Climbers Letters Needed to Help Open Minnewaska State Park to Climbing

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Climber on Mentos, Peterskill, Minnewaska State Park Preserve, NY. Photo by Silent Observer - courtesy of Flickr.com

Minnewaska State Park, which hosts numerous 50 foot crags on 200 foot quartzite cliffs – part of the greater Shawangunk Ridge (the Gunks) – is revising its Master Plan and potentially significantly expanding climbing opportunities in the Shawangunk region.

On July 8th and July 10th, the Park held open house events to explain the forthcoming planning process and solicit public input. Local climbers and the Gunks Climbers Coalition (GCC) (www.gunksclimbers.org) attended both meetings and Park representatives duly noted their requests for expanded climbing opportunities. The Park is accepting written comments until August 11th. After reviewing the public comments, the Park will write a Draft Revised Plan. The public will then have another opportunity to comment before the Park adopts a final plan.

Currently the Park only permits climbing in the Peters’ Kill area. Local climbing activists and the Access Fund worked to open this area to climbing during the original master planning process in 1996. The Park’s management of the Peters’ Kill area, which limits daily use 100 climbers, has successfully balanced resource protection and recreational use. Additionally in cooperation with the Park the GCC has organized regular Adopt a Crag events.

The revision of the Master Plan presents an opportunity to work closely with Minnewaska park management in order to open more areas of the park to climbing. The GCC has indicated to the Park desired plans to actively participate in the planning process.

Climbers should write the Park by August 11th urging park officials to permit climbing in the entire park. Letters should be addressed to :

Mark Hohengasser New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Development Empire State Plaza Agency Building Albany, NY 12238Email: Mark.hohengasser@oprhp.state.ny.us

Larry Wheelock - NY West Hudson Representative New York - New Jersey Trail Conference 156 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, New Jersey 07430-1199 Tel: 201-512-9348 Ext 16 Fax: 201-512-9012 Mobile: 973-650-3228 Email: wheelock@nynjtc.org