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Jemez Cave (a.k.a. Crystal Cave) is [still] closed to climbing
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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 25, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
As a reminder, the Jemez Cave (a.k.a. Crystal Cave) of New Mexico is still closed to climbing and public access. I'm told by a contact at the forest service that a few new bolts and project draws have gone in recently but I haven't verified this information personally.

If this is true, I'm personally pretty disappointed in the local climbing community. Physical barriers and signage at the cave make it obviously clear that the area is closed. I find it extremely selfish and disrespectful of a couple climbers to be placing new bolts, let alone climbing here. I lose a bit of faith in the climbing community when I hear about actions like this.

To be straight, I'm not an authority figure in this and I'm not trying to start a discussion here. I'm just another local climber but have a strong, vested interest in the future of climbing in New Mexico.
You can reply to this post calling me names or expounding on your distaste of the government but I I've heard most all of it before. If you don't agree with the closure, contact the Jemez Ranger district of the Santa Fe National Forest and/or the Jemez Pueblo to respectfully voice your concerns and opinion. The fact remains, the cave is closed. Please, regardless of your personal opinions on this closure, and for the sake of the climbing community, do not climb in the Jemez Cave anymore. Thank you.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 25, 2014
Photo? I seriously doubt there are new bolts. There may be old bolts they didnt account for.

Going on 3 years and still misinformation, outright lies from the cozy FS Jemez pueblo relationship and ball-cupping from the Access Fund and NM crag.

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 25, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
No photos, unfortunately. I do really hope there are no new bolts--that's ludicrous. But as I understand it, all draws/chains were removed a year or so ago so any new project draws hanging is obvious and easy to document.
I hope to get the chance to get out there with the forest service soon to take a look. I'll post an update when/if that materializes.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 25, 2014
Great, while you are there with them, maybe ask why the year for the survey they promised has turned into 3 without public comment.

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By Sir chuffs alot
Aug 26, 2014
Yes pictures. As an expert on the issue and someone who cares, without picture this is ridiculous and an insult to the climbing community. I seriously doubt that climbers left draws on an area fenced of by the Federal Government, which is right across the street from the agency supposed to patrol it. Yes the chains were taken down before the closure, but someone put project draws on Leprosy the day before the closure.


More than likely, the same organization and people who ordered the closure, and who haven't done any of the studies they said they would perform, also never went up to the cave, and they never took down the hanging draws from two years ago, when they issued a one year temporary closure. I mean, how did someone from the FS take down draws off a 5.13 with a mandatory v7 crux? Give me a name, I'll bet I know him.


Now that same organization finally noticed these draws when they walked right across the street and up to the cave that they were supposed to be caring for and researching for the last two years. Why? The FS needs to justify the archeological significance required to close a national recreation area; because religious beliefs are simply not enough according to our constitution. As for the timing? Well, the second year of their one year temporary closure for research is about to expire. I guess someone finally got a memo about that little fact and went up there. This really looks bad for the FS if those are the draws left up from two years ago.

Send me a picture of the draws and I can verify for sure.

After two years of careful attention on the issue, it's pretty clear to me what is going on, and at this point, it's not climbers causing the issues.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 27, 2014
To Jemez ranger dsitrict, all climbers are anonymous. Their report justifying the closure is full of outright lies to pacify the tribe. They could care less about climbers as a user group, and the AF is quite happy to throw them a bone of an area where less than 10 percent of the climbers can even pull onto the routes. If we are really, really good, the FS Jemez tribe will let us continue to climb in the Jemez, if not, they will make up more BS to shut down other areas for cultural and religious reasons.

So, being anon makes perfect sense to me.

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 27, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
David Sahalie wrote:
To Jemez ranger dsitrict, all climbers are anonymous. Their report justifying the closure is full of outright lies to pacify the tribe. They could care less about climbers as a user group, and the AF is quite happy to throw them a bone of an area where less than 10 percent of the climbers can even pull onto the routes. If we are really, really good, the FS Jemez tribe will let us continue to climb in the Jemez, if not, they will make up more BS to shut down other areas for cultural and religious reasons. So, being anon makes perfect sense to me.

Having met with the Jemez RD staff regarding climbing in the Jemez in the past, and still having an open dialogue with folks from the district, I disagree with your opinion on this. It's my impression we climbers have a good and valued reputation with the folks at the Jemez RD and Santa Fe NF at large.
The cultural and religious significance of the Jemez Cave is, to me, fairly obvious and I cannot blame the pueblo for wanting to protect it. Furthermore, the style of the development at the cave was pretty tasteless even by my "avid climber and developer" standards which didn't help matters.
It's sounding like I may have an opportunity to meet with members of the Jemez RD this fall about the cave and the situation. If that materializes, I'll share any information I get.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 27, 2014
If the cave is and was so valuable to the tribe, why were truckloads of trash taken out by the climbing developers including diapers, needles, dead animals and bags of beer cans?

What was tasteless? The permadraws to prevent groudfalls? Are Rifle, RRG, and Maple tasteless to you too? Have you even climbed in the cave, being so 'avid' and all?

That cave was the closest thing NM had to modern, steep sport climbing and was develped legally on NFS land... Sorry it didnt meet your taste requirements.

The FS made up stories about its archelogical significance to keep the tribe happy and jutify an indefinite closure. The digs were done 50 years ago, there is nothing left to study but the smoke in ceiling left by fires from partiers. Apparently, the chalk affects this smoke somehow and that is what 1 year study was for. As of today, 2 years later, no reports and chance for public input.

So what is this 'good and valued' relationship climbers have with their public land?

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 27, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
Excellent, the name-calling and insults are finally coming!

Yes, I've checked it out (not that that matters!) It was entertaining but whatever. Definitely not in the league of Rifle, RRG and Maple though. Those areas are different, in my mind, in that they are massive and known for climbing with local climbing coalitions having worked hard with land management entities to manage and balance climbing activities.
Also, other areas don't use colored tape on the fixed chains to distinguished routes from each other. That's pretty silly and adds to the already gnarly visual impact of fixed chains. The permadraws in the Jemez cave weren't for groundfall protection, they were for convenience. With my stick clip I could hang every draw in that cave.

I'm not sure where you get your historical facts about the cave's history but they're different than what I've heard.

Edit to add: I guess if there's another point I'm making in this thread, beyond the simple reminder that the cave is still closed to climbing, it's that I think climbers could have been more low profile with this cave development and perhaps it wouldn't have ended up high on the radar of the Jemez Pueblo. Water under the bridge now, though.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 27, 2014
What name did I call you? If you are insulted this easily, maybe the interwebs, much less representing climbers, isnt for you.

Glad you were 'entertained' by the 13s. You must be a strong climber to be entertained by that grade

The information I gave is public record from the meeting at Stone Age climbing gym in the summer of 2012 just before the closure. About 30 climbers were there, were you? The meeting was facilitated by Brian and AF rep from Boulder on conference call.

Sounds like you are the one that needs to get their facts straight.

Climbers dont need to ask Jemez pueblo for permission to drill on public land. The shell game came later.

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 27, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
You're right, you didn't call me any names, damn it! No, I'm not easily insulted and I can handle any internet tough guy business thrown at me. I've been in the internet forum business a while. Furthermore, I'm going to go out on a limb and say my personality is pretty well-suited for representing the climbing user group.

Living in Los Alamos, I couldn't make it to the Stone Age meeting in 2012, unfortunately. But I've been a part of other conference calls with Bryan, and others, on this subject as well as attending other forest service meetings to represent the climbing user group so my facts are pretty straight, IMO. We all have a tendency to hear what we want to hear or to mold facts a bit to fit our views so we're both wrong I suppose.

I agree with you that climbers (and other user groups) don't need to ask permission to place bolts on public lands and this is an excellent freedom enjoyed by climbers. But we can all work to be as low-profile as possible, especially in climbing areas close to highways and/or visited by "the general public."

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By Owen Summerscales
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 27, 2014
Gerle creek at loon lake
I don't want to inflame an already inflamed conversation here, but I am curious - do non-climbers really notice the difference between low key sport climbing development (minimal bolting, camouflaged hangers) and "over developed" sites? (ie. perma draws, grid bolting, color coded gym style clips)

I am not a sport climber nor a native to this part of the world, and have no idea about this, but it seems to me that there isn't really that much difference between these two situations.

And is this really the divisive issue?

If the cave had been 5 miles down a FS dirt road, is it likely that it would still be open regardless of development style? Probably.

Seems to me like it is yet another example of conflict between native peoples culture and american's. Its just a very minor one that can be conceded to natives as a token gift.

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By Sir chuffs alot
Aug 27, 2014
George Perkins wrote:
Sir chuffs alot: You'd have more credibility if you posted with your name, especially if you're going to claim to be an expert and have relevant information... while you're simultaneously asking others to provide you with a name of the "crushing (or stick-clip-wielding?) climber who works at the FS" and photos?? Maybe you could go with Jason and talk to the FS rangers about it and set them straight? It sounds like your perspective could be useful, but it's much less so when it's anonymous. Keep on chuffing.



I asked for pictures because I can verify if those draws were left up from two years ago. Wouldn't that be the most reasonable solution to this accusation that people are climbing there?

I was at the meetings about the closure, have called and spoken to the FS, all the while not being anonymous. Every interaction I have had at this point has been negative and dismissive. Why would I make myself a target on the internet? I have been trying to be part of this discussion since the beginning so any help accessing the real discussion would be appreciated.

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By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From Los Alamos, NM
Aug 28, 2014
Climbing at the Belvedere crag near Nago with a great view of the northern end of Lake Garda and the town of Torbole sul Garda below. June 2013.
Re: Pictures, if I get out there I'll take some photos. It would be great to get that sorted out, Mr. Chuffs. Also, if I'm contacted about any further discussions/meetings, I'd love for others to be involved to get a different perspective on the matter. Make no mistake, I'm not going out of my way to be THE spokesperson for all climbers on this matter. I simply enjoy being involved and have a strong passion for climbing in my home state. I'll contact you via personal message if anything comes to fruition. Are you in NM? Your history with this issue and perspective on the situation sounds valuable.

Also, Sir Chuffs, I don't feel like I'm being divisive here and I'm not sure how my comments are hurting the climbing community. Can you be more specific? The fact is the cave is still closed and I feel we, as climbers, need to respect that no matter our personal opinions on the matter. I was given information (not yet verified by me) that it appears climbing activities have been taking place in the cave still. If true, those kinds of actions will hurt the climbing community much more than anything I can say here. I have a hard time believing this is true and I hope we can do our best to dispel the misinformation.

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 28, 2014
Sorry George, I think you have me confused with someone else. I'm in and out of NM on business... And more out than in lately.

But i agree with your point. Regardless of whether the colored tape burned ones eyes, a climbing representative should at a minimum respect the efforts that went into developing and climbing in an area with a style unique to the state.

With a 1 hour drive from the 505, east facing shade and wind protection, 3min approach, the cave was enjoyed by climbers fit enough to climb there. I agree that it was high profile, and i wasnt surprised it was shut, just disgusted by the underhanded way the FS went about it. Maybe everything shouldnt be climbed and the cave is sacred, but apparently they have upwards of 400 sacred sites in the area...

For a self-policing perspective, i understand your points about the visual impact. But the developers did nothing illegal, yet we were sold as villans to the tribe and, as Owen said, the cave given as a token to try to pacify them while they go to court for the Caldera. Make no mistake, they want it all back, and with cutbacks in Fed budgets, FS roads are being shut and maintained by the tribe. So, what kind of precedent does the gift of the cave set? Where is next?

So yes, Jason, those invested in the process for years are going to get upset that we are being again blamed to for draws that have been there for 2 years, and is this a ploy to blackball climbers so they can find some pot shards at another area and declare it off limits to non natives?

Ive heard there is crying Indian photo on the fence surrounding the cave, so the FS isnt in bed with the tribe or anything like that.

Edit to add: oh, and the tribe wants to rebury a 2000 year old princess excavated in the 30s and has been sitting in a museum in DC. Point being, the tribes issues are much deeper than bolts. They are also not happy a paved road runs between the cave and the springs, as there is a spirtual connection between the two. Can the FS can divert attention from the Feds responsibilites and blame climbers? naw they wouldnt do that after an ongoing spiritual and cultural atrocity like having a princess unburied 2000 miles from where they should be.

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By Jeremy Aslaksen
From Albuquerque, NM
Aug 28, 2014
Three Strikes.


1) On the National Register of Historic Places

2) Perma draws, grid bolting, color coded gym style clips

3) Closed for business


This joint was way to high visibility for it to stay open.

Owen is correct in stating that if it was 5 miles down a dirt road it wouldn't be a problem.

Shame because it was a cool cave.

JA

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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Aug 28, 2014
Many climbing areas are National Historic Places or Monuments

Devils tower, Pikes Peak, Rushmore

Locally, the Gorge in Taos is on the register has thousands of bolts.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...

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By Sir chuffs alot
Aug 28, 2014
Jason Halladay wrote:
Also, Sir Chuffs, I don't feel like I'm being divisive here and I'm not sure how my comments are hurting the climbing community. Can you be more specific?.


I agree we should dispel, but when you blame the climbing community for something that is probably the fault of the FS, it looks as if we don't know what is going on, we are divided, and we will be easy to pick apart. Divide and conquer baby!

The fact of the matter is that this cave is considered sacred by the natives, as is most the united states, including Yosemite, Joshua tree, Zion, your home, and on and on. This is an important fact. I do not blame the Natives for being pissed about being conquered and robbed, but I do cherish our public lands.

This closure is about what begun by the Spanish in the 1600's, and was completed by the Federal government in the 1930's . Now climbers are the most convenient way for the FS, who was supposed to protect that area for the last fifty years, to pass the buck. When you talk about esoteric styles, you only are hurting the cause, dividing the population, and giving the people who are actually responsible for not protecting this site a way out of their own irresponsibility.

This closure was not about tape, but about the way the west was won, and it ain't pretty. The question is, how much needs to be given back and what precedent is being set. As a New Mexican, you must already know that every tribe wants as much back of their land as they can get, and who blames them?


To you this cave is a hovel, and to me and others it is sacred, but what if this closure is the beginning and not the end of this conversation?


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By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Sep 2, 2014
Here is the closure order dated excatly 2 years ago today for a 'study' that was meant to last a year, then a determination.

Sorry for the quality, it was converted from PDF.

Fun game: find as many outright lies as possible!

I'll start: "rock climbers appear to be chipping into the sooted roof of the cave to create small hand and toe holds"



PROIITBITIONS:
United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service
Santa Fe National Forest
Jemez Ranger District
Sandoval County, New Mexico
JEMEZ CAVE CLOSURE ORDER
Order Number: 10-372
Pursuant to 16 USC 551 and 36 CFR 26 1.50(a) and (b), the following acts are prohibited in the area described in
this Order (the "restricted area"), all within the Jemez Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest, Sandoval County,
New Mexico. The restricted area is depicted on the attached map, hereby incorporated into this Order as Exhibit A.
I. Entering, using or being in Jemez Cave and the area surrounding the cave, including the trails leading to the
cave, is prohibited for resource protection and public safety, 36 CFR 261.53 (e) and (f).
EXEMPTIONS:
Pursuant to Title 36 CFR 261.50 (e), the following persons are exempt from this Order:
I. Persons with a Forest Service permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission; see
Jemez District Ranger for authorization or prior notification.
2. Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance
of an official duty.
3. Persons employed by the Jemez Mountain Electric Cooperative conducting routine maintenance activities on
existing utility power lines and poles.
RESTRICTED AREA:
The restricted area is described as Jemez Cave and the area surrounding the cave, extending 50 feet upslope from
the roof of cave, extending 50 feet on either side of the mouth of the cave, extending down slope to the New
Mexico Highway 4 Right-of-Way, and including all access trails leading to the cave. The restricted area does not
include the unimproved parking area immediately adjacent to the highway Right-of-Way.
PURPOSE:
The purpose of this Order is to provide short term natural and cultural resource protection for the Jemez Cave and
protect public safety and welfare until current damages to natural and cultural resources can be assessed and a longterm
management strategy developed.
IMPLEMENTATION:
1. This Order shall be in effect when signed and shall remain in effect until rescinded or until one year following
the effective date, whichever occurs first.
2. This Order supersedes any previous Orders prohibiting the same acts covered by this Order.
3. Any violations of these prohibitions are punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 for individuals and
$10,000.00 for organizations and/or imprisonment for not more than six (6) months. Title 16 USC 551, Title 18
USC Sections 3559, 3571 and 3581 .
d-\ ~ay of Wą . 2012.
Forest Supervisor
Santa Fe National Forest
Background
JEMEZ CAVE CLOSURE ORDER
Needs and Assessment
Order Number: 10-372
Increasing popularity and demand for sport overhead rock climbing in Jemez Cave is in direct conflict with the
preservation and protection of Jemez Cave. The cave is li sted on the National Register of Historic Places and
also meets the definition of a site in the Forest Service Handbook. It is relevant as an archeological resource in
the implementing regulations of the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). Jemez Cave is located
in association with the proposed Soda Dam Geologic Special Interest Area, adjacent to New Mexico State
Highway 4, in Section 14, T18N, R2E, see Attachment A.
For decades, rock climbers have used the cave for specialized technical, overhead climbing. Individual
climbing routes have been added over time, each route presents unique challenges to individual skill level s.
The cumulative impact is that, as of February 2012, approximately 50-60 bolts are permanently attached to the
roof and walls. A similar count in March 2010 numbered 40 attached bolts and quick draws. In June, 2012 the
climbing community removed all draws and chains from the cave.
Based on recent inspections by Forest Service archaeologi sts (1/20/2012 and 211 0/2012), rock climbers appear
to be chipping into the sooted roof of the cave to create small hand and toe holds; also their shoes smear some
of the soot each time they climb in the cave and chalk marks are left on the sooted roof. Recreationi sts also
hike the short, steep, and badly eroding trail up to Jemez Cave to either participate in climbing or engage in
other recreational activities.
Purpose
The purpose of this Order is to provide short term natural and cultural resource protection for the Jemez Cave
and protect public safety and welfare until current damages to natural and cultural resources can be assessed
and a long-term management strategy developed.
The Jemez District Archaeologist also recommends that the Forest Service re-evaluate the criteria under which
Jemez Cave is eligible to the National Register of Historic Places. The re-evaluation would determine if Jemez
Cave and the surrounding area, including Soda Dam, can be considered a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP).
Currently, Jemez Cave is listed based solely on criteria D (i.e. for information potential), but as a TCP it is
likely eligible under Criteria A (i.e. associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the
broad patterns of our hi story) as well as Criteria D (i.e. has yielded, or may be likely to yield, information).
Scope
Forest archeologists will re-analyze the cave to determine the extent of impact. Despite the previous extensive
excavation work at Jemez Cave, it is likely intact subsurface deposits still remain. The roof of the cave is
heavily sooted, which is considered an archaeological feature created from past habitation/use of the cave. The
soot has the potential to provide information that could be used to date the site further, and could be used in
ethnobotanical analysis. Re-analysis of the cave may result in the documentation of additional modification of
the cave walls and ceiling resulting from past habitation and use. Further work is needed to evaluate fully how
recreational use is affecting the qualities that make this site eligible to the National Register of Historic Places.
A long term management strategy for Jemez cave will be prepared following evaluation and determination of
the cave for additional archeological/historic significance.
NEPA Compliance
The proposed action for the Jemez Cave Closure is covered under FSH 1909.15 Ch.31.12 (1), "Categories
Established by the Chief; Categories for Which a Project or Case File and Decision Memo Are Not Required;
Orders issued pursuant to 36 CFR Part 261-prohibitions to provide short-term resource protection or to protect
public health and safety". This action does not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the
quality of the human environment and therefore is categorically excluded from documentation in an EIS or
EA. This documentation will serve as sufficient basis for the action to be taken, and for the record.
Notice and Implementation
The Jemez Ranger District (JRD) will coordinate the implementation of the order with the appropriate
resource staff personnel, climbing community, general public, and Jemez Pueblo tribal members. When the
order is in effect, the order and map, along with additional regulatory signs will be posted around the mouth of
the cave and along the access trail and parking area. Interested or potentially affected persons may seek
information about the order by reading the signs posted at the Jemez Cave, or by visiting the Santa Fe National
Forest Supervisors Office, Jemez Ranger District Office, or the Forests' web site. A news release will be
prepared for disserrunation to the media and public prior to implementation of the closure, explaining the
rationale for the closure and alternatives for recreational use elsewhere.
JEMEZ CAVE CLOSURE ORDER
Attachment A
Jemez Cave Closure Map
See Map labeled Exhibit A
Order Number: 10-372
JEMEZ CAVE CLOSURE ORDER
Attachment B
Enforcement Plan
Order Number: 10-372
The parking area adjacent to New Mexico Highway 4 and access trail leading to the Jemez Cave will be
posted to reasonably notify the public of the temporary closure. The Closure Order and Map will be posted at
the entrance into the cave. The signs will be maintained on a regular basis. Copies of the Jemez Cave Closure
Order and Map will be avai lable at the Santa Fe National Forest Supervisors Office, Jemez Ranger District
Office, and the Forest web site.
Forest Service Law Enforcement Officers (LEO's), as well as the Forest Protection Officers (FPO's), will
enforce the temporary closure. District employees will monitor vehicles parked in the vicinity of the cave and
report back to the responsible district staff. Instances where individuals are actively violating the closure will
be reported to the appropriate LEO and district employees. District office staff will notify the appropriate
personnel to respond to the incident.
A news release will be prepared for dissemination to the media and public prior to implementation of the
closure order.
The Forest Service will coordinate with the Jemez Pueblo and Sandoval County Sheriff's Office to gain their
support and cooperation with enforcement efforts.
Action
Prepare draft Order
Review draft order
Review draft order
Review draft order
Approve final Order
Assessment of Need & Enforcement Plan Checklist
Responsibility
Prepare news release(s) for local
media; describing the Order and
management objectives
Post Order in accordance
with 36 CFR 261.51
Describe implementation/action taken
for Order, such as planned patrols,
enforcement strategies, tolerances,
contacts to local pub! ic agencies
Implement plan
Responsible Staff
LE Patrol Captain
Regional LEI
OGC
Forest Supervisor
District Ranger
PAO
District FPO/LEO
District Staff Officer
and staff
Appropriate Staff
LEO/field going
personnel
Appropriate staff
d for implementation:
Maria T. Garcia
Forest Supervisor
Santa Fe National Forest
I Date
Target Date
8/1/12
8/14/12
9/1/12
9/14/12
10/1/12
10/1/12
10/14/12
10/14/12
10/14/12
Order Number: 10-372
JEMEZ CAVE CLOSURE ORDER
Attachment C
Civil Rights Impacts Analysis
Purpose
The purpose for developing a civil rights impact analysis is to provide the Forest Service deci sion maker
information concerning potential civil rights impacts of the proposed action. Civil rights impacts are those
which could affect the agency's ability to ensure equal opportunity in employment and in delivery of programs
and services.
Favorable Impacts
The proposed action would:
1. Provide reasonable opportunities for persons to access National Forest System lands to engage in sport
climbing and other recreational activities. The extent of the Temporary Closure Order would apply only to
the Jemez Cave and immediate area surrounding the access trail, as shown in Attachment A. All other
climbing areas within the Jemez Ranger District would be available for public sport climbing. The closure
area would be posted on the ground.
2. Provide short term natural and cultural resource protection for the Jemez Cave and protect public safety
and welfare until current damages to natural and cultural resources can be assessed and a long-term
management strategy developed.
Unfavorable Impacts
The Order would prohibit general public entry and use of Jemez Cave and trail access leading to the cave, as
shown in Attachment A.
Mitigation Measures
The Forest Service will endeavor to continue to allow sport climbing and recreational use in the remainder of
the district.
Social Impacts
The Order does not impose any unreasonable adverse impacts on the civil rights of any individual s. The
overall benefits are reasonable, as compared to the unfavorable impacts. The action is not irreversible and will
be subject to monitoring and evaluation in the future.
Net Civil Rights Impact
No net negative Civil Rights Impacts are forseen, due to implementation of mitigation measures.
~T~
Maria T. Garcia
Forest Supervisor
Santa Fe National Forest

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By Michael Wheat
Sep 2, 2014
Sorry if I'm missing something but the "IMPLEMENTATION" section of the document states:

"This Order shall be in effect when signed and shall remain in effect until rescinded or until until one year following the effective date, whichever occurs first."


So it's been one year, this seems to mean that the closure is no longer in effect. Did I read that correctly? Was there a different closure order issued other than this one?

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By Sir chuffs alot
Sep 4, 2014
Yes that is what it says, and it was the job of the FS to complete this in one year, but they did not.

I called and asked.

They were dismissive and said that they extended the temporary closure for one year.

That year is now up.

Now, they did it again.

At this point, the conclusion is obvious:

The FS failed miserably to protect a site that had archeological significance for several years. To insulate themselves to the effects of their failure, they have selected a sacrificial lamb, sport climbers. The amount of climbers willing to sacrifice such a spectacular area is beyond belief and is truly a shame to the climbing community, NM crag, and the Access Fund. A lawyer for the Access Fund admitted that because it was a recreational area a case could be made, but they admitted they have a history of losing and refused to make that case. Weather it is because these climbers disagree with ethics, are jealous, or are scared, it doesn't matter, the response has been ridiculous.

Although sport climbers broke no laws and did nothing wrong, it is much easier for the FS to point at sport climbers then to address the real issue: incompetence at patrolling an area right across the street from FS headquarters, an area that the FS supposed to protect but did not.

So, now a couple of climbers are requesting a report on their two year closure:
don't hold your breath for a response.

For a recreation area, they don't seem too concerned about the users involved, and with this update, it seems that they are not even paying attention.

FLAG
By David Sahalie
From on the road again
Sep 8, 2014
So I contacted a buddy in the area. He said a buddy of his contacted the Jemez ranger district one year ago, one year after the closure. He was told they spent a year trying to find an archeologist(!), but they were finally able to find one... Wait for it... In Bandalier. Yes, less than an hour away.

This whole thing really stinks of bureaucratic ineptitude or feet dagging to appease the tribe, or both.

The situation appeared in Access Fund newsletter two years ago. Is the AF or NMcrag involved at all currently, or have they rolled over for a belly rub by the Feds?

Any news on those draws and bolts Jason?

FLAG
By Michael Wheat
Sep 8, 2014
Interesting that signage would override a written proclamation (assuming another one hasn't been issued). I can see how climbers could be confused by the verbiage on the closure order posted by David Sahalie, and the signage posted at the crag.. It would be easy to assume that the signage was outdated and hasn't been removed, given the pace at which the FS seems to operate.

FLAG
By Bryan Pletta
Sep 9, 2014
I just spoke with the recreation officer from the Jemez Ranger Station and confirmed that the area is indeed under a continued temporary closure order. Violation of the closure could result in a maximum $5000 fine. When first closed 2.5 years ago the duration of the closure was for one year which happens to be the maximum duration of a temporary closure order. It has been renewed twice since the original order and is likely to be renewed annually until the Forest Service updates their management plan for the area.

The archaeologists from Bandolier have investigated the site and drafted a report which is still waiting to be finalized. No word on when the report or management plan might be completed and available for public review. Things don't always move at lightning speed in our federal government. The draft report has identified many artifacts at the site both in disturbed and in unexcavated areas. Given the status of the cave on the National Register of Historic Places, the presence of artifacts, and the desire of Jemez Pueblo to rebury the infant remains that were removed during the time of the original excavation, it is unlikely that the area will ever be open to climbing in the future. This happens to be one of those battles that is just not worth fighting and we should probably all move on. Continued violation of the closure area will only serve to strain relations with the Forest Service and could adversely impact management decisions at other climbing areas within the District.

Bryan Pletta
NM CRAG

FLAG
 
By Paul Davidson
Sep 9, 2014
+1^

FLAG
By Cultivating Mass
Sep 9, 2014
Leading on the only "fair means" rack.
Fuck tha po lease. Just sayin'.

FLAG


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