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View Full Version : Big Victory for Rock Climbers in Devil's Canyon/Hackberry Creek



desertdawg
03-30-2006, 08:15 PM
I saw this article today in the AZ Republic. It looks like the rock climbers will be getting an area set aside just for them in the Devil's Canyon area near Oak Flat/Hackberry Creek. That goes to show you how persistence pays off. However, nothing was mentioned about OHV access. Has anybody heard anything about this and if OHV's will have access?

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0330swap0330.html

CrotalusAtrox
03-31-2006, 08:32 AM
The area discussed is not in the Oak Flat/ Hackberry area, it's farther
southeast in the Dripping Springs Mountains - Tam O'Shanter peak, above the old Chilito mine area. Four wheelers have access now, mainly through a road in O'Carroll canyon. (There are other paths that pass through Phelps Dodge property.) It's a beautiful, remote area. The sad part about this is that they plan to "improve" the road so that any passenger vehicle can make the trip.

See http://www.climbtamo.com
http://www.friendsofqueencreek.com/crimpers_or_copper.htm
and other Googleable links.

PJ

Linda
04-02-2006, 09:34 AM
Sounds like a good compromise. Who would want to be rock climbing right next to a mining operation anyway? That doesn't sound very appealing.

k7mto
04-02-2006, 11:31 AM
True, but from the pictures of the areas the climbers use in Devil's Canyon they'd be hard pressed to provide a place of equal beauty and challenge. Those waterfalls and pools they climb/swim are nothing short of amazing.

http://www.toddshikingguide.com/Hikes/Arizona/Misc/Misc17.htm
http://www.friendsofqueencreek.com/FoQC_gallery.htm

azdesertrhino
04-02-2006, 06:40 PM
The pictures do look great. Some day if I ever get my rig off the carport for more than 1 day :eek: I hope to join y'all on some of these runs, clean-ups etc.

k7mto
04-02-2006, 07:18 PM
When we run Hackberry Creek, we don't get down in the canyon where these falls are, although it would be cool to drive out real early and hike down there sometime.

Sandee McCullen
04-03-2006, 05:17 AM
Sounds like a good compromise. Who would want to be rock climbing right next to a mining operation anyway? That doesn't sound very appealing.

There's no compromise.......... these guys are getting 2000 acres, 7 M to build and 200,000 maintenance dollars each year. NO MOTORIZED. They weren't going to be "climbing" near any mining! Resolution Mining in/around the Oak Flats Campground will be totally "under ground" and will be so deep it will be mined by robots. The mine is on FS land......... the new area is BLM.?????? Ask yourself why BLM can GIVE land to non-motorized recreation and we fight to simply keep access for motorized?!

Linda
04-04-2006, 09:42 AM
I think I have mentioned this before in several threads. You have to have a plan.

How did they [rock climbers] get what they wanted? Through negotiations with the RC, Tonto NF, BLM, and many others. How they managed that I don't know, but the one thing the 4-wheeling community really needs to do is learn how the rock climbers and other groups were able to create win-win situations and utilize those techniques.

That might mean:

- redefining our primary mission statement (is there one?)
- developing a comprehensive plan with achievable goals and deadlines.
- focusing on specific issues or areas
- putting the best people at the negotiation table when the time comes. They may not be the same ones we have right now. Remember, perception plays a big role in negotiating.
- ???

RokNRich
04-04-2006, 09:49 AM
Like mentioned earlier, this is NO WIN for anyone except the mining company. Highlighs from the link:


The modified Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act would now transfer about 3,025 acres of U.S. Forest Service land east of Superior to Resolution Copper Co. in exchange for about 5,500 acres of private land, located in eight parcels.




Resolution Copper needs the land to develop a copper mine that would create 400 permanent jobs.

Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said the additional provisions should satisfy concerns of environmentalists and rock climbers who have been holding up a vote on the measure. The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

If approved, the swap would close access to Oak Flat Campground, a popular rock-climbing area. The proposed closure drew protests from climbers and environmentalists.

To satisfy their concerns, Resolution Copper has added 800 acres to the original 4,700-acre deal and designated part of a new state park in Gila County that would cater to rock climbers. It would be the only state park in the nation that focuses on rock climbing, Wilder said.

This is just so wrong it drives me nuts. We are giving a state park and campground (not too mention trail access) to a foreign mining concern. All with the help of our "conservative" senators Kyl and Mccain.

Linda
04-04-2006, 09:50 AM
Accidentally submitted 2x. Deleted.

Cave Gimp
06-13-2006, 12:24 PM
How did they [rock climbers] get what they wanted? - ???

We (rock climbers) didn't get what we wanted. Tam O'S isn't the same as Oak Flat/Queen Creek. Right now the Oak Flat area is FS land, free use, and was set by local climbers. The Oak Flat area offers world class climbing inour own backyard. The rock below has one of the richest concentrations of copper ever seen, and the world needs copper. I am sure I have my fair share of copper in my Jeep and elsewhere, but there are other options than the way RC is going after it. The mining operations don't have to cause the closure of the entire area planned. RC and the local climbing community were doing pretty good until the Access Fund steped in. The Access Fund is supposed to be an orginization to help ensure access to climbing areas, but tends to fall short at that.

The deal now gives climbers a new park that they will have to drive further to, pay to access, and won't be abllowed to set routes, and closes off some very good local climbing areas. The creation of the graded road also destroys some 4x4 trails and will have an environmental impact, if the many agencies agree to the road and to pay for it.

Could it have been done differently to a better outcome for all? YES. Education was the biggest shortfall here with the governing parties not knowing how the area was really used.

Lessons learned, educate the public and government agencies on how exactlly the land is used, includeing enveriomental protections (like clean up tirps).

Sandee McCullen
06-13-2006, 09:43 PM
We (rock climbers) didn't get what we wanted. Tam O'S isn't the same as Oak Flat/Queen Creek. Right now the Oak Flat area is FS land, free use, and was set by local climbers. The Oak Flat area offers world class climbing inour own backyard. The rock below has one of the richest concentrations of copper ever seen, and the world needs copper. I am sure I have my fair share of copper in my Jeep and elsewhere, but there are other options than the way RC is going after it. The mining operations don't have to cause the closure of the entire area planned. RC and the local climbing community were doing pretty good until the Access Fund steped in. The Access Fund is supposed to be an orginization to help ensure access to climbing areas, but tends to fall short at that.

The deal now gives climbers a new park that they will have to drive further to, pay to access, and won't be abllowed to set routes, and closes off some very good local climbing areas. The creation of the graded road also destroys some 4x4 trails and will have an environmental impact, if the many agencies agree to the road and to pay for it.

Could it have been done differently to a better outcome for all? YES. Education was the biggest shortfall here with the governing parties not knowing how the area was really used.

Lessons learned, educate the public and government agencies on how exactlly the land is used, includeing enveriomental protections (like clean up tirps).

Well you may not have received all of "what you wanted" but the OHV groups got NOTHING! The "governing parties" knew of the usage out there it's simply a fact of OHV being the bad guys on the block and the non-motorized recreationists have the backing of the enviros. There's no reason all recreationists could not share the new site of recreation but that has been bluntly refused. OHV is as responsible as hunting or hiking groups.........
From what I've heard regarding the new site you didn't lose much. Too bad everyone cannot find it within to work together.

Cave Gimp
06-14-2006, 06:57 AM
The people who lost were the public in general. Whether it were climbers, OHV, hikers, bird lovers, enviors, everyone. A free public (federal) land is being closed for private use by a foreign company and is being replaced by a pay site owned by the state which may never be developed as the governing parties would like to public to think. And YES they didn't know how the land was used. Perception was that Apache Leap was heavily used and the Mine Area was lightly used. That is completely opposite of reality. Apache Leap is a more difficult climbing area and access is difficult so not many people use it. As far as OHV, I'm not familiar with the trails out there, but I'm sure there are some great ones. It is an awesome area. Tam O'S could one day be a nice climbing area, but it still won't be the same as Queen Creek.

It really sucks that OHV got nothing in return. Once again an example how the whole deal was handled improperly by RC.

The point is we all lost. The public lost. The enviros lost, the OHV and the climbers lost. Too many back door deals and steps to keep the public at a distance of what is really happening.

Sandee McCullen
06-14-2006, 08:28 AM
The people who lost were the public in general. Whether it were climbers, OHV, hikers, bird lovers, enviors, everyone. A free public (federal) land is being closed for private use by a foreign company and is being replaced by a pay site owned by the state which may never be developed as the governing parties would like to public to think. And YES they didn't know how the land was used. Perception was that Apache Leap was heavily used and the Mine Area was lightly used. That is completely opposite of reality. Apache Leap is a more difficult climbing area and access is difficult so not many people use it. As far as OHV, I'm not familiar with the trails out there, but I'm sure there are some great ones. It is an awesome area. Tam O'S could one day be a nice climbing area, but it still won't be the same as Queen Creek.

It really sucks that OHV got nothing in return. Once again an example how the whole deal was handled improperly by RC.

The point is we all lost. The public lost. The enviros lost, the OHV and the climbers lost. Too many back door deals and steps to keep the public at a distance of what is really happening.

From my understanding the new site is not "owned by the state" it is BLM land and I don't know that it will be a "fee site" other than Arizona State Parks is looking atadministering the recreation site. In this view it will probably be a State Park with a $4.00 site fee. I have no problem with paying a fee for any area that has quality amenities for recreation............ whether it's non-motorized or motorized. Public Land should not necessarily be FREE. I believe the "users of the land" sometimes need to help support themselves and their recreation. The public lands in general are "free" to the people but still have managers that are mandated to do certain things that cost substantial amounts of money. Way too much of our tax dollars must be directed to defend against nonsense law suits instead of to management of public lands.

Re the fact "we all lost something" is true but until we join together and quit fussing about what the other is doing or getting we will continue to lose. I whole heartedly agree re RC and their methods but if ALL recreationists joined together we could make a massive impact in the outcome of deals like this. Even the Forest Service was left out of this. RC went directly to the top with some power.

I don't necessarily feel ALL public lands should stay public just because. Our country does have natural mineral resources that we need to help support our country but I feel there are ways for everyone to work together with these uses. I think many of the mining and/or drilling etc used to work with the agencies and/or public but our people have become so "sue crazy" and "looking for deep pockets" that the companies are afraid of the liability............ thusly closures to the public under any conditions. THAT is our own fault................ WE, the people, have caused that.

Cave Gimp
06-14-2006, 10:58 AM
Sandee I agree with you that all the recreationists should join together. I know the climbers got a boost from the bird watchers and that helped with some areas. I hear this is pretty much a done deal (as always subject to change) but hopefully next time the various groups will join together.