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Frenchman's Coulee at risk


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Drove into the Coulee today on the way though. I noticed that there were ariel flight targets set on site.


For those of you not in the know, a flight target is a marker placed on the ground for ariel photography to be taken. As the prices for such things start around $5000 chances are there is a developer interested in the land.


Seeing as two seperate rumors I have heard involve

1.) Fish and Game not interested in anything happening on site or bothering to maintain (or even visit), and

2.) Possible Golf course development on the valley floor.


Incidently, proving that Fish and Game has essenially abandoned the site, the toilets are in a sad state of affairs, if anyone here knows who to contact regarding maintaining them, please pass on the message.


Also, is there anything we can do as a community pre-emptively to prevent loss of access to the Coulee?




Be a shame to have just spent 3 hours working on a new stone staircase to not be able to use it.


Edited by summerprophet
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This post generated two pages of discussion, at least half of which was jokes, deliberate misinformation, and name-calling that added nothing to any real discussion. The ever brilliant Mark McJizzy observed that “there is a lot of supposition going on here.” He said it is more likely that this is preparation for a mapping effort that may or may not have anything to do with any major management or development proposal. Further, he pointed out, the housing economy and history of nearby Crescent Bar suggests that a major development in this area is unlikely.


Somebody said climbers should get involved, and Peter Puget agreed: he offered the following:


Here is a link the WDF site: http://wdfw.wa.gov/


Here is a link the WCC info page for Vantage: http://www.washingtonclimbers.org/Climbing/vantage.htm


Puget wrote that the Frenchman Coulee Climbers' Coalition was a group active a few years ago. They have (had?) a Yahoo Group set-up. He wasn't sure if they are still alive or not.


Builder206 provided a link for the Yahoo group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FrenchmanCouleeClimbers/


Sobo offered some history and noted that the FCC arranged and paid for the porta-lets to be brought upon the property and were (for a while, at least) maintained by them.. He suggested the group may now be defunct, or at least not very well funded, which might explain why "the shitters are in such disrepair. Mebbe they just got tired of replacing them after the Gorge Bois fucked them up and/or threw them over the cliff across the road after every concert."


Lucky entered the discussion to say that the cc.com joke squad was not serving climbers well by taking a topic that is of interest to many and insulting the guy who brought information to cc.com while turning the whole thing into a circus sideshow. I agreed. I received helpful reminders in the form of personal messages complaining that I was too critical of the brilliant contributions of cc.com’s finest jokesters who would never ever consider being insulting in any fashion, and I was told I took all of this too seriously.


Carry on. Discussion and information might be helpful.


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My sweetie and I had alpine plans for Tuesday and Wednesday , with the bad weather coming in we decided to head to the coulee as many of you do when plans get canceled because of bad weather, here is what we found.

The weather on Tuesday was as good as it gets, cloud cover, cool temps with a warm breeze and dry rock.

We only saw a few climbers, we did see a well known ancient warrior (not that I am any spring chicken) from Eburg cranking off routes in the beautiful weather.

The camping area was unusually green for this time of year, there was a little trash from the last concert at the George but nothing to speak of.

Tuesday night was so beautiful, with a gorgeous sunset sky that we sat up till 12 o’clock enjoying it.

I did see an aerial marker and where it was placed I take it that it is a survey for the up coming golf course/ resort across from the feathers, this parcel of land actually crosses the old Vantage highway were the marker is.

Wednesday we awoke to sun and a cool breeze or high wind however you look at it, so my sweetie and I put up a route (what a beautiful day)

The route is to the left of the crack called, Dakine and the sport climb called, I weighted her butt know won knew Y, it goes at 5.9 with a variation to the right that goes at 10/C

It’s called “Internet Jackass” …careful what you say on the internet you might get a climb named after you. :provoke::lmao:

Coming soon to a crag near you a climb named after The Pope and Raindawg :lmao:



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Arial targets give surveyors the ability to take high-res aerial images and scale them to a known coordinate system on the ground. Coordinates most likely resolved from GPS observations on the monument in the middle of the target. I have done this for the development of a golf course. I've also tied them for forest road project control and state highway control. With the popularity of GIS, you see all kinds of agencies like the DNR and WSDOT using aerial maps all the time. We shouldn't jump to conclusions. However, I believe a developer must post a notice on site and in the local paper if they plan to develop land. The notice should tell you what the planned development or proposed land use is, when and where the public meetings will be so you can discuss it. All of this has to go through the County planning and permitting departments. If you’re really curious, you could probably go to the County and start asking questions. If anything is being planned, they will know about it. The bottom line is that we should have enough notice before it is approved to fight the fight.

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This is true. Mikester is referring to those funky yellow (or white sometimes) signs that are emblazoned with the header, "PLANNED LAND USE ACTION". This is a requirement of SEPA, and applies to everyone, including the state agencies, with few exceptions (the feds fall under NEPA, a similar program that is kinda like the national version of SEPA). Building a golf course would NOT be one of these exceptions. Follow the links on the SEPA home page for the list of exceptions, or click here and follow the links to the RCWs and the WACs.

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Likely the airphotos are to be used by land managers to compare mining activities of the diatomite mine to permit boundaries or other land management uses to previous years.

As said above, if there is to be a development, there would be a sign posted, etc.

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That's a proposed plan, but has it been approved?


Donald Trump has a proposed plan to build a huge golf course in Scotland, but now it will take a lot of fighting to approve it.


I imagine the developer of this golf course is looking for funding for the plan (money ;) ). I expect once a final plan is submitted there will be a long period to fight it.

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No way, not anytime soon. Look at the map, all the little black dots on the brown land are houses, right? How many golf coarses are built without housing included? Very few. How is the sewage going to be treated? Where is the source for domestic water? How will they purchase water rights for the links? And I'm sure that financing will be no problem. Who wouldn't want to have an expensive vacation home on a wind and sunblasted no mans land.


I tried googling, but had no luck.


I'll wait with baited breath

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Hey folks,


To help provide some accurate data:


The majority of the climbing at Frenchman's Coulee is on WA Dep of Fish and Wildlife Land, not DNR. US BLM land surrounds much of it:




On the other hand, Frenchman Falls is on private land:

Sun Canyon Inc out of Bellevue




In general, the best way to figure out who owns various climbing areas is to go to the specific county government website and follow links to their parcel viewers GIS site. Generally, each GIS map allows you to view the aerial photo to help identify sites and look up tax parcel information, as shown above.


Regarding the stage of the Sun Canyon development, I could not find any further information online. Grant County does not have public records online like some counties. Contacting the county or the developer is likely necessary. Good Luck!!!


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we did see a well known ancient warrior (not that I am any spring chicken) from Eburg cranking off routes in the beautiful weather.

Hey im from cle elum!!! But i went up there last Saterday (weather was great Just a little rain in the morning) but the area near the bathrooms was like a big flat garbage can that lloked like the ground.

Edited by CollinWoods
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Ok. . .the toilets are not in a sad state, they are a putrid, disgusting, joke.

I manage a concrete company in Moscow, Id, and I would love to volunteer my time if we could raise enough money and help to build permanent toilet facilities at the Coulee. Any suggestions as to how we would go about doing this???

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