Many of you may have heard the news already but for those of you who haven’t here’s the official press release from the Bureau of Reclamation:
Reclamation Announces Temporary Closure of Project Lands to Public Use Downstream of American Falls Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation is announcing its decision to implement a non-emergency closure of its project lands along the Snake River downstream of American Falls Dam. The subject lands are in the vicinity of the Massacre Rocks State Park in Power County, Idaho. The closure affects all public use of these lands and will be effective March 31, 2012.
The area in question, which encompasses more than 4,000 acres, is experiencing degradation to a number of its resources. These resources are protected by federal laws that also task the agency to act in the best interest of their preservation. The closure is authorized by the current Code of Federal Regulations; specifically 43 CFR Part 423 under Subpart B – Areas Open and Closed to Public Use.
“Currently, Reclamation does not have the necessary protections in place to fully protect the natural and cultural resources in this area,” said Hap Boyer, Natural Resources Manager in the Upper Snake Field Office of the Bureau of Reclamation. “This closure is taking place to allow Reclamation to collect the data needed to guide future management strategies and decisions.”
The lands involved in this closure will remain closed to public use until proper studies can take place that will help determine how and when to re-open the lands. An amendment to the existing Resource Management Plan for this area will be undertaken as a result of the studies.
The closed lands will be patrolled by law enforcement. The public is urged to respect this closure and the need for these resources to remain undisturbed for a period of time.
For further information, please contact Robert “Hap” Boyer at (208) 678-0461, ext. 15 with the Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Snake Field Office in Burley, Idaho.
Just so everyone is clear on what this means to climbers here is a list of walls affected by this action:
- Main Wall
- Owl Cove
- The Overlook
- Forbidden Planet
- French Wall
- Hobbit Wall
This doesn’t change anything on State land or BLM land.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see enforcement officers out there this season so make sure you know where you’re at. This isn’t just a climbing ban, they’re closing the area to all activity so don’t think you’re safe just cause you’re not climbing. Having said that, I believe it’s clear that this is related to the action proposed by the BLM last year and that climbers are clearly the target. If you’re not a member of East Idaho Climbers Coalition (EICC) or the Access Fund now’s the time.