Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meeting with Forest Service

The meeting went amazingly well. We met with John Ladley, Recreation Office, and Andy Smith, Assistant Recreation Office (check outAndy's work at Taquitz). Both were not only friendly, and seemed to truly care about the mountains, but were also open to reasonable suggestions for change. Here's the cliff notes version of the meeting, in ascending order of importance:

1. John and Andy didn't know about the dirt road to the Republic, so there is little chance of it being cleaned up any time soon. Ah well, real men have trucks anyway.

2. Of course you need an adventure pass to park on the road, but the Golden Eagle Pass - or what do they call it now, the "America the Beautiful Interagency Access Pass" (how lovingly bureaucratic) - also works. Just put it on the windshield.

3. Parking in the campground with an adventure pass is allowed (although I've heard reports to the contrary in the past), just don't do it on a busy weekend when you may be taking sites away from campers. Use common sense.

4. There are some pictographs around OK Corral. We've all seen them, but I just assumed it was paint from the 70s or something. We were first told to enjoy them and then to respect them. Remember Hueco, and be kind to the writing on the rocks.

5. The lower gate is closed to prevent people from trashing the road and getting stuck when there is mud and snow. But as we pointed out, the road below the Corral - and to a large extent the campground as well - dries out early in the season. We suggested that another gate be added directly above the Corral or the campground, and John and Andy were both open to it. HEAR THAT! WE COULD HAVE NEARLY YEAR ROUND BLACK MOUNTAIN ACCESS!

A second gate isn't a done deal by any means, but the possibility is a live one. It needs to get cleared by the fire people, and someone has to pay for it (perhaps $3,000), but there may soon come a day when the summer is Black Mountain's off season.

Overall the meeting went as well as could be imagined. Any thoughts on all this?


  1. You guys rule, good work. Hows temps in OK corral these days??

  2. But the Summit is much cooler.

  3. I feel like these guys might be blowing smoke up your collective asses.....the gate thing would cost more than 3 g''t contracted labor come on....that shit would cost large amounts of dough.... Perhaps a climber fundraiser type dealy could show how serious you poons are about the new gate and a yearly fundraiser to help with road maintenance might motivate them too? Access fundage? The road has gotten fucked up in the spring and fall in the years when the gate has been left opened late or been opened early (especially the in the area around the spring i.e. that pipe that always has water flowing outta it)... anyway my that my dos centavos...........Bureaucracy Rules!!!

  4. Yea Kris, you may be right. We'll have to see, but there are good reasons to be optimistic.

    Although there are number of types of gates that they could put in, assuming it is a cheap one, they were pretty sure on the cost. I mean, John knows the guy who welds the things, and John also suggested volunteer labor. There appear to be a number of ways to accomplish things in the FS bureaucracy, and the hope is that the gate can slip through the cracks in virtue of being pushed by the users.

  5. Good work son. Keep it up.