More than 40 routes and hundreds of potential new ones will be impacted by a BLM ban on a 400-acre section of Castle Rocks, Idaho. Climbing will still be permitted at the much larger, and more widely known City of Rocks.
The Bureau of Land Management was vague about its reasons for the ban and that has the Access Fund hot under the harness. It says that while the BLM has cited management of cultural resources (Shoshone-Bannock and Shoshone-Paiute Tribes have a rich history in this area), the BLM’s own assessment of the impacts doesn’t spell out the specific concerns climbing creates — while still allowing scrambling, hiking, and horseback riding in the same zone. The Access Fund’s is especially troubled by what it says was the BLM’s snap judgment and failure to spell out the process. In the past (it appears) the BLM’s real problem in the area is a lack of staff to properly manage climbing, and the wider concern is that the BLM will use this sort of catch-all to ban climbing, or any other activity it doesn’t have ability to monitor, anywhere in its jurisdiction throughout the West. For this reason the Access Fund is soliciting comment. Via The Access Fund and Climbing.