Trout Creek Voluntary Closure Information
(With thanks to Chris Winter from Crag Law, the Access Fund and Oregon Section Chair John Connor who went to an emergency meeting with the BLM to get them to agree to this action.)
Molly Brown, Field Ranger for the Prineville BLM signed an order to restructure the Trout Creek climbing closure from mandatory to voluntary, effective on Friday, Feb. 17th. THE AREA IS STILL CLOSED, AND IT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER TO CLIMB ELSEWHERE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!! This is a great gesture of good faith by the BLM, and one that we suggested in the meeting on Monday. They have requested our assistance in distributing this news and managing the new closure format (including signage, public notice, and compliance). The signs at the trailhead will be replaced tomorrow to mirror these changes.
It is paramount to our effort to work together to make sure that all climbers follow this voluntary closure, as our compliance can demonstrate our unity as a user-group dedicated to responsible access and stewardship. Our track record in the next few months will surely be included in the E.A., and will ultimately contribute to a permanent management plan. This is a “golden” opportunity to prove to land managers everywhere that we all want to protect golden eagles and our right to climb in this incredible place.
In the meantime, the BLM has also agreed to release a new scoping letter, which will allow for further public comment before the E.A. is written up. We have cause for gratitude to the Prineville BLM for listening to us and taking swift action. Now, it is up to us to help them finish the E.A. and to do our part by staying away and encouraging all others to do so as well. Stay tuned for new developments.
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