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#65295 - 06/06/12 12:37 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: Rickster]
sandia Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/04/12
Posts: 6
You are correct. I was uninvolved in developing AAC camp. So was EVERYONE else with an active and actual interest ("stakeholders").

I spoke to Mr. Powerz (that be) of AAC several years ago, and asked that AAC refrain from participating unless AAC could assure their efforts NOT result on closing of MUA.

Today the official written plan to close MUA to camping is tied directly to AAC efforts. So we certainly can blame the American Alpine Club.

Perhaps they will soon hold their "Black Tie Dinner" at the campground?

I also spoke to relevant DEC guy regarding this around the same time. He was very polite, unlike AAC director.

When MUA is closed to camping, it will be a resource gone forever along with an important slice of the Gunks' cultural history that goes back to the beginning.

One might expect the Access Fund would be interested in preserving the historical access to free camping in the Gunks.

I wrote to the national group and this was ignored. Their notably ineffectual local affiliate, the Gunks Climbing Coalition, offered, through a Mr. Spetz, a somewhat convoluted and negative response to my concern.

The micro-culture of this discussion board seems to reflect a similar disinterest.

The whole point of AAC campground is to provide justification for closing MUA, a stated goal of Mohonk for a fair number of years.

DEC has been "managing" MUA with this goal (closing it) much in mind for at least a decade. Their long, long neglect of parking lot construction there has been nothing short of irresponsible.

There is no long-term guarantee that the paltry 50 camping slots to be available via reservation for a fee, and only for an uncertain "high season" at AAC campground, will be available over the long-term future or even beyond a few years.

You may recall the Appalachian Mountain Club in 1980s purchased an operated a hikers' lodge in the Catskills. They closed it within a few years.

AMC had 2010 revenue of $20.8 million. AAC had 2010 revenue of $1.16 million, down 31 percent (and 2010 expense of $1.81 million).

Mohonk revenue in 2010 was $2.51 million. (see GuideStar.com)

If AMC can happily walk away from their projects, so can the relatively tiny AAC.

How is that 87 Motel doing these days?

Maybe I'll run into Big (fat) Jim McCarthy there. Oh, I forgot: As a retired Ivy League/Wall Street Lawyer, McCarthy'll probably be at Mohonk House when he jets in from Jackson Hole (if Mohonk has taken to allowing ethnic Catholics these days).


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#65314 - 06/06/12 08:20 PM Re: New campground planned [Re: sandia]
TerrieM Online   content
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
Quote:
I spoke to Mr. Powerz (that be) of AAC several years ago, and asked that AAC refrain from participating unless AAC could assure their efforts NOT result on closing of MUA.

Today the official written plan to close MUA to camping is tied directly to AAC efforts. So we certainly can blame the American Alpine Club.


While I, too, was unhappy when I realized the new c/g would close Slime(yes) and MUA, I also realized that in the years previous people had been all over this board bitching about why can't we have a better campground. I, too, thought "People will be sorry - they might get what they wished for, but without realizing at what cost."

I also recall people coming on this site years ago saying "Hey! We have to save the MUA!" Only that's all they would do! Talk is cheap. Saying "We" when what one really means is "You"(and not even knowing who that you they are referring to is) is worse than complacency.

Perhaps I am reading your intent incorrectly, but it seems you tie your particular request(not to close MUA) with the outcome. It might be that your note was read and perhaps then forgotten about. Did you receive a response acknowledging the statement about closing MUA? If not, I don't see that it is accurate to consider that request as being tied in with AAC actions. It's sort of similar as if I wrote a note asking that hot dogs and soda be sold at the c/g, and then being mad that there were no hot dogs and sodas for sale.


Quote:
...notably ineffectual local affiliate, the Gunks Climbing Coalition..


You are entitled to your opinion, but I think it is unfair. I think the CGG *could* do a better job at communicating the myriad of actions they take on our behalf, but I also realize that these people are volunteering generously of their time, and that there is only so many hours in a day.

I was speaking to the secretery of the CGG during the recent volunteer day at Minnewaska, where we worked on the access road to a new section of cliff that will be opened to climbing. She and others were discussing the absurd amount of effort that had gone into getting to this point - participating in all sorts of surveys on impact and other issues, meetings with so many officials, and so much more. She said something about "If only people knew how much has gone into this, for this one small advancement..."

And that is what it is - ONE advancement. Not the ONLY thing they have been working on. Recall the GCC was integral in the Rosendale Water Works section. They also have hosted gundraisers which donate to the Gardiner Volunteer Firemen, who come to our aid whenever someone is injured and support for the evac is required. The fundraisers have purchased gear for the Rescue caches at the preserve too.

Anyone saying the GCC is ineffectual ought the be attending a few of their monthly meetings before making that assertation. That, of course, is only my opinion, but I have sat in on a few, and can say that I have absolutely seen that they are very involved and working for positive progress in this region.

It may very well be that the GCC has priorities that are not the same as some of our own, but again - if not at the meetings asking "what about such and such?" - then how can they consider that such and such even should be on their radar?

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#65317 - 06/07/12 12:33 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: TerrieM]
sandia Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/04/12
Posts: 6
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?

Underage drinking/criminal behavior -- whatever-- Anything?

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.

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#65319 - 06/07/12 02:42 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: sandia]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Just to clarify (it's been a long time since I was a rep for the GCC), I looked up my response about the GCC's position on the MUA to sandia and others, when it appears sandia went by raelian, 5.29.07

"Forgive me the belated response, but I was away last week and became aware of the post on Saturday. Allow me to clarify the GCC's position on the MUA.

We are not advocating/lobbying for closure of the MUA. As many of you know, we put considerable effort advocating against the initial closure of campsites, done maintenance and clean-ups there, printed flyers and posted on our website reminders for folks to use the MUA responsibly, to mitigate the kinds of usage that have made it a chronic target of public complaints. Earlier this year, we offered to pay for the port-a-johns, when a question existed of whether any would be sited at the campground. The MUA is not perfect, not by a long-shot, but we're committed to supporting both the site and its thoughtful, committed managers like RangerRob.

I was invited last year to attend the planning meeting between the American Alpine Club, PIPC, and the Mohonk Preserve on the AAC's campground proposal at the AMC site. It appeared to me that the proposal for a campground of walk-in, group, and cabin sites built around a central cooking/social pavilion with showers, bathrooms, trash facilities, and off-the-street-parking monitored by a caretaker 24/7 - a Gunks' version of the Teton's climbing ranch - would be a welcome upgrade to the MUA. And, it would go a long way towards alleviating many of the problems - noise, traffic hazards, trash, human waste, use of undesignated sites - that continue to make the MUA a crux of both campers and the localsÂ’ ire. It won't be free, but for-fee camping and better regulation may have to be the price to pay for our exponential growth and its attendant impact.

Can the Gunks' support both free and for-fee camping? We certainly can't get enough of either option. Will the MUA have to be closed to make the AAC site viable? It's a possibility, but it is not a done deal, and my understanding is that the agencies remain in discussion as the AAC proposal continues to await approval.

Should it become a choice between the two sites, primarily for the mitigation measures it would largely contain, the GCC favors the AAC proposal. The potential loss of a free, capricious resource with hallowed roots in the culture is a tough one to watch disappear, and the Gunks have been fortunate to keep our resident mongrel alive as long as we have. We've raised the topic at several GCC events, and have advocated that the principals invite the climbing community in public forums into the discussion.

Until the day arrives that such a choice becomes necessary - and it remains quite unclear if or when that may be - the GCC will continue to support responsible use of the MUA.

I encourage anyone with a stake in the matter to contact me directly, ctspatz@earthlink.net, as well as the principals:
Jeff Weigert, Region 3 DEC office, 845.256.3000, or Ethan Pierce, 845.256.3074
getinfo@americanalpineclub.org
And you can always talk to Hank Alicandri at the Mohonk Preserve.

I will be attending the planning meeting cited above tomorrow evening in Ellenville.

Christopher Spatz
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#65320 - 06/07/12 02:44 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: yorick]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
And this response regarding "stakeholders," when sandia appears to have gone by pizzaman, from 5.28.09


Originally Posted By: pizzaman
"Too bad the U.S. didn't have more civilized, English-type access laws, so we could avoid the squawking from lord-of-the manor types.

GCC may have its head up the a** of local land managers, who have their heads up the a** of local to-the-manor-born types, bird-watching zillionaire board members, gentlemen climbers, etc., (all of whom Spatz once described to me, in zombie zoning board staff-speak, as "stakeholders") --- none of whom put a priority on the interests of the poor, dumb-a** non-resident climber scum."


Good evening, Pizzaman,

Having never recalled using the word "stakeholders" in conversation or in print, I'd would be pleased to learn otherwise. If I remember correctly, you did take exception to my use of "mitigation" regarding efforts to remind users of the MUA to follow the posted rules.

Since the GCC has a long record of supporting efforts to keep the MUA open, including offering to pay for port-a-johns, doing trail and campsite maintenance, and reminding climbers that responsible stewardship of the MUA is the best defense against the campground's closure, I'm not sure how this could be construed as bowing to monied interests or not advocating on behalf of average climbers, as I explained at the end of this thread:

http://gunks.com/ubbthreads7/ubbthreads.php/topics/29447/MUA_camping#Post29447
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#65324 - 06/07/12 01:54 PM Re: New campground planned [Re: yorick]
chip Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 2676
Loc: Sittin' Pretty in Fat City
Thanks for the clarification, Chris. It can't be said enough that I greatly appreciate all the efforts that volunteers make on behalf of the gunks climbing community. As in all volunteer organizations, it takes a committed "Champion of a cause" to see any endevour through.

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#65337 - 06/08/12 12:54 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: chip]
sandia Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/04/12
Posts: 6
GCC is so cool. Champions, really. Amazing the vast support they've garnered, and amazing, their vastly effective efforts.

It must be financial. They've convinced all the millionaire climbers that they are brilliant, and hence they've gotten lots of money for operation.

I offered, as regular Wall Street Journal correspondent, my services for GCC public relations. Mr. Spetz told me they already had somebody doing that and I should go away.

It's a great community y'all got. God Bless the American Alpine Club and its stupid project.

Please ban me again.

Let me be specific: EVAN who runs this site (No idea who he is)
IS A FREAK. AN ASSHOLE. EVAN PLEASE BAN ME FOR ATTACKING YOUR REAL ESTATE ADVERTISERS AND MOHONK PRESERVE TO WHICH I realize, YOU CONTRIBUTE significant funds from your Web site's surplus.

We love you all.
Thank you and good bye.

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#65338 - 06/08/12 01:09 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: sandia]
Mark Heyman Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/23/99
Posts: 1123
Loc: South Jersey (Pinelands)
Those that really really care work on their own, regardleess of what others or other groups do.


Edited by Mark Heyman (06/08/12 01:54 AM)

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#65340 - 06/08/12 01:35 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: sandia]
crimpy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 331
Loc: Wawarsing
wow!

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#65343 - 06/08/12 03:13 AM Re: New campground planned [Re: sandia]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Originally Posted By: sandia
I offered, as regular Wall Street Journal correspondent, my services for GCC public relations. Mr. Spetz told me they already had somebody doing that and I should go away.


From the 5.29.09 exchange,

"Regarding your paraphrase of my response to your offer, if again I remember correctly, we had several people, including myself, entrusted to the work. I thanked you for your generous offer, courteously, since even with those I disagree I rarely find the need to respond otherwise (I think Kent would agree), but had to respectfully decline the offer...I apologize if you found my exchange with you offensive. That's certainly never my intention in any such exchange, especially one in which a donated service was being offered."
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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