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Written Warning for climbing in a CT State Park
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By Dan Griffiths
Nov 4, 2012
Warning states "Disorderly; Hazardous, Statute 23-4-1(0)". DEP officer referenced rock climbing as a violation of the part of the statute that states "activities or contests creating hazards to persons or property..."

I argued, but only so far because you know how officer types feel about confrontation...best way to walk away with a fine instead of just a warning.

Activist types want to help protect access. Climbing in CT is lame enough without having to plan an escape route if the law comes.

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By KevinF
From Granby, CT
Nov 4, 2012
Do you mind sharing which state park this was at?

That's really too bad though. Hopefully it was just a case of a DEP officer not fully knowing the regulations.

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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Nov 4, 2012
Was he alone, if so, you shoulda tuned him up a little for effing with you.

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By Eric Coffman
Nov 5, 2012
mountainlion
Scan the written warning and post it. Highlight the officer's name and spread the word to as many people and sites as possible.

Is this what LEO's are paid for?? Not by a long shot. If he wants to be a crime fighter he should be fighting real crimes.

Please don't take this lying down you can't get another ticket for speaking your mind.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 5, 2012
Stoked...
And to think Dan, all you did was be the nice guy that walked down to talk with her before we took down all the ropes!

I've got a few people I've spoken within DEEP before about climbing. Let me touch base with them and then figure out exactly where we stand with the law re West Rock SP. If you could provide me with the ticket number, officer and office she hails from that should be enough for me to start working on it from the Access Fund side.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 5, 2012
Stoked...
Dan - spoke with New Haven Park and Rec, waiting on call back from DEEP SP Director, can you please send me a copy of your ticket. New Haven would like to fight it as well since they have a vested interest in climbing at the cliffs.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 5, 2012
Stoked...
Dan - the person that issued you the ticket is being spoken to and there should not be any further issues. Going forward, if this should happen again (which I'm being told it will not), insist that the DEEP officer contact the Sleeping Giant State Park office as they are incorrect about the laws. While not advertised as allowed by the State, climbing IS ALLOWED in the State Parks unless specifically prohibited.

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By ErikaNW
Nov 5, 2012
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
And this is an example of why we should all support the Access Fund!

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By Dan Griffiths
Nov 5, 2012
11/3/12
Incident # 12-8807
West Rock Ridge State Park
Officer ID# 628.
Can't read her signature at all, is just a D with a line after.

Should be most of the needed info. I can make a copy if still needed...let me know. Anyone I can talk to about getting this warning struck from the books? Not that big if a deal I suppose, but I'd like it gone.

It is ironic that I was the only one warned just because I went down to show that we were cooperative. It's not like we couldn't have gotten away if we really wanted.

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By Dan Griffiths
Nov 5, 2012
It is my understanding the City of New haven is trying to promote recreational usage of West Rock as a means to decrease crime. If the City steps back and thinks about it, they might want to encourage rock climbers.

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By TWK
Nov 5, 2012
"you can't get another ticket for speaking up"
Actually, we did under eerily similar circumstances.
We were ticketed for climbing at Buttermilk Falls St Pk near Ithaca.
It was an established practice area where the Cornell outing club regularly conducted classes. So we went to court to fight it.
When we pled not guilty, the judge said "How can you plead not guilty? Either you were climbing or you weren't."
Our lawyer made a motion for the judge to recuse himself due to prejudice and bias. The judge said "This is my courtroom and I'll do what I want. Sit down and shut up."
That's what we did, and got fined--nearly jailed!--for contempt.

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By Em Cos
From Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2012
That's because ice climbing is illegal there. Cornell Outdoor Education has a permit to conduct courses there, and they had to jump through a number of hoops to get it, including carrying insurance coverage in a (probably) reasonably large amount. My understanding (could be wrong) is that only COE has been granted that permission, and only for a specific location when running an official course. If you were climbing there, and weren't with COE, you were breaking the law. No prejudice or bias about it.

Not saying I like it, unfortunately that's just the deal in Ithaca.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 5, 2012
modern man
Dan Griffiths wrote:
Warning states "Disorderly; Hazardous, Statute 23-4-1(0)". DEP officer referenced rock climbing as a violation of the part of the statute that states "activities or contests creating hazards to persons or property..." I argued, but only so far because you know how officer types feel about confrontation...best way to walk away with a fine instead of just a warning. Activist types want to help protect access. Climbing in CT is lame enough without having to plan an escape route if the law comes.


just change your name to B. R. Kinthelaw

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By Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Nov 5, 2012
Rumney
I got a ticket for not wearing snow shoes in the Adirondack Eastern High Peaks a few years back. I refused to agree with the Ranger that the conditions warranted snow shoes (I did have them with me, was wearing crampons and zero post holing for 8 miles R/T that day). Brought it to court and won. Just because an officer says, doesn't make it so. That's why you're innocent until proven guilty. His judgment was impaired by his alpha attitude, and it was obvious even to the judge who had to put HIM in line at the hearing. He tried to get bent on me AND the judge. Funny thing is, he's a very good ranger at rescue and other important aspects of his job. Just a little too pig headed to be dealing with the public. He even headed the rescue of my GF a year later, to which I thanked him next time I saw him.

The point is that people need to be right sized from time to time, even those who we feel are above such things. Cops, parents, teachers, presidents... as long as they're human, they're susceptible to flawed behavior and bad decision making. It sounds like whomever issued the ticket has been right sized formally.

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 5, 2012
modern man
Kevin Heckeler wrote:
I got a ticket for not wearing snow shoes in the Adirondack Eastern High Peaks a few years back. I refused to agree with the Ranger that the conditions warranted snow shoes (I did have them with me, was wearing crampons and zero post holing for 8 miles R/T that day). Brought it to court and won. Just because an officer says, doesn't make it so. That's why you're innocent until proven guilty. His judgment was impaired by his alpha attitude, and it was obvious even to the judge who had to put HIM in line at the hearing. He tried to get bent on me AND the judge. Funny thing is, he's a very good ranger at rescue and other important aspects of his job. Just a little too pig headed to be dealing with the public. He even headed the rescue of my GF a year later, to which I thanked him next time I saw him. The point is that people need to be right sized from time to time, even those who we feel are above such things. Cops, parents, teachers, presidents... as long as they're human, they're susceptible to flawed behavior and bad decision making. It sounds like whomever issued the ticket has been right sized formally.


LOL LOL no wonder east coasters love to wear snowshoes when it snows 6", might get a ticket... bet he was a failed climbing guide

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By Gunkiemike
Nov 5, 2012
fair weather climber wrote:
LOL LOL no wonder east coasters love to wear snowshoes when it snows 6", might get a ticket... bet he was a failed climbing guide


Uh oh, sounds like somebody's got a prejudice against a certain segment of outdoor professionals.

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By M Sprague
Administrator
From New England
Nov 5, 2012
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lichen covered look from scrubbing a new route.
fair weather climber wrote:
LOL LOL no wonder east coasters love to wear snowshoes when it snows 6", might get a ticket...


Shit, I just put them on in November in case it snows

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By Jon Zucco
From Denver, CO
Nov 5, 2012
yaak crack Red Rock Canyon, NV
ErikaNW wrote:
And this is an example of why we should all support the Access Fund!


+1

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By MJMobes
From The land of steady habits
Nov 6, 2012
modern man
Gunkiemike wrote:
Uh oh, sounds like somebody's got a prejudice against a certain segment of outdoor professionals.


I certainly would not call them all "professionals"

Its gonna snow tomorrow, getting my snowshoes out!

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By wivanoff
Nov 6, 2012
High Exposure
Dan Griffiths wrote:
It is my understanding the City of New haven is trying to promote recreational usage of West Rock as a means to decrease crime. If the City steps back and thinks about it, they might want to encourage rock climbers.


If that's true, why is climbing prohibited at East Rock park?
West Rock Park = State Park
East Rock Park = City (New Haven) Park

Seems odd that the city of New Haven would promote climbing in the State Park and prohibit it in the city park.

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By TWK
Nov 6, 2012
Em Cos said "That's because ice climbing's illegal there"

It was long ago and far away, but we weren't ice climbing. It's probably banned now but BITD people used to toprope the face of the dam. It was a great spot to take noobs, and there were usually a couple of groups on any given day. A certain LEO periodically went through writing tickets--it seemed to be revenue based.

Last time I checked, in this country the judge isn't supposed to own the courtroom, and the accused had the right to enter a plea of not guilty. Like we did when we were charged with "whitewater canoeing at high water"--but that's another story. And it's all about access to public lands.

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By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Nov 6, 2012
Stoked...
wivanoff wrote:
If that's true, why is climbing prohibited at East Rock park? West Rock Park = State Park East Rock Park = City (New Haven) Park Seems odd that the city of New Haven would promote climbing in the State Park and prohibit it in the city park.


It's not odd at all... it's EXACTLY what New Haven does!!!

Fair Weather Climber might have some more accurate info but, my educated guess would be the liability and rescue costs.

Oh ya I brought my snow shoes to work today, just in case...

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By Dan Griffiths
Nov 6, 2012
I hear the City is trying to increase recreational use, at this point I don't think the City considers climbers the desired recreational user. This is why I say "If the city steps back and thinks about it..." This is a big "if".

I am not suggesting the City actually wants climbers at West Rock (obviously not at East Rock), I'm just saying perhaps they should if they wish to make headway towards increased recreational usage and decreased crime.

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