Hole in the Rock Road Position Statement • June 26, 2013
American Canyoneers’ Board of Directors has heard from some members regarding our recent post encouraging members to participate in the BLM sponsored Hole in the Rock Road (HITRR) focus groups. While most comments were highly positive and supportive of the post, some questioned our call to action regarding paving HITRR. The American Canyoneers Board of Directors recognizes and respects its membership’s need for effective communication and accordingly, we would like to clarify the intent of our post.
In March of this year, off-the-record comments made by Garfield County officials about paving HITRR were first brought to our attention. Earlier this month however, county officials publicly declared their right – and intention – to pave HITRR. Recognizing that the county might take action to pave the road prior to any dialogue or input from the canyoneering community and other outdoor recreational groups, AC made a strong and immediate call to action. Our request to the community to weigh in with their opinion and to participate in the BLM’s baseline study was intended to provide that missing dialogue and most importantly, to put the brakes on any momentum the county had already built to start paving. This was the intent of our post – to tell the county to stop any plans currently underway to pave the road.
We want to be part of the discussion. We refuse to sit back and let Garfield County blithely pave HITRR without regard to other voices. We refuse to allow the county to pave yet another road without dialogue or research, or allow them to ignore yet another agreement not to pave and then just go ahead and do it – as they did with the Burr Trail. We have learned from Garfield County history – and we are determined to not let the county repeat it.
Our call to action was aggressive and, we admit, not especially elegant in wording or tone. We did not mean to offend the sensibility of any readers and, if we did, we hope you will understand and appreciate the urgency and importance of our mission.
The American Canyoneers Board of Directors