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#68691 - 09/02/13 12:02 PM Ranger Presence
tallgirlnyc Offline
member

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Cold Spring NY
I have already posted on Mountain Project a rant about the Nears becoming an outdoor climbing gym so I won't repeat my frustration here, however walking out of the Nears on Saturday, we passed a mountain Laurel bush at the base of Birdland and it had been ripped right out of the ground. How can this be?!

Donald and I attempted to right the bush and stabilize the root system with rocks, but having no shovel our efforts probably won't do anything to save the mountain laurel.

I am not saying a bunch of careless, smoking, micro trash generating gym rats annihilated the Laurel. I don't know what happened.

But, I would say, that if there was a consistent ranger presence walking the base of high traffic areas and with that a gentle reminder of trail etiquette, leave no trace principals and general consciousness of our beautiful climbing area it would go a long way to containing some of the devastation.

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#68692 - 09/02/13 12:42 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: tallgirlnyc]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
Please post a link to your rant, I'd like to read it!
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#68693 - 09/02/13 01:36 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: SethG]
tallgirlnyc Offline
member

Registered: 05/12/08
Posts: 194
Loc: Cold Spring NY

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/rant-toproping-bolted-rappel-routes/108298994__3


Link to the thread. Below, my part in it!

I have to say, that I was in the Nears on Saturday last and it felt like an outdoor gym. Obviously, going past Grease Gun Groove helps this problem considerably, but still-in terms of impact, noise, barking dogs, cigarette smoke, gear, shoes, (purses!?) packs EVERY WHERE, hearing at full volume, 'there's a total crimper for your left hand-three feet up dude-that's how I send this bitch', etc. etc. ad infinitum

makes me invariably sad.

If people like the gym atmosphere, why don't they just climb in a gym? Oh, I guess you can't smoke in a gym. My bad.

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#68694 - 09/02/13 01:36 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: SethG]
yorick Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/15/02
Posts: 1041
Loc: hamlet\'s hand
Take a look at pics from the base of the Nears, or Frog's Head or the Mac Wall in the 70s, or Peterskill before climbing was permitted, and compare them to now.

The illusion of leave-no-trace, climbers' policing their own impact, was lost in practice decades ago.
_________________________
Shongum ain\'t Indian,
it\'s Shawank-unk.

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#68695 - 09/02/13 02:57 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: yorick]
SethG Offline
old hand

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 709
Loc: NYC
I think your rant is correct Dana but I think that horse left the barn long ago. Not much we can do. Still if I caught those jerks pulling out the bush I would have punched them. They might have been some local vagrants and not climbers at all...
_________________________
It's true, I have a blog. http://climbandpunishment.blogspot.com/

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#68697 - 09/02/13 04:31 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: SethG]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
Well...... we COULD create something like the GUMBA bike patrol and have volunteers who provide the service Julie wishes the rangers might be able to do.

From my experience, the rangers simply cannot be in all the *right* places at the right time(to catch perverts at Split Rock, taggers probably acting at might, and non-conservation-minded climbers who yard-sale their belongings and blast beta while their friend thrutches on TR.

May be some would suggest differently, but I think the rangers ALL do a hell of a good job. If a person commits to accepting as part of their job that at some point they may be picking up the pieces of a dead body, I think they deserve our respect and an understanding that asking them to be a consistent presence at high activity spots(to use OP's words, but not intended to be insulting) is off. The rangers DO do foot patrol - I see them around, but there is only so much that can be done, when the preserve has the acreage it does, easily accessed land, and only six rangers.

I think a volunteer patrol is actually a pretty good idea, if I say so myself! We could have a few handouts which are written in an educational way covering topics such as Wilderness Etiquette, Leave No Trace, Erosion Reduction, and the like.

The volunteers could make it part of their plan to stop and visit with ALL climbers along the way, not in a "got my eye on you" attitude but as a social, friendly, presence. Maybe they could even bring their harnesses and shoes and catch a TR once in a while.

MOST climbers in are decent people, and know how to act, and the last thing needed would be to have people feel they are being monitored just because they are part of a group in which a few cause problems. Most of the time, the patrol wouldn't be doing anything but out enjoying the day, seeing friends and getting to know new people. But when they DO come across a problem area or issue, they could do something like say "Hey, I notice that... and explain how it impacts the land and others. Give them the appropriate hand-out, if it seems the right thing to do and continue on.

While at it, include mention of volunteerism opportunity on the hand-outs - for both the preserve and this new-founded patrol. (Do people know that volunteers who give more than 40 hours(or is it 45?) service a year can be provided with a Volunteers Membership card for the preserve?)

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#68698 - 09/02/13 04:34 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: TerrieM]
TerrieM Offline
addict

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 425
Loc: Gunks in Summer, Southwest in ...
^AND we could have some night-timer patrols too, to *politely* educate those taggers... heh heh

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#68700 - 09/02/13 09:39 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: TerrieM]
crimpy Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 07/02/11
Posts: 331
Loc: Wawarsing
stand your ground terrie smile

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#68703 - 09/03/13 02:26 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: tallgirlnyc]
BrianRI Offline
newbie

Registered: 06/10/05
Posts: 29
Perhaps this is an unrealistic suggestion but it would be a big help to eliminate the gym atmosphere. Chop all the first pitch bolted belays and slings used to top-rope. For example, Son of Easy O has become almost solely a top-rope climb since that convenience anchor was put there. Parties hang their ropes on this climb and many others and leave them there all day trampling the ground below the climb while picnicking. Bring trad-only back to the Gunks.

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#68704 - 09/03/13 03:02 PM Re: Ranger Presence [Re: TerrieM]
Kent Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/21/00
Posts: 1038
Loc: The Bayards
Originally Posted By: TerrieM
I think a volunteer patrol is actually a pretty good idea, if I say so myself! We could have a few handouts which are written in an educational way covering topics such as Wilderness Etiquette, Leave No Trace, Erosion Reduction, and the like.


Don't forget to educate climbers about not trespassing. :-)

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