Your help is needed to protect Wilderness at Joshua Tree National Park in southern California. The National Park Service (NPS) is soliciting comments on a new climbing plan for Joshua Tree, and needs to be reminded of the importance of protecting designated Wilderness from the installation of climbing bolts and other permanent fixed climbing anchors.
Congress designated the Joshua Tree Wilderness in 1976 and, after additions in 1994, the Wilderness now includes 595,000 acres of the total 792,000-acre Joshua Tree National Park. The area’s unique geological formations make it an attraction for climbers. The NPS is now considering adopting a new Climbing Management Plan for Joshua Tree to regulate climbing and to protect natural resources.
Rock climbing in designated Wilderness is an allowable recreational activity, but many climbers rely on installing bolts or other permanent fixed climbing anchors to assist in climbing challenging rock faces. These permanent fixed climbing anchors deface the rock walls, degrade the area’s wildness, and are prohibited by the 1964 Wilderness Act (though the NPS doesn’t always agree).
Your help is needed by June 13 to speak up for wilderness values in the forthcoming climbing plan for Joshua Tree. Thanks for your help in keeping the Joshua Tree Wilderness wild!!
Please go to the NPS planning website listed below, and answer the five questions about which the NPS seeks public comment. Feel free to copy and paste our suggested responses from below, but use your own words where possible.