The Niagara Glen needs your help!

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Ayo Sopeju traverses a boulder on the Niagara River. Photo by Jeremy Nathan / jeremynathan.com

Ayo Sopeju traverses a boulder on the Niagara River. Photo by Jeremy Nathan / jeremynathan.com

The Niagara Parks Commission has recently released a draft of their Land Management Plan on their website which has a recommendation to eliminate bouldering in the future to reduce environmental impact.niagaraparksnature.com Now is the time, as climbers, to speak up and let the Niagara Parks Commission know that banning bouldering is not the answer. For all those that have had the opportunity to climb at the Glen or wish to in the future, please email your comments or a letter to the following:Marika Kozachenko copy to Debra Whitehouse, also please copy us, the OAC. Your comments supporting bouldering must be received before the October 19th, 2008 deadline. Follow the instructions below to use the sample letter. Feel free to include some of your own personal comments. It will only take a few minutes of your time to help preserve access to bouldering at the Glen. Thanks, Ontario Access Coalition Copy and paste the following addresses into your email:Mail to Marika Kozachenko at: enviro@niagaraparks.comCopy Debra Whitehouse at: dw@niagaraparks.com Copy Ontario Access Coalition at: webmaster@ontarioaccesscoalition.com Copy and paste this into the Subject line of your email: Concerns about NPC’s Environmental Land Management Plan Copy and paste the letter below into the body of your email: Marika Kozachenko Niagara Parks Commission P.O.Box 150 Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 6T2 RE: DRAFT Environmental Land Management Plan Dear Marika, I write to state my opposition to the Niagara Park Commission's proposed “Recommendation 11: Eliminate bouldering activities in the Niagara Glen” outlined in the above draft plan. Like all boulderers, I cherish the unique beauty of the Glen and urge the NPC to implement a creative solution to decrease visitor impact while maintaining the access to the Glen that boulderers have enjoyed for more than forty years. The NPC should not unilaterally close the Niagara Glen before formally adopting a bouldering management plan. Such action is unrealistic because all visitors scramble to some degree on the hundreds of rocks in the Glen and all visitors equally contribute to trail erosion. Furthermore, boulderers are excellent stewards of the environment. At a minimum, you should explore the less severe climbing management prescriptions that have built positive relationships between climbers and managers in other Ontario parks before you ban bouldering. I am aware that the NPC is reviewing the management of nature trails at the Niagara Glen to minimize the environmental impact of visitors. Clearly marked trails and the removal of some unsanctioned trails would greatly reduce erosion. Access to boulders that are not on existing sanctioned trails should be clearly marked and restrictions to certain areas could be explored before total closure of this area is considered. Lastly, as a boulderer and outdoor enthusiast, I strive to be an excellent steward of the environment. I maintain leave no trace when visiting the Niagara Glen and pick up trash left by less conscientious visitors. Understanding that improvements and maintenance to the park are expensive, I would consider a user fee to boulder at the Niagara Glen. I am adamantly opposed to Recommendation 11's elimination of bouldering in the Niagara Glen. Yours truly,