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cornishe

Protest Jump in NPS

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My thoughts on the subject:

1) MASS PERMIT REQUESTS - At this point in time, requesting permits and overburdening the NPS will do us no good. The NPS has been discriminating against us for almost 40 years, so I don't see them changing their mind anytime soon. I've already sent a letter to Yosemite requesting to jump many years ago and was quickly denied. I'm not sure if anyone has filed for an "official" special use permit and sent in their $50. Anyone?

Anybody care to guess which National Park has arrested the most jumpers over the last 20 years? One clue - it's also the one that offers the only special use permit each year in October. Yep, New River. Some may think that New River is the most sympathetic National Park, when it is really the one that arrests the most jumpers (according to my thorough analysis of NPS Morning Reports dating back into the 80's and other recorded data). The NPS is not our friend and they never will be. We are wasting our time trying to negotiate with them in my opinion.

For example, even if Bridge Day were extended to three days, as per my recent attempts, I was told by the NERI NPS that an extension of the special use permit would probably never happen. And the rangers in Yosemite and New River continue to waste taxpayer dollars dressing as fisherman near the bottom of our 700' WV bridge, waiting in popular LZ's on full moons, arresting jumpers who were never in a National Park and then threatening us with further laws if we challenged them, shining spot lights on canopies, and even chasing jumpers using nightvision goggles. They probably even have YOU on their BASE Jumper Suspect List. Anyone ever landed at Bridge Day only to find a ranger poking a video camera in your face? They probably have a screen grab of your face in their database.

2) CONGRESSIONAL HELP - Forcing the NPS to change their discriminatory ways appears to be one of the better approaches. Writing letters to Senators/Congressman has proven to do some good, but the progress is slow. It is very much possible that with enough Congressional support and pressure, the NPS would open their doors to us.

3) MASS PROTEST JUMPS - The mass protest jump concept is not new. If I remember correctly, people were talking about it more than 10 years ago. This concept could go either way - if you have a serious injury or fatality, then we might as well forget ever jumping there legally. If it works well, then we're still faced with convincing the public that we should have the right to jump. Just as Zennie pointed out, the public often thinks we're crazy and it'll be VERY hard to make them sympathize with us.

What if the 1999 El Cap protest jumps had a happy ending? Would we have seen it on TV or read about it the papers? Probably not. The media loves it when a jumper goes in, not when one makes a tip-toe landing in El Cap Meadow.

I'm still willing to participate in a mass protest jump, but I'm starting to like the next idea listed below....

4) PEACEFUL PACKING IN EL CAP MEADOW - Perhaps the best approach would be for us to have a mass parachute packing session in El Cap meadow? We'd be highly visible, unarrestable as far as I know, and we'd get our point across. We could invite the media and even obtain a protest permit if required. Just make sure you don't allow your canopy to inflate over your head because you could be arrested and charged with aerial delivery. Either way, ANY arrest during this type of protest would be damaging to the NPS and would gain support for our side.

Better yet, bring your kids and let them kite a few canopies in the meadow. I'd love to see the rangers try to cuff and stuff MY kid for that. Now that might be all we need to get some public sympathy.

Thoughts?
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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Zennie,
I don't know what the term "Civil Disobedience" has evolved into. What I'm talking about is the actual spirit that it was written in.

I know we have something called civil disobedience now but when Thoreau wrote it he didn't care about numbers or outside sympathetic support.

In the second paragraph and talking about the American Government he writes, "It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will."

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See the attached PDF for 29 pages of NPS discrimination from 1966-2005. As if you really need to read it to figure out that the NPS is discriminatory.....

EDIT: Had to re-attach this document after someone complained (Robin?) and Sangiro emailed me about it. It's nothing but PUBLIC info that's freely available online!!!!! I simply compiled it all into one.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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If it works well, then we're still faced with convincing the public that we should have the right to jump. Just as Zennie pointed out, the public often thinks we're crazy and it'll be VERY hard to make them sympathize with us.



With all of us talking amongst ourselves, reinforcing certain views of the NPS, its really easy to lose sight of what John Q Public might think of the NPS. I know I grew up going to National Parks and internalizing a certain respect for the rangers, who "protect our national treasures". These magnificent rock faces and meadows are "national treasures", right? And the NPS has to figure out how to protect theses "national treasures" and still make them available for the enjoyment of 300,000,000 people (in the US alone), not to mention future generations. Even if we got perfectly informed and unbiased media coverage (which we, of course, won't), who do you supose John Q Public will, on average, sympathize with? Do we really want to court the "tyranny of the majority"?
This should not be a popularity contest. Obviously enough, BASE jumping is not fundamentally any more at odds with the purpose of the parks than any other outdoor activity (climbing, hang gliding, etc.). Thus the NPS ban is an unreasonable limit on civil liberties (you legal types correct my terminology). We should make a coordinated effort (ref. ABP) to convince those charged with preserving (not just our parks but also) our freedoms of this, exhausting any and all legal/civil/political avenues.
Of course, with "extreme sports" media coverage, BASE is slowly creeping into the conciousness of the general population. So perhaps a media battle could be won at some point. I'm just betting we're not quite there yet.

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4) PEACEFUL PACKING IN EL CAP MEADOW - Perhaps the best approach would be for us to have a mass parachute packing session in El Cap meadow? We'd be highly visible, unarrestable as far as I know, and we'd get our point across. We could invite the media and even obtain a protest permit if required. Just make sure you don't allow your canopy to inflate over your head because you could be arrested and charged with aerial delivery. Either way, ANY arrest during this type of protest would be damaging to the NPS and would gain support for our side.

Better yet, bring your kids and let them kite a few canopies in the meadow. I'd love to see the rangers try to cuff and stuff MY kid for that. Now that might be all we need to get some public sympathy.

Thoughts?



our nature is to remain hidden. generally, it's what we do. (of course, many objects DEMAND it.) and it can be both fun and rewarding.

so why are we surprised when the public (or NPS) has such a distorted image of BASE jumpers?

anything we can do that would raise our profile and display us as considerate and courteous would definitely help. Jason's idea, or Tom's request for today's meeting in Utah both seem like great ways to start.

face it, protest jumps & rebellion have been tried in the past. and the result is? why should we expect any different today?

can it hurt to have the rangers get to know us other than scofflaws?

maybe after showing them some public respect, they might reciprocate.

to exit the current stalemate, one side must act differently. so far, demanding THEY be the one to change simply has not worked. so why don't we give it a shot?
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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I was really hoping Jason would weigh in on this because he has the most experience dealing with the NPS and I respect his opinion.

I personally agree that the meadow packing protest is a really good idea. If I can scrounge up the money and time I'd be more than happy to participate.

- Z
"Always be yourself... unless you suck." - Joss Whedon

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There are a lot of really good ideas flowing here. Should we take these plans to the private forum for more discussion? Obviously I have no right (nor wish) to censor this board or prevent people from stating their opinions, but if we're on the same level and working together, we might want to try and keep some of this a little more secret.
Just my $.02. Flame away.
-C.

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The last protest jump didn't work for obvious reasons, but even if had gone better, a half dozen jumpers wasn't going to make enough noise. One hundred and fifty plus jumpers is going to make noise and headlines. If we don't get fair access this time, we'll do it again, and again, and again, until we do . . .

If we roll over now Jan Davis and the others died in vain. We are going to build on what Jan was trying to do.

They are never going to give in unless they are made to do so. It certainly makes sense from a practical side that if they decriminalize BASE jumping its one less thing they have to deal with and everyone wins. We have to make people realize that BASE jumping is not a crime. We have to make people realize that BASE jumping is a magical and magnificent human achievement that is worth the price we pay.

We also have to make them realize this isn't the same sport that failed the first time during the first legal test program. The difference between us then and us now is night and day. And we aren't asking for unfettered access we are asking for a couple of hours after first light to do our thing. We have proven with over 25 years of Bridge Days we are capable of working within the system for the good of all.

One mistake the last protest made is prior to the jumps they said BASE jumping was safe. I know that's not exactly what they said, but that's how the media and the Rangers took it, and after what happened, it became the hook in every article. We need to be much more media savvy this time. If we have an accident during this protest we can weather it as long as we make the point that BASE jumping can be very dangerous. It's dangerous like climbing and hang gliding and everything else is dangerous. People are capable of understanding that just fine.

Someone said this is a demo and not a stunt. That's correct, and this can't be treated like a fun jump. Everyone's number one job will be to arrive alive. This won't be the time for a first big wall jump, or a time to get current again. Please, there are other ways you can help, so cull yourself out if you know in your heart you shouldn't be on the load.

Notwithstanding all the good work done since Jean Boenish was lobbying on our behalf, but here's how she left it. The NPS in Washington said permitting BASE jumping was up to each individual Park Superintendent. The (in this case) Yosemite Park Superintendent dodged the issue by saying it was alright with him if it was alright with Washington. They had Jean shuttling back and forth like a ping pong ball. It's the classic case where no one wants to take the responsibility of saying yes. The point is all that has to happen to make jumping a reality is for one person to say yes. We don't have to change the aerial delivery law we just need them to issue permits. They know there is no good reason not to issue permits. They can't use environmental issues as there really are none, they can't use danger issues as it's not a criteria applied to any other already accepted activity.

Also, let's be careful in what we say and not use others as a crutch. No one should ever say the first legal program was populated by mostly skydiving bozos. No one should say because climbers have the right we want it too. We stand on our own account and we are asking only for fair access. Also skip the, we are doctors, engineers, lawyers, businessman and such. Every sub-group looking for acceptance says that. We are what we are and that's good enough . . .

I'm getting a lot of email and PMs now so please reference your notes to whatever the topic is. If "username" writes about a Master Slot and I asked for their name, address and phone, and I get just that, I can't easily connect the two.

If you are looking for where to get further information, and at this point we are looking for people who want to jump and to fill the MasterSlots, email me or Abbie for the secret URL. To gain access, at this point, you will need to include a real name, address and phone number and prior to access you can expect a phone call.

Finally, there are already many chomping on the bit. Slow down, we've only been seriously talking about this for a few days and there are many logistic and security issues to be sorted out. Once the MasterSlots and RegionalMasters are set the real work will begin. Right now we need a few more EMTs, more people with video cameras, and so far the only RegionalMaster slots covered are Southern California and Pennsylvania. We can break the country down a bit smaller than the USPA does so go by that for now. I'll post the exact areas as soon as I figure it out.

This is a big project and it's too important to rush. We have waited over 40 years for fair access so a little longer is alright . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

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Nick is right - we shouldn't be in a hurry to implement any of these ideas. Further discussion will lead to the best approach.

We may also find that several ideas can be mixed for the most powerful punch. Don't forget, there are other big walls in that valley.
(c)2010 Vertical Visions. No unauthorized duplication permitted. <==For the media only

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Don't want to risk losing my green card with a jump.
Not current right now either.

I like the idea of a packing protest though, if we are sure they couldn't bust us for that. Seems like a great way to spread the message, and show some strength in numbers.

But whatever happens, good luck and be safe.

:)

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I was reading the "Secret NPS Forum" and have uncovered their dastardly plot. The national park rangers will bring in big industrial fans and blow them across everybody's pack jobs..then when canopies go in air, they'll arrest everybody.

Rangers will stop at nothing to crush the uprising BASE movement.
My grammar sometimes resembles that of magnetic refrigerator poetry... Ghetto

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I was reading the "Secret NPS Forum" and have uncovered their dastardly plot. The national park rangers will bring in big industrial fans and blow them across everybody's pack jobs..then when canopies go in air, they'll arrest everybody.

Rangers will stop at nothing to crush the uprising BASE movement.



Those bastards. Are fans allowed in the park?

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The national park rangers will bring in big industrial fans



If there will be many rangers blowing the wind at 100-120mph at about 30 degrees angle to the ground, we can land our wingsuits without parachutes!!! No law broken.

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The national park rangers will bring in big industrial fans



If there will be many rangers blowing the wind at 100-120mph at about 30 degrees angle to the ground, we can land our wingsuits without parachutes!!! No law broken.



Never thought I'd get a blow job from a ranger. Just the thought of it make me feel kind of weird. Is that normal?

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I was driving home from Home Depot this morning on the nicest day of the year so far. Sun shining, listening to Sublime Doin' Time, thinking about Chronicle 2 and all of that nice cliff jumping footage, and it got me thinking about this protest jump. I would really like to be able to go jump legally some day in Yosemite. I think that this project could be the ticket, but I am concerned about the costs. With a fine that can easily be $2,500.00, lawyer fees, additional required travel for court, and loss of gear we could be easily be talking about a $10,000.00 jump. Somebody call Fred Morelli. :P

As an offset to this for any willing to participate I see the potential to use one of the forces that have traditionally worked against us, the media, to make this project a success. If we put enough resources into directing, filming, documenting, and photographing this event there should be a revenue potential there well into 6 figures. Were talking about being able to fill hours of 60 Minutes, 48 hours, REAL TV, MTV Sports and any other "news" shows time slot with a fantastic story. That would increase our chance with the public, since we the group would own all of the footage. With Tom S. and Mark L. and yes, you too Jimmy H. and all the rest of us shooting, this thing could be the big ticket in.

If this is what you were talking about all along, then I'm a little slow. Otherwise it was just an idea that would enable all jumpers to unite and work together towards a common goal.

I WANT TO JUMP!

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When I first suggested this, I said "no media" so it would be a complete surprise to everybody but the jumpers, but I think your idea is much better.

FJ

Reply re:
Re: [KevinMcGuire] Protest Jump in NPS by Treejumps
I was driving home from Home Depot this morning on the nicest day of the year so far. Sun shining, listening to Sublime Doin' Time, thinking about Chronicle 2 and all of that nice cliff jumping footage, and it got me thinking about this protest jump. I would really like to be able to go jump legally some day in Yosemite. I think that this project could be the ticket, but I am concerned about the costs. With a fine that can easily be $2,500.00, lawyer fees, additional required travel for court, and loss of gear we could be easily be talking about a $10,000.00 jump. Somebody call Fred Morelli.

As an offset to this for any willing to participate I see the potential to use one of the forces that have traditionally worked against us, the media, to make this project a success. If we put enough resources into directing, filming, documenting, and photographing this event there should be a revenue potential there well into 6 figures. Were talking about being able to fill hours of 60 Minutes, 48 hours, REAL TV, MTV Sports and any other "news" shows time slot with a fantastic story. That would increase our chance with the public, since we the group would own all of the footage. With Tom S. and Mark L. and yes, you too Jimmy H. and all the rest of us shooting, this thing could be the big ticket in.

If this is what you were talking about all along, then I'm a little slow. Otherwise it was just an idea that would enable all jumpers to unite and work together towards a common goal.

I WANT TO JUMP!

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If we put enough resources into directing, filming, documenting, and photographing this event there should be a revenue potential there well into 6 figures. Were talking about being able to fill hours of 60 Minutes, 48 hours, REAL TV, MTV Sports and any other "news" shows time slot with a fantastic story. That would increase our chance with the public, since we the group would own all of the footage. With Tom S. and Mark L. and yes, you too Jimmy H. and all the rest of us shooting, this thing could be the big ticket in.



of course, I'd love to see some great footage from a sympathetic angle. but can it be done by jumpers? heavy handed law enforcement has confiscated lots of potential evidence...
:o

they may not be as good at pushing around established media...
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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I am very glad to see a lot of enthusiastic jumpers willing to do this jump. But before everybody goes and fights for their right to jump, try and picture 150 rather "extreme" looking hikers, walking single file to the top of el cap wearing funny looking backpacks. I could easily see the whole group getting busted before it even gets out of the valley.

I think that the parachute packing idea is a very good one. hang in there.

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As an offset to this for any willing to participate I see the potential to use one of the forces that have traditionally worked against us, the media, to make this project a success. If we put enough resources into directing, filming, documenting, and photographing this event there should be a revenue potential there well into 6 figures.



Actually, you've hit on something that may be even easier. Why not contact the media, i.e. 60 Minutes or Dateline NBC, to cover this. I have little doubt that these guys would know how to get into Yosemite or other places.

Jason would be a great start for this. First, get the news magazine show to cover something that is established and has a great record - BRIDGE DAY. Have that coverage give the reporters/journalists some education onf BASE and sympathy with BASE jumpers who aren't bothering anybody but do an extremely exciting sport.

Then get some of the video coverage from the European Big walls. Have some jumpers who have done the big walls talk about what happens there. Get some video coverage of the show.

While at it, pay very real attention to the dangers. Give some background on Lukas, De Gayardon or someone else who died in the sport.

Also, there needs to be preparation for damage control with regards to some incidents or persons who may have brought the sport into a bad light.

There must also be developed a plan on how the BASE community will deal with the issue of Felix. Like it or not, the general population may have a problem with BASE ethics against burning objects. As an attorney, I know that the general population does not understand legal ethics and why they are the way they are.

There MUST be a unified version of BASE ethics that will be palateable to the public. "Burning" objects means, in essence, open and notorious illegality that brings heat. The public can't really understand that, and something needs to be done to create a pretty version of it that is understandable.

Getting the press involved from the very beginning could be useful. But, getting the press involved at any stage will require that the group be media savvy. This can best be accomplished by having a few people who will be good with the press and who will be made to "speak for" the BASE community, as bad as that sounds.

There's a lot of work ahead, folks, and this cannot be done quickly.


My wife is hotter than your wife.

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De Gayardon did not die in the sport.



Exactly. He was greatly influential with regard to wingsuit development in skydiving and BASE, and was a BASE jumper to boot...

He's the type of guy that I think SHOULD be talked about.


My wife is hotter than your wife.

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Inviting the media in is like asking the fox to guard the henhouse. Sure, if they are willing to sign a contract saying that they will foot the bill for legal fees, fines etc, that is good enough for me. However, giving them control of the story and not getting the revune generated from it would leave us out in the cold for certain. The media is no friend of base. Like Red Bull, the media uses base to sell product and could care less about what actually happens to the sport as a result of their activities.

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