I had a telephone conversation with director of American Alpine Club several years ago. He fist ignored my requests for this conversation.
I then politely pointed out to many board members that "He" would not speak to me about the issue, which I carefully explained to each board member.
Apparently these board members contacted him. He them called me and was clearly peeved that a mere interested person would ask to speak with him, given his terribly busy schedule in Colorado.
In this conversation, I carefully and politely explained to Mr. Powers how the permanent loss of the MUA and his project were inextricably linked. He said he was unaware of the issue.
I explained how, while the AAC project would be welcome, the loss of the MUA would be irreplaceable. Obviously, he wasn't interested.
I had a similar conversation around this time, with relevant DEC planner. I asked whether any quantitative studies had been done regarding MUA. For example, how much is it used? How many traffic accidents could be attributed to inadequate DEC provisions for parking? Environmental impact (plz define) at then-current level of use?
He said there was no interest in such quantitative measurements, and that the place would be eventually closed to camping.
I think he said it was mainly based on a few neighbors complaints. These neighbors apparently ?? included Mohonk Preserve & Shawangunk (birdwatcher/realtor) Coalition.
I note a sometimes resentful and rude attitude of DEC personnel encountered at MUA, leading me to believe they would simply prefer that their duties there be removed from list of responsiblities.
Mohonk's director, already even then on record favoring shutting MUA, I figured, wasn't even worth speaking to.
This was, I believe, five years ago.
I discussed this with GCC around the same time. Mr. Spietz told me, that under some circumstances, GCC would not oppose closing MUA to camping. I assume he meant that going against views of "stakeholders" ( his word) Mohonk Preserve would harm his relationship with that group. And God forbid GCC would oppose August body (in black tie) of AAC??
The chairman of long-known AMC's NYC climbing committee merely posed the question:
"Why should camping be free?"
A great question to which I have no answer other than to note that it's been free since climbing began at Gunks.
The actual "Stakeholders" are those who use MUA. Their numbers are unknown and they have never been queried regarding whether they want to make reservations and pay a fee for a severely limited number of seasonally available sleeping sites.
Is that disabled fellow still on the night desk of Motel 87? He seems like a very nice and interesting person..... More sympathetic than those I've dealt with on this question.