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Indian Creek Update - BLM Seeks Public Comment on Indian Creek Corridor Plan


 

by Editor

October 26, 2003

Camp4 - Climbing News Archive

The Monticello Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Indian Creek Corridor Plan. The Indian Creek corridor is located 50 miles southwest of Moab, and 30 miles northwest of Monticello. Bear West, a consulting firm based in Salt Lake City, is preparing this EA for the BLM. Preliminary issues that have been identified include camping, climbing, cultural issues, parking, and several others. The BLM received public comments during the scoping phase of the project, which ended October 24.

Climbers are increasingly seen as indifferent funhogs that just want free camping without the hassles of agency management. In fact, the BLM extended its initial scoping period because, in part, it received so few climber comments. Hundreds of climbers flock to Indian Creek every weekend during the spring and fall and impacts are increasingly apparent. The next opportunity for climbers to make known how they feel about Indian Creek will be after the BLM publishes its Draft EA later this fall which will specify the various alternatives to the plan which the BLM assembled through the scoping process. Keep your eyes peeled on the Access Fund website for updates, or write Bear West asking for notification when the Draft EA will be public. Following publication of the Draft EA there will be public meetings to help provide another opportunity for climbers to participate in the planning process for Indian Creek. The BLM's Monticello Field Office is willing to listen to climbers but we have to speak up and get involved. Regardless, a plan will be written, and your input is important! Issues at stake under the recreation plan include:

Camping Fees


· Camping restrictions (your favorite campsite could be closed or restricted)
· Trail access
· Climbing route closures to protect cultural and natural resources
· Conflicts with other user groups
· Human waste issues

OHV and oil/gas issues will not be addressed in this EA because they will be addressed in the upcoming Resource Management Planning effort by the Monticello Field Office.

Send your comments and inquiries to:
Ralph Becker or Laura Hanson
Bear West/BLM
RE: Indian Creek Corridor Recreation Plan
145 South 400 East
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111
Rbecker@bearwest.com or
lhanson@bearwest.com
Phone: 801-355-8816
Fax: 801-355-2090

Log on to http://www.blm.gov/utah/monticello/ to download a PDF of the “BLM Scoping Newsletter” with some general information regarding the scope of the Indian Creek Plan.

Access and Private Land


Access to numerous cliffs at Indian Creek is not secure. Approaches to the following crags cross The Nature Conservancy’s private Dugout Ranch have only remained open up until now because of the generosity of former owner and current lessee Heidi Redd:

Battle of the Bulge Buttress
Supercrack Buttress
Donnelly Canyon
Tricks Wall
Paragon Prow
New Wall
New Wave Wall
Scarface Wall
Love Wall
Power Wall


Over the years, Dugout Ranch owners have allowed climbers to cross their property to access the world class climbs found on Supercrack and Battle of the Bulge buttresses (the cliffs are on public land but the approach trails are on Dugout Ranch property). In particular, Heidi Redd has for decades been friendly to climbers. However, in recent years the number of climbers at Indian Creek has increased many times over and a few folks have been outright rude to Heidi and her cowboys. Moreover, dogs have run wild harassing her cows and horses. If we want to continue the privilege of access across the Dugout Ranch, owned by The Nature Conservancy since 1997, we need to monitor ourselves, take care of the land and be respectful to the BLM, local landowners, and other user groups.

To return the favor to Heidi, please consider the following: Do not trespass to reach New Wall, New Wave Wall and Paragon Prow. These areas in particular infringe upon the privacy of the Ranch. Keep a low profile when parking below and hiking across to Scarface and nearby walls. Be respectful of Dugout Ranch employees, and keep pets under control when cattle are present. Strive to Leave No Trace during all your activities at Indian Creek, especially along the Bridger Jack road camping areas.


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