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Road 18 Caves closed to sport climbers by USFS

This is the story of how climbers can be singled out and unfairly deprived of a venue by land managers.  The Road 18 Caves are a potential source of tourist income for the Forest Service.  An Environmental Assessment was written.  The USFS revised their original management EA after meeting with The Access Fund,  The American Alpine Club and local climbers, and recommended their Alternative C which would have permitted limited, appropriate, responsible, high quality sport climbing to continue in certain caves.   Then, a one page letter was sent to the USFS by the Tribes of Warm Springs (who had not participated in any of the lengthy meetings on the subject).  The USFS Decision was made based on this single letter from the Tribes.  Although the established discretely bolted climbs of great difficulty were no where near the single pictograph wall, the caves were closed to climbers, but not to party folks who continue to use over twenty fire rings assembled in the caves over at least 50 years.  The long established bolts were removed from the shadows of the high ceilings.  The climbers, who had worked on this cave climbing issue since 1998, just ran out of steam.  --Oregon Climbers Coalition.

  Road 18 Caves USFS Environmental Assessment published   

           Caves EA response from The Access Fund   

           Caves EA comments by scientist   

               Caves EA revised by USFS recommending Alternative C  

               Caves revised EA acceptable to The Access Fund  

                       Caves declared a tribal resource, climbers banned  

                       Caves Editorial recommends closing to sport climbers 

                               Caves Op-Ed by Brooke Sandahl, Metolius  

                               Caves Op-Ed by Robert Speik, Oregon Climber's Coalition