Thank you Sean, for asking these questions.
Sustainability and land management are a very important issues. The world's population haas doubled since I started hiking and climbing.
I suppose that I am amongst the enlightened minority in that I believe that public lands are not our play toys. We are the guardians of public lands, not the slave masters. We must manage public lands carefully, always mindful of what is best for the land in terms of the health of ecosystems and sustainability. That means we should be limited use of public lands where and when it is appropriate.
Many climbers believe that they should have unfettered access to both private and public lands, and they should be able to do whatever they want on those lands (e.g., place bolts). I do not subscribe to this believe sytem, and this is why I do not support the Access Fund.
I know that this position is undefendable, given that other groups (snowmobiliers, horse packers, etc.) have apparent unlimited access to public land and have a far greater impact than climbing. In SEKI, I have personal knowledge that the National Park Service ignores the problems that horse packers cause, and ignores the horse packer's blatant violations of wilderness laws, because the horse packers have local clout.
It is difficult to argue that placing a single bolt 1,000 feet up a cliff face is worse than a group of horse packers digging a big fire pit at 11,000 feet in a pristine lake-side alpine meadow, and leaving a bunch of garbage at the site.
Last edited by Sierra Ledge Rat
on Sat Jul 30, 2011 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.