The Ontario Access Coalition would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support during 2008. Nearly 1000 signatures were gathered on our petition to establish a bouldering management plan for the Niagara Glen and both the electronic and handwritten signatures have been delivered to the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC). The NPC was particularly moved by the personal comments that many of you shared when signing the online petition so we would like to extend our gratitude for your effort.
The OAC is currently drafting a bouldering management plan that will be submitted to the NPC in the coming months. We believe that climbers can look forward to sending many more problems in the Glen in the future!
Please keep in touch with our work by becoming our friend on facebook (we're Oac Climbers): http://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=1105863817&k=53MT23SSRYXMW1AGXB3XR&r
and by checking our website for updates:
The Niagara Parks Commission has recently released a draft of their Land Management Plan on their website which has a recommendation to eliminate bouldering in the future to reduce environmental impact. http://www.niagaraparksnature.com/Welcome.html
Your comments supporting bouldering must be received before the October 19th, 2008 deadline. Follow the instructions below to use the sample letter. Feel free to include some of your own personal comments. It will only take a few minutes of your time to help preserve access to bouldering at the Glen.
I write to state my opposition to the Niagara Park Commission's proposed "Recommendation 11: Eliminate bouldering activities in the Niagara Glen" outlined in the above draft plan. Like all boulderers, I cherish the unique beauty of the Glen and urge the NPC to implement a creative solution to decrease visitor impact while maintaining the access to the Glen that boulderers have enjoyed for more than forty years.
The NPC should not unilaterally close the Niagara Glen before formally adopting a bouldering management plan. Such action is unrealistic because all visitors scramble to some degree on the hundreds of rocks in the Glen and all visitors equally contribute to trail erosion. Furthermore, boulderers are excellent stewards of the environment. At a minimum, you should explore the less severe climbing management prescriptions that have built positive relationships between climbers and managers in other Ontario parks before you ban bouldering.
I am aware that the NPC is reviewing the management of nature trails at the Niagara Glen to minimize the environmental impact of visitors. Clearly marked trails and the removal of some unsanctioned trails would greatly reduce erosion. Access to boulders that are not on existing sanctioned trails should be clearly marked and restrictions to certain areas could be explored before total closure of this area is considered. Lastly, as a boulderer and outdoor enthusiast, I strive to be an excellent steward of the environment. I maintain leave no trace when visiting the Niagara Glen and pick up trash left by less conscientious visitors. Understanding that improvements and maintenance to the park are expensive, I would consider a user fee to boulder at the Niagara Glen.
I am adamantly opposed to Recommendation 11's elimination of bouldering in the Niagara Glen.
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