Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   11/10/22

      Help keep cascadeclimbers.com going!  Please consider donating so we can keep this site going.   We have set expenses right now but no revenue.  We do hope to getting a sponsor to help out, but for now we just need funds to upgrade the site and pay for hosting and licensing. See the "DONATE" tab in the top menu.
Sign in to follow this  
COR

[TR] Trout Creek OR closed by BLM until further notice! - 2/18/2012

Recommended Posts

Trip: Trout Creek OR closed by BLM until further notice! -

 

Date: 2/18/2012

 

Trip Report:

Recently, the BLM closed the trad climbing area of Trout Creek to climbing on the basis of protecting golden eagle nesting sites. COR (Central Oregon Rocks, Inc) is a nonprofit access fund affiliate based in Bend, OR whose mission is to protect access to rock climbing areas in the region. We are working with the BLM to assist them in completing their EA for the area and allow public comment before coming to a final decision on closures. In the meantime, they have lifted the mandatory closure and instated a voluntary closure. We ask that you not climb at trout creek during the voluntary closure, because the BLM will be watching carefully to see how well we can manage ourselves as climbers.

 

Thank you very much for helping to protect access to this amazing area.

-COR

 

News article about the closure:

http://www.tsweekly.com/outside/outdoor-recreation/kids-and-the-government-in-central-oregon-climbing-popular-area-crag-closed-for-now.html

 

Below is the most recent excerpt from the "friends of trout creek" facebook page, where updates to this situation can be found.

https://www.facebook.com/FriendsofTroutCreek

 

UPDATE!! On Thursday, Molly Brown, Field Ranger for the Prineville BLM signed an order to restructure the Trout Creek climbing closure from mandatory to voluntary, effective on Friday, Feb. 17th. THE AREA IS STILL CLOSED, AND IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO CLIMB ELSEWHERE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!! This is a great gesture of good faith by the BLM, and one that we suggested in the meeting on Monday. They have requested our assistance in distributing this news and managing the new closure format (including signage, public notice, and compliance). The signs at the trailhead will be replaced tomorrow to mirror these changes.

 

It is paramount to our effort to work together to make sure that all climbers follow this voluntary closure, as our compliance can demonstrate our unity as a user-group dedicated to responsible access and stewardship. Our track record in the next few months will surely be included in the E.A., and will ultimately contribute to a permanent management plan. This is a "golden" opportunity to prove to land managers everywhere that we all want to protect golden eagles and our right to climb in this incredible place.

 

In the meantime, the BLM has also agreed to release a new scoping letter, which will allow for further public comment before the E.A. is written up. We have cause for gratitude to the Prineville BLM for listening to us and taking swift action. Now, it is up to us to help them finish the E.A. and to do our part by staying away and encouraging all others to do so as well. Stay tuned for new developments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Getting to this level of cooperation with the BLM staff is a really solid accomplishment - keep it up the good work...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. Please, out of curiosity: when you said "mandatory" vs "voluntary", does it mean permanent vs temporary? If not, why is the voluntary part better? Sorry for the ignorance, thanks for any clarification :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mandatory to voluntary, effective on Friday, Feb. 17th. THE AREA IS STILL CLOSED, AND IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO CLIMB ELSEWHERE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!! This is a great gesture of good faith by the BLM, and one that we suggested in the meeting on Monday.

 

I guess I'm confused by this too. Is it closed, or open? One can climb there, but should voluntarily choose not to climb there? Strange wording...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm confused:

 

why is it a "great gesture of good faith by the BLM" to make the closure voluntary instead of mandatory?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically, the BLM imposed the mandatory closure without completing their environmental assessment, so local climbers and media called them out for not going through proper channels, and everyone had to take a step back. Now it's time for us to show that we can actually cooperate with land managers and not climb while they attempt to finish the EA, hoping that it will reflect well on their final decision regarding climbing access at the crag.

 

Have you ever attempted to work with land managers before to maintain access to climbing areas? There is a lot of politics involved, and we have found from experience that playing nice is the best policy. I posted this information so that trad climbers who use this website will be aware of the closure, and hopefully climb at Smith Rock when they come to visit Central Oregon, until the situation is resolved. Thanks for your cooperation! You can follow the drama at the "Friends of Trout Creek" facebook page.

 

Cheers

Tom Sorenson, Secretary-Treasurer COR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation, Tom. Hopefully these people will find out that climbers can find a way to climb respecting the birdies' nest. You can cite the same situation in Snow Creek Wall and the (I think) "raptors?" nests. They close every year part of the wall where the nests are, and everyone is happy and respectful. Keep the good effort, and thanks for that...

GA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for not climbing at Trout Creek...see the FB page for more info

From the "friends of trout creek" facebook page:‎

 

-A pair of golden eagles have occupied the nest on the Main Wall and are currently incubating one or more eggs! This highlights the importance of the efforts we have undertaken thus far, and lends credence to the possibility of this seasonal closure becoming perennial once the E.A. is finished (tentatively scheduled for the end of April).

 

-The climbing community is committed to working with the BLM to protect this territory during golden eagle nesting season. This means continuing to honor the voluntary closure and contributing constructive ideas to help craft the best long term management plan for both eagles and climbers.

 

-We hope to use the successful Smith Rock golden eagle management plan as a model to create appropriate seasonal buffer zones around each nest that will be independently monitored and managed, potentially allowing for some of the territory (away from the occupied nest and outside of the buffer zone) to open for climbing in May once the eagles have chosen a nest.

 

-Strong emphasis must be placed on the value of this unique and near-perfect crack climbing destination to climbers, local businesses, and tourism/recreation.

 

-Responses to the scoping letter are due by March 30th, and we encourage your constructive input. Once the E.A. is finished, it will be released and another 30-day comment period will follow.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks like things are moving along pretty smoothly. Nice to see for a change, usually this stuff takes years. I'm already missing getting my Trout fix.

 

Anyone ever climbed at Bill's Columns? We decided to check that out and found some really high quality routes. Plus 30 min less diving. Found some interesting old gear to boot!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, as you say this stuff can take years and climbers nationwide can use every win we can get with the BLM who are everywhere out west. Anything that improves the overall working relationship with the agency is a big deal for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like things are moving along pretty smoothly. Nice to see for a change, usually this stuff takes years. I'm already missing getting my Trout fix.

 

Anyone ever climbed at Bill's Columns? We decided to check that out and found some really high quality routes. Plus 30 min less diving. Found some interesting old gear to boot!

 

 

Looks like a slog to get up there. Then again so is Trout Creek. Never made the hike but have craned my neck countless times as I drive by.

 

Any fixed anchors?

 

 

Chad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Basically, the BLM imposed the mandatory closure without completing their environmental assessment, so local climbers and media called them out for not going through proper channels, and everyone had to take a step back. Now it's time for us to show that we can actually cooperate with land managers and not climb while they attempt to finish the EA, hoping that it will reflect well on their final decision regarding climbing access at the crag.

 

ok thanks for making sense of it for me. :tup:

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Looks like things are moving along pretty smoothly. Nice to see for a change, usually this stuff takes years. I'm already missing getting my Trout fix.

 

Anyone ever climbed at Bill's Columns? We decided to check that out and found some really high quality routes. Plus 30 min less diving. Found some interesting old gear to boot!

 

 

Looks like a slog to get up there. Then again so is Trout Creek. Never made the hike but have craned my neck countless times as I drive by.

 

Any fixed anchors?

 

 

Chad

 

Hmm yeah not any more of a slog than Trout, I think it is actually a bit shorter... maybe I'm mistaken though. Seemed easier to me. We caught an old road heading about halfway up the hill from behind the market. Then a mellow hike from the end of that up to the crag.

 

Yup, some new bolts and old pins, as well as left some of our own gear. All of what we climbed was in the 5.10-5.11 and of very high quality. Probably could find some easier stuff if you wanted too.

 

I'd check it out if I was you!

 

:tup::tup: In my opinion, plus there is a bit more adventure than Trout not knowing what your getting on and all, which I find to always be a fun way to spend the day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The BLM is accepting public comment until March 30th. Here is a link to the Access Fund's easy-to-use letter generator...please take the time to comment respectfully if you like the idea of climbing at Trout Creek in the future!

 

Thanks,

Tom Sorenson

Central Oregon Rocks, Inc.

Access Fund Affiliate

 

http://www.accessfund.org/c.tmL5KhNWLrH/b.5208267/k.8C84/Action_Center/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=tmL5KhNWLrH&b=5208267&aid=517424

 

PS. Great idea to trad climb at other locales like Bill's Columns or the gorge at smith until the eagles have fledged

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Energy Insider Newsletter:

 

Bird Deaths Haunt Wind Energy - Interior Dept. puts forth plan

 

Ken Silverstein | Apr 02, 2012

 

Environmentalists are facing a conundrum: To fight green energy projects that they see as detrimental to their cause or to work with the developers and the authorities to minimize damages. The U.S. Department of Interior has made some suggestions that it thinks will help alleviate bird deaths associated with wind energy.

 

The Obama administration has placed a high value on wind energy, as well as other sustainable fuels. But it has run into conflicts when it has tried to permit such projects that affect rare birds and other wildlife. Through this latest initiative, the administration is working with all stakeholders to locate from the start those places in which there would be potentially deal-killing conflicts.

 

Bird and wildlife advocates are split. Most are satisfied with the proposals that have been in the making for three years, noting that their interests will get a seat at the table as the rules progress further. The rest are dissatisfied that the issuance is only “voluntary,” meaning that the litigation will still flow. Among the groups that discussed the matter with officials from the federal government are the National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy and the Defenders of Wildlife.

 

“These first-ever federal guidelines are a game-changer and a big win for both wildlife and clean energy,” says David Yarnold, chief executive of the Audubon society. “By collaborating with conservationists instead of slugging it out, the wind power industry gains vital support to expand and create jobs, and wildlife gets the protection crucial for survival.”

 

The guidelines, which have taken effect, provide a structured and scientific approach for developers and the associated regulators to find viable wind sites, according to the Interior Department. Their mutual goal is to assess, mitigate and monitor any adverse effects wind power projects might have on wildlife and their habitat. The agency is emphasizing the voluntary rules do not encroach on the federal laws that now exists: Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

 

The American Wind Energy Association says that it has 47,000 megawatts of installed capacity. Public comments it has filed with the Interior Department say that its members have surpassed the requirements under current law, all to minimize the effect its turbines have on birds and their habitat.

 

“The industry is not interested in, and has never asked for, a free pass when it comes to wildlife,” says the document. “In fact, it has taken quite the opposite tack.”

 

The wind group has said, in previous filings, that less than 1 percent of all human-caused eagle deaths are the result of wind turbines. More than half of all accidents involving birds, generally, are because they fly into power lines. One news story cites a 2008 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stat that 440,000 bird deaths occur each year because of wind farms -- something that wind energy advocates say is inflated and difficult to calculate.

 

Where’s all this playing out? Conservation groups have told California authorities that a proposed wind project there by NextEra Energy would kill off rare birds, including Golden Eagles and California condors. They want the turbines to be relocated and have filed a legal challenge asking for an environmental review.

 

Among the things they are asking for are radars that would be able to detect such rare species before they would collide with the massive turbines. The wildlife advocates say that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees with it that avian fatalities are a real concern with this NextEra proposal.

 

“There’s plenty of room in the state for both wind projects and the California condor to thrive,” says Ileene Anderson, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “But if condors and wind turbines are going to coexist, those turbines need to be sited carefully and measures have to be taken to minimize the risk that condors will be killed. Unfortunately, this project fails to do that.”

 

Relocating a massive wind or solar project is not that simple, however. Such facilities are typically built on the outskirts where large plots of land exists and where the wind and the sun can be easily captured. Wind speeds need to average 14.7 miles per hour as well as be able to interconnect with transmission systems. Solar regions, meanwhile, must have abundant sunshine and also have the same ability to connect with the transmission grid.

 

Green energy faces a number obstacles, not the least of which is coming from their own quarters. The Interior Department’s proposal seeks to minimize the conflict and if it is effective, it will be a positive step forward for wind and solar power.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:

 

The BLM has lifted the closure for Trout Creek after the Golden Eagle nest on the crag was unfortunately abandoned. Luckily, climbers were not to blame for this abandonment, because everyone stayed off the wall! Apparently some other type of yahoo probably drove off the birds as they were attempting to nest.

 

Thank you for your cooperation...the EA is still being written, and climbing will hopefully be allowed every fall/winter thanks to our cooperation with the BLM.

 

The crag will be open until 2/1/2013, at which time it will be seasonally closed again in the hopes that golden eagles can successfully nest next year. I will update this information if there are any changes.

 

In response to JosephH: Yes, you are right. There are major political forces at work on this issue. The BLM is issuing raptor "kill permits" to wind farms, with the understanding that golden eagle habitat will be protected elsewhere (usually on the big cliffs we like to climb on). So it's especially important that we do everything we can to make sure that climbers are part of the solution and not part of the problem! Or else we will all be climbing on plastic...

 

Happy climbing!

 

Tom Sorenson

Central Oregon Rocks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please take the opportunity to comment to the BLM about this issue before September 15! Supporting "Alternative 2" gives the most protection for climbing, and has been supported strongly by local rockheads. Please help out by emailing your (positive) comments supporting climbing to:

BLM_OR_PR_Mail@blm.gov

 

BLM's summary of options (Support Alt. 2):

http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/prineville/plans/files/pdo_ea_fonsi_2012-0028_08162012.pdf

 

More information in this thread:

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1068637/Trout_Creek_OR_reopened_until_#Post1068637

 

**Even if you've never climbed here, now you have maps (probably the only time I'll ever post links to maps of OR climbing areas! :) Please check the place out and help protect it by emailing before the 15th

 

Tom Sorenson

Central Oregon Rocks, Inc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×