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Public Comments needed on Little Cottonwood Climbing Plan

Submitted By: Perin Blanchard on May 20, 2013

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Salt Lake Climbers,

The SLCA, in partnership with the Salt Lake Ranger District (SLRD) of the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Wasatch Legacy Project, has reached a major milestone with the release of the scoping notice for the Grit Mill and Climbing Master Plan Project in lower Little Cottonwood Canyon. This project affects the majority of the bouldering and roped climbing on Forest Service lands north of State Highway 210 between the Little Cottonwood Park and Ride lot and the Grit Mill.

The SLCA’s vision for the outcome of this project is the development of sustainable access to the crags and boulders that takes into account the needs for centralized, transit-friendly trail-heads, traffic safety, and watershed protection. We support the removal of the Grit Mill and the rehabilitation of the surrounding area as it has become an attractive nuisance and target for vandalism.
Please refer to the scoping notice for more details of the draft proposed action.

For the past decade, the SLCA has been, and will continue to be a proponent in the planning and implementation of this project on behalf of climbers, but we need your help. During this initial scoping period, from now until June 14th, it is important that YOU, as a member of the climbing community, contribute scoping comments to the USFS. They are looking to the public to help shape the proposed action and additional alternatives for analysis as part of an Environmental Assessment (EA) in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). It is important to understand that this is step one in a process that will include another 30-day scoping period later this summer where a preferred action will be proposed.

The SLCA will be posting our comments to the Forest Service during this scoping period which you can use to help formulate your own responses. In the meantime, please let us know your thoughts and opinions on the proposed action. After all, the SLCA is here to represent the climbing community. Please send comments to SLCA Execuitive Director, Julia Geisler, or to the USFS. The SLCA woud be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Come out to our 4th Annual Black Diamond Sponsored Fundraiser May 30th 6-10pm to give comment as well. Thank you.

Grit Mill Scoping Notice Information
Grit Mill Scoping Notice Information

Comments on Public Comments needed on Little Cottonwood Climbing Plan Add Comment
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
May 29, 2013

I think that the current Crescent crack buttress approach should stay put. It is quick, and easy.

By Alex Quitiquit
From: Salt Lake City
Jun 5, 2013

I agree with the guy above who has two first names.

By Charlie S
From: Ogden, UT
Jun 7, 2013

I sent a message to the SLCA saying the same thing.

By Klimbien
Jun 12, 2013

-Crescent crack buttress approach should stay the same.

- Its always difficult to manage resources or future resources properly and I wonder if the efforts of those involved might be better allocated if rather than establishing new trail more emphasis was put into upgrading and maintaining the current ones. Ensuring the, novice, and new to the area, climbers can stay on the proper trails. Maybe even a small discrete sign highlighting junctions similar to what they have at Estes park - Lumpy Ridge area.

-Thanks Perin fo posting this, we appreciate your efforts!

By patSaltLake
From: Cottonwood Heights, UT
Jun 12, 2013

having worked for the forest service building trails, i feel the pain of new user trails popping up, creating sustainable access requires trails that are well built and last, this requires time and effort and also the user population isolating their impacts to the existing trails, signage and lots of it! the area already sees high traffic as it is and i think you have a point with newer users to the area, my vote would be to isolate impact and ensure that people know exactly where they're going.

By ddriver
From: SLC
Jun 13, 2013

Re Crescent Crack approach, all you're losing is the roadside parking shortcut of 100 feet or so, which has been an issue for UDOT for years. Starting from Park-n-ride only adds about 2 minutes.

If you read the scoping notice you'll see that climbers are getting a great deal out of this. The outer loop (yellow) becomes official system trail constructed and maintained by USFS, likely with SLCA aid. The secondary trails (orange) get the USFS upgrades, to include belay platforms, but will be maintained by SLCA. The whole network should be easy to navigate and should be much less prone to erosion. It will look like someone gives a damn.