poach. I'm not really that concerned, Sound selfish, I know, but if i decide to do Deer Creek I'm going to do it. I'll slip in like a NINJA and sneak back out. I'm all for the correct channels and trying to get it to work but in the end when they shove it up my ass anyways I'm going to descend it.
    beefcake. BEEFCAKE!

  21. Likes Deathcricket liked this post
  22. #40

    Re: Deer Creek Now Closed to Canyoneering

    I have been against poaching in the past and I am against it in principle at this point in the process with Deer Creek. However, I was struck by the thoughtfulness of this article on outsideonline.com:

    [QUOTE]BREAKING THE RULES: DOING RIGHT MEANS SOMETIMES IGNORING THE LAW

    Dare to live a moral life—and encourage your kids to do the same—but remember that moral decisions aren't always clear-cut[/QUOTE]

    My resolution was shaken a bit by the sincerity and basis of his argument.

    Which leads me to wander.....what is the chance and merit of a mass poaching of the closed canyon if/when they decide this is permanent and legitimate? I think its obviously a few steps away but ....

    Other recreationists have done so, with little consequence and lots of attention to the cause.

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