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Contact: Sabrina Henry, 435-719-2135
Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan for Arches National Park
Signed by Regional Director
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced that the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for Arches National Park’s Climbing and Canyoneering Management Plan was signed by the Acting Intermountain Regional Director on December 13, 2013.
This decision was reached after review of the environmental impact analysis and consideration of public comments on the Environmental Assessment released in June of 2013.
Canyoneering and rock climbing activities in Arches National Park will be actively managed and monitored to maintain desired resource and visitor experience conditions. Monitoring data will be used to determine whether desired conditions are being met. A variety of management strategies will be utilized (such as trail delineations, group-size limit changes, seasonal route closures, additional permit requirements, and placement and replacement of fixed gear) to help maintain these desirable conditions.
Rock climbers will be encouraged to complete a free online self-registration process and groups will be limited to five persons. Canyoneers will be required to complete the free online self-registration process for all routes except for those in the Fiery Furnace. Fiery Furnace permits will still need to be obtained at the park’s visitor center. Canyoneering groups on the Fiery Furnace and Lost Spring Canyon routes will be limited to six persons, while group size elsewhere will be limited to ten persons.
While establishment of new routes will be allowed, installation of new fixed gear on new and existing routes will require a free special use permit. In order to minimize resource impacts, the park will actively seek input and assistance from the climbing and canyoneering community in assessing the suitability and quality of new fixed gear placement proposals, and replacement of existing fixed gear.
Climbing, scrambling, or walking upon, wrapping webbing or rope around, or rappelling off any named and unnamed arch with an opening greater than three feet will be prohibited in the park.
The signed FONSI and public comments may be viewed on the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/arch_CCMP_FONSI.
Climbing and canyoneering regulations and route information will be posted on the park’s official website, and permits will be available online by early spring.