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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 8 of 8. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 120 | 121 to 140 | 141 to 154
Author
Grampians Access 2019
One Day Hero
15-Mar-2019
5:40:43 PM
On 15-Mar-2019 johny wrote:
>Dude they are rocking up with tactical vests on. How could they get more
>us vs them?

Yeah, that made me laugh. To be fair, it looked like one bloke in a tactical vest and a couple of others in windstopper vests. Not sure which I find more offensive. Name one situation where you have a cold torso but warm limbs!
Access T CliffCare
18-Mar-2019
6:48:21 AM
CliffCare and the Grampians Access Working Group (GAWG) have created a petition on Change.org

Please take a moment to sign.

We believe that as a community, armed with the right knowledge and empowered by strong, constructive working relationships, we can all share the Grampians/Gariwerd National Park in a positive and harmonious way.

CliffCare and GAWG acknowledge and respect the connection Traditional Owners have to Gariwerd and that important cultural and environmental issues need to be addressed within the park, however, we believe that these issues can be managed with co-operation, understanding and education.

https://www.change.org/p/stop-climbing-from-being-banned-in-the-grampians?recruiter=346887748&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=share_petition
Access T CliffCare
18-Mar-2019
11:16:27 AM
Grampians Update 18 March 2019 PART 1 -
Posted on March 18, 2019

We have been communicating regularly with PV over the past week and a half to obtain clarification regarding the closures. Further information provided by PV to some climbers have led many to believe that climbing could occur in the wider SPAs outside of the 8 key focus sites, if certain rules were followed but ranger actions on the ground and conflicting information from other PV offices showed this to be otherwise.

We can now provide the most recent email statement provided by Simon Talbot, COO of Parks Victoria. From our understanding, conditions are still as noted in previous statements but we have highlighted one clarification in Simon Talbot’s statement around infringements for climbing in SPAs.

Simon Talbot PV Statement -
The Grampians National Park Management Plan outlines the Special Protected Areas that have been in place since 2003 where rock climbing is prohibited and hiking and picnicking is permitted. The recent maps released also include an additional 29 protected areas making up 1.2 per cent of the National Park. Protected Areas are assigned due to their cultural significance or flora and fauna values.

The increase in activity and changes in climbing techniques have impacted irreplaceable cultural and environmental assets to a level where enforcement is necessary to preserve these special areas. Parks Victoria is currently undertaking enforcement activities to prevent rock climbing at eight key locations where signage is installed. Parks Victoria has a legislative obligation to protect these special values. At all times, we ask for your support in leaving no trace, using clean climbing techniques and encouraging your peers to do the same.

In broader Special Protected Areas, outside those eight key locations, Parks Victoria is sharing the information materials on rock climbing and undertaking enforcement activity relating to other activities not permitted in any National Park including cutting or damaging vegetation (for instance to make or enhance tracks), lighting fires outside of designated fireplaces, depositing litter, interfering with Aboriginal cultural heritage such as rock art or any damage to rock faces such as drilling holes. We are not enforcing no rock climbing activity in broader Special Protected Areas at this stage and will communicate if anything changes.

We acknowledge the physical, social and economic benefits that climbing brings to our communities and understand the rock climbing community cares passionately about the Grampians National Park.

Over the coming months, Parks Victoria will be reviewing the Grampians National Park Management Plan. A Stakeholder Reference Group will be established where Parks Victoria will meet with affected partners, Licenced Tourism Operators, stakeholder groups and local businesses – including the rock climbing community. Special Protection Area boundaries may change.

Simon Talbot
Parks Victoria – COO

***
VCC/CliffCare & working group
Our understanding at this stage is that:

Rangers will issue fines if you climb at the eight key focus sites where signage has been put up

Rangers can inform you that you should not climb in the SPAs outside of the eight focus sites (blue squares on the first map issued by PV) as part of an education process, but will not fine you. You will be fined if you litter, cut, remove or damage vegetation, light fires outside of designated fireplaces, interfere with any cultural heritage or rock art in these areas,deface or drive off track. These rules and penalties are applied across the GNP, not just the SPAs.

Further assessments of other sites within the SPAs will be undertaken. If areas are deemed too sensitive and are to be closed, before this happens there will be ‘education’ and information provided to the community before signage and enforcement occurs.

We are investigating further the reports that signage has occurred in a non key focus site and will keep you up to date.
Some previous messaging also noted that damage to vegetation through the use of drop mats would be an offence. We would suggest that the use of bouldering mats is confined to rocky and non vegetated areas.

The messaging coming from PV has not aligned with information varying between Head Office and local staff members on the ground in the Grampians, and this has made it increasingly difficult to address the issues that we have been informed has led to the bans (i.e., cultural heritage and environmental protection). There have been some positive discussions about moving forward with the Stakeholder Reference Group that PV are initiating, and what the working group would like to achieve from this. The working groups hope is that the Stakeholder reference group is being established so that other sites within the wider SPA areas can be investigated further in collaboration with us. The working group will continue to engage with PV, bringing with it the concerns of the wider climbing community and continue to ensure our involvement in these discussions and the feedback we have provided, is taken on board.

For us, the protection of cultural and environmental values within the park is still key and we don’t want to lose sight of some of the issues that have brought us to this place of change. We have much in the pipeline with regards to education for the climbing community that we will be sharing in the months to come. We hope this will contribute to ensuring sustainable climbing and bouldering in the park. We also continue to work on building relationships with Traditional Owners. We continue to work on understanding the legislative framework that determines the rights and responsibilities of user groups to access the park, both now and into the future.We will continue to do as we are doing now: working towards greater transparency in decision-making processes from land managers, ensuring that decisions are fair and right, reasons for closures are justified, and that the cultural and natural values of that park are respected throughout this process.

Please be assured that we will update you on our progress, and will continue to work toward greater certainty regarding access for climbers in the Grampians. We make a commitment to providing the climbing community with accurate updates, sharing information that we feel is reliable and can be confidently shared with the community. CliffCare and the VCC remain committed to collaboration with all parties and to ensuring that the climbing community’s concerns are represented as we navigate through the challenges resulting from these closures.

https://cliffcare.org.au/2019/03/18/grampians-update-18-march-2019/

Access T CliffCare
18-Mar-2019
11:17:40 AM
Part 2) STAY IN THE LOOP

Keep up to date by signing up to the CliffCare website blog. You will receive each update direct into your inbox. Just click on sign up on front page.

Follow CliffCare’s Facebook page and share our updates far and wide.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

PETITION
The Grampians Access Working Group has created a petition.

PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE TO YOUR NETWORKS.

Most important: respect all bans that have been put in place by Parks Victoria. If you hear of anyone who is planning to climb in any of these areas, please inform them of the bans.

If you have skills that you think might be useful to the VCC, become a volunteer and assist our efforts. Contact cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

You can become a member of the VCC. The VCC is the organisation that administers CliffCare. https://vicclimb.org.au/join/

Donate directly to CliffCare and support our efforts in advocacy, environmental projects and education.
https://www.givenow.com.au/cliffcare;jsessionid=0852D7EEEB6C361577D28F4A46D5E0E6

Share you concerns with your local MP via a letter, email or phone call. Consider sending a letter to the Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio and Emma Kealy, local MP for Lowan (includes the GNP). In this letter you should highlight: your involvement in climbing, how the ban affects you and your community, and any concerns you might have regarding the lack of consultation by PV with the climbing community prior to introducing the bans. We think it is helpful for climbers to acknowledge the value and significance of environmental and cultural concerns, and that through proper consultation, we would like to work towards a win-win solution for all stakeholders.

If you have other questions that you feel are not answered here, please feel free to email us.
Rawpowa!
18-Mar-2019
3:08:05 PM
So essentially we can climb everywhere except the 8 areas? The email is a little confusing but that seems to be the takeaway, correct me if I'm wrong.
lukef
18-Mar-2019
7:15:15 PM
The way I interpret it as is: we won't fine you, but we'll tell you off, and we'll try to catch you on any other little thing possible, oh and this is 'education' period while we put up signs and prepare to start fining people for climbing in SPAs. I don't understand why they can't just be straight up about the whole thing, either ban it or don't, just be clear about it! I wonder what sort of internal politics is going on over there at parks to lead to this debacle in public relations...
Ball_Bagg
18-Mar-2019
7:28:12 PM
I am still confused.
>
>In broader Special Protected Areas, outside those eight key locations,
>Parks Victoria is sharing the information materials on rock climbing and
>undertaking enforcement activity relating to other activities not permitted
>in any National Park including cutting or damaging vegetation (for instance
>to make or enhance tracks), lighting fires outside of designated fireplaces,
>depositing litter, interfering with Aboriginal cultural heritage such as
>rock art or any damage to rock faces such as drilling holes. We are not
>enforcing no rock climbing activity in broader Special Protected Areas
>at this stage and will communicate if anything changes.

In the last sentence of this paragraph Simon Talbot “we are not enforcing no rock climbing activity in SPAs”.
OK this bit is clear - climbing in SPAs is allowed but no bolting, no track clearing etc but after the three*** , is this Simon still talking or is it a Cliffcare interpretation?

Lower down it says....

>”Our understanding at this stage is that:”
>......
>”Rangers will inform you that you should not climb in the SPAs outside
>of the eight focus sites (blue squares on the first map issued by PV) as
>part of an education process, but will not fine you.” You will be fined
>if you litter, cut, remove or damage vegetation, light fires outside of
>designated fireplaces, interfere with any cultural heritage or rock art
>in these areas,deface or drive off track.”
>
It’s open to interpretation and therefore confusion. Call me paranoid but it’s give wriggle room to an enforcer who may want to interpret the policy in their favour. It has happened before!

1. If Simon Talbot says the bans in SPAs will not be enforced why would a ranger inform me that I should not climb.
2. If the ranger tells me “I should not climb” do I just keep climbing? And what happens then?
3. What exactly does “SPAs outside the eight focus sites” mean? Does it mean anywhere in the SPA. For example, if I was climbing at the asses ears a ranger could tell me I shouldn’t be climbing there. Or does it mean the area in a SPA that is close to a blue square like if I climb at the tower then it’s deemed too close to the gallery and I may get told to leave?

I need some clarity on this!

lukef
18-Mar-2019
7:46:33 PM
On 15-Mar-2019 FatBoy wrote:
>I am utterly convinced that the items of environmental damage (some real
>and a lot perceived) including:
  • excessive chalk
  • bouldering
    >mat vegetation damage
  • bolting
  • additional walking paths
  • litter
    >(specifically dunny paper)
  • cliff-base erosion
... are
>the real issues they care about. The first inhabitants argument looks
>like a PV crutch to achieve these outcomes.
>
>Let's be clear: PV don't want to ban us because they hate climbing as
>an activity, they want to ban us because they think it's wrecking the place.
> Any other interpretation is simply playing the victim card.

Had to grimace on the weekend at the cathedrals, climbing a grade 14 slab climb, slathered in chalk the entire way up. It looked like an entire bag's worth (a slight exaggeration, but still!). It's an easy slab climb for gods sake. There needs to be a better education and dialog available for people on the need for chalk, and mindfulness of the effect it has on the color of the rock, and interpretation by rangers, walkers, and most importantly indigenous people.
jrc
19-Mar-2019
7:33:08 AM
The 15 March 2015 PV Rockclimbing update is still confusing.

It illustrates the 8 banned sites on a map, dated 26/2/19 or 6/3/19 depending upon which page .

It references SPAs where climbing is prohibited (at odds with Simon Talbots statement).

It shows "protected Areas" where restrictions apply but not "Special Protected Areas".

Im sure it will all become clear some time...
Access T CliffCare
19-Mar-2019
9:08:46 AM
On 19-Mar-2019 jrc wrote:
>The 15 March 2015 PV Rockclimbing update is still confusing.
>
>It illustrates the 8 banned sites on a map, dated 26/2/19 or 6/3/19 depending
>upon which page .
>
>It references SPAs where climbing is prohibited (at odds with Simon Talbots
>statement).
>
>It shows "protected Areas" where restrictions apply but not "Special Protected
>Areas".
>
>Im sure it will all become clear some time...

It's not really at odds. Simon Talbots statement only clarifies that 'no climbing in SPAs' will not be enforced ie people won't be fined. PV hasn't stated that those conditions have changed and it is not our messaging to say otherwise. I have added a little in to our update to highlight this. Further clarity is what we are working on, working on, working on...
Access T CliffCare
20-Mar-2019
3:28:53 PM
Parks Victoria have issued a FAQ page which more clearly states the current status of climbing sites in the Grampians National Park.

https://cliffcare.org.au/2019/03/20/parks-victoria-rock-climbing-update-grampians-faqs/

JamesMc
20-Mar-2019
4:37:55 PM
>It's not really at odds. Simon Talbots statement only clarifies that 'no
>climbing in SPAs' will not be enforced ie people won't be fined. PV hasn't
>stated that those conditions have changed and it is not our messaging to
>say otherwise. I have added a little in to our update to highlight this.
>Further clarity is what we are working on, working on, working on...
>
It's not clarification, it's nonsense. The law is the law. You don't want to end up in court arguing that you climbed illegally because you saw an email on the Internet purporting to be from the PV CEO saying the law wouldn't be enforced.

The good Dr
Online Now
20-Mar-2019
8:50:31 PM
The question that nobody is answering ...

I note that the FAQ references page 11 of the 2003 Management Plan, which is table 3. The table states that SPAs (key item 7 on table) occupy <<1% of the Grampians National Park. The provided maps (not to scale representative maps) indicate that the SPAs are significantly greater than <<1%. Appendix 1 - page 55 names the SPAs but does not provide a reference to the delineated source for theSPA boundaries and is not referenced in any other location in the MP.

Which is correct, the written word or the representative maps. Can this be put to PV for further clarrification as this has legal and liability ramifications for PV and climbers alike.

ajfclark
Online Now
21-Mar-2019
7:10:11 AM
On 20-Mar-2019 The good Dr wrote:
>The question that nobody is answering ...
>
>I note that the FAQ references page 11 of the 2003 Management Plan, which is table 3. The table states that SPAs (key item 7 on table) occupy <<1% of the Grampians National Park. The provided maps (not to scale representative maps) indicate that the SPAs are significantly greater than <<1%. Appendix 1 - page 55 names the SPAs but does not provide a reference to the delineated source for theSPA boundaries and is not referenced in any other location in the MP.
>
>Which is correct, the written word or the representative maps. Can this be put to PV for further clarrification as this has legal and liability ramifications for PV and climbers alike.

I've been repeatedly asking this question.I find it incredible that there were so many submissions to the management plan yet no one pointed out this incongruity at the time. I went back through the wayback machine and the oldest copy of the management plan I could find was from 2005. It has the same maps as the current version on Parks' website: http://web.archive.org/web/20050622211010/http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources/07_0938.pdf

The new FAQ either states that the 29 new SPAs add an additional 1.2% or that SPAs comprise a total of 1.2% of the park. I assume it's the former, but either way, it's more than <<1%.

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There are 154 messages in this topic.

 

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