With some elbow tendonitis and a bit of free time I find myself once again sucked into the fray!
Sorry to hear about the elbows. It seems the gold standard for rehabbing them is negative wrist curls. See http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=3614
Not all anchors are good, but if an anchor is fixed and used regularly it should be good and does deserve upgrading when it deteriorates.
I don't understand the "fixed" qualification. Isn't every anchor under discussion "fixed?" I'm not sure I understand the "used regularly" qualification either. How is regularity quantified and what use thresholds apply?
In any case, I think you're proposing far too low a gate. If, as recently has happened, someone puts a rap anchor at the top of CCK, thereby creating two-way traffic on the route, there is still an excellent chance that it will be used regularly, but is it a good idea to have it in the first place?
The way it is now not everyone uses the preserve anchors to descend due to a variety of reasons.
One of which is the proliferation of convenience anchors right in front of their eyes so they don't have to look for the Preserve lines.
The other anchors are in a constant state of being cut and then soon replaced. As a result trees are dying and the anchors are often unsafe.
This is a non-sequitor; the constant cutting and replacing is not killing the trees. The presence of the anchors is killing the trees. Every day the anchor isn't there is a good day for the tree, so the more cutting the better from the tree perspective.
There was a college campus that built its campus without sidewalks. After a year of seeing where the students chose to walk by observing the matted down grass the sidewalks were built. The campus did not have the dirt pathways that appear on many college lawns.
This was the original Preserve idea and it was not a success, probably for the same reason the campus experiment (if true) worked: people will usually try to take the shortest distance between two points. Other considerations of importance are not on their radar.
In reading John Stannard's newsletter Eastern Trade I learned about the original dilemma of copious trails leading to the base of routes. After set trails were added this problem subsided. There were enough trails positioned and marked to establish a better way to approach the base. It didn't result in an infinite number of trails.
This would be an argument for set rappel routes and the vigorous discouragement of all others.
My point is that in order to save the remaining trees in the Trapps, the most commonly used rap stations should be replaced with bolts near, but off to the side of the trees and the ascending climb. They should be convenient.
I'm not at all against saving trees, but I think the most important questions have to do with the creation of two-way traffic on popular routes.
In any case, what are the "most commonly used rap stations" and how is this decided? If a "commonly used rap station" is fifty feet from a Preserve rap line, should it too be replaced with bolted anchors? What about some regions that have a lot of climbs side-by-side? You won't be able to just put some bolts "off to the side" and keep the descenders from colliding with ascenders. If the station is "commonly used," does it get bolted anyway?
And "they should be convenient?" Who decides that? And when the "decider" fails to create bolted anchor, what will prevent the growth of anchors someone else deems "convenient?" Isn't that pretty much what's happening now, and if so doesn't your proposal solve little or nothing?
The other option is to continue to argue that there should be no other fixed anchors besides what the preserve has installed and watch as the remaining trees die and perhaps have a few people die due to anchor failure.
Spare us the dire prognostications! Rapelling has been a major source of accidents in the Gunks and if you don't want people to die you should probably make 'em all walk back with the zealots and dogmatists. Moreover, I don't see why there are only two options. The Preserve could create more rap routes, or even without doing that could provide better information and marking for the ones that exist.
One thing I'm pretty sure of: if and when an "appropriate" number of fixed descent lines are created, if there isn't an outright ban on the creation of more anchors, nothing will change for the climbers or the trees.