Your Opinion Counts - Guiding in National Parks

Photo | nps.gov
Hi Friends-

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is proposing a Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan that bans climbing guide operations within the park.  The Park Service is interested in hearing the opinions of those other than guides regarding this ban.  If you have climbed or skied with me for even one day, I'm sure you've heard my monologue about the dysfunction of guiding on public lands.

The comment period ends on Thursday, 27 October.

I'm asking you today to take a moment, follow the link, and make your support known for certified guides to provide their services on public lands.  I believe that guides - especially certified guides - can offer an enhanced wilderness experience to their clients.  I believe that guides protect the wilderness as well as non-guided climbers, possibly even to a greater extent because they are in fact protecting their work-place.  I believe that guides are less likely to be in accidents and when they are, are more likely to self-rescue and/or have favorable outcomes.  I don't have statistics to back this last item up, its just an opinion.

I believe your opinion matters more than mine.  It's entirely understandable that I'll speak up in defense of my profession.  But the opinion of a guided climber, or a climber who doesn't hire a guide, and especially the opinion of a non-climber has significant weight in this issue.  Even if you never expect to visit the Black Canyon, this management proposal could effect guiding services where you do go.  So please, make your opinion known.

Photo | squidoo.com
Please support certified mountain guiding on public lands by making your opinion known today.  Follow this link, click on "Comment on Document," and make your thoughts known.

LINK to Comment page for Draft Wilderness and Backcountry Management Plan.

Here's part of what I wrote.  If you choose to cut and paste this, please change the red sentence to best reflect you.

"The proposed guiding ban in the Black Canyon is both unnecessary and uninformed - I am writing to urge you to keep guided access available to the public.  Climbing in the Black is always challenging, adventurous, and requires a high degree of self-reliance whether guided or not. I am a climber who will hire a guide / I am a climber who does not hire guides / I do not climb, and I believe that climbing guides are a valuable option for land managers, and the public, on public lands. Guides can be held to higher accountability in protecting the wilderness resource. If the concern is to reduce the number of possible guided groups, requiring certification from the American Mountain Guide Association would provide a simple, low-administrative cost barrier to guided entry. The nature of climbing in the Black Canyon will always require small teams and a high level of technical ability, guided or not. Banning guided climbing will reduce or eliminate altogether a viable, sustainable opportunity to experience the wilderness in the Inner Canyon Zone. "
Thanks for your support!  Please use the links below to repost this on Facebook, Twitter, and email to your friends!