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ChrisMcNamara

Chance to comment on BASE jumping in Zion ends June 29

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Only ten more days to comment on the future of legal BASE jumping in Zion National Park.

You may comment online on the proposed continued ban on BASE jumping at the National Park Service website (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/) or you may mail comments to: Zion National Park, Attn: Backcountry Management Plan EA, Springdale, UT 84767. This EA will be available for public review and comment until June 29, 2007.

here is the part of the plan that affects BASE jumpers:

From the ZION NP backcountry management plan EA:

http://www.nps.gov/zion/parkmgmt/zion-backcountry-management-plan-and-environmental-assessment-available-for-review.htm
------------------------------------


Parachuting (Base Jumping)
NPS Management Policies 2006 8.2.2.7 states: Parachuting (or Base Jumping), whether from an aircraft, structure, or natural feature is generally prohibited by 36 CFR 2.17(a)(3). However, if determined through a park planning process to be an appropriate activity, it may be allowed pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.

The ZION GMP completed in 2001 does not have a provision to allow base jumping in the park. Also, base jumping was not identified by the public as an activity they would like to see allowed in ZION, so it was not addressed as a potential activity in this document. Therefore, base jumping would continue to be prohibited in ZION and would be subject to the regulations outlined in 36 CRF 2.17

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I am writing to urge you to remove the ban on BASE jumping in Zion National Park. BASE jumpers as a group adhere to the same ethical principle as back country campers of "leave no trace." We exhibit and complement the spirit of adventure that a National Park should seek to foster. We have jumped for years off of the cliffs in Moab, Utah on land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management without incident. We have jumped at spectacular locations around the world including the fjords in Norway, soaring cliffs in Italy, Switzerland, France, and Mexico, and Angel Falls in Venezuela. The natural treasures in Zion National Park rival the best of what the world has to offer. It is the charge of the National Park System to preserve, protect, and share, these treasures. To ban BASE jumping would be to fail in this charge by keeping a group of the most adventurous citizens from enjoying in their way the best of what this country has to offer. To ban BASE jumping while allowing higher impact activities such as climbing, camping, and biking is both unfair and illogical. Remove the ban and let us enjoy our Park.

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without incident



Nice letter, but I wouldn't have chosen THAT phrase with regards to Moab.

Not only is it misleading and untrue, but the issue at hand shouldn't even BE whether or not we can get hurt or die BASE jumping in the park. ANYONE can do that--and I imagine that the statistics would even out when spread between ALL of the park's activities (at least for permitted jumping) over time.
The issue is fair use and impact on the environment (no pun intended). I for one think that the rangers in Zion are among the most fair-minded, progressive thinking rangers in the entire NPS organization, and hope they see that BASE jumping is only a crime in small, scared minds.
pope

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I also started writing a comment citing the legal base sites across the rest of the world, until suddenly I felt like a whining little kid tugging at my mommy's skirt, squealing "But Billy and Tommy's moms let them BASE jump! Why can't I? PLEEEEEEEASE"

A slightly different approach:

Quote

I am writing to respectfully encourage those involved in this planning process to reconsider their stance on recreational parachuting activities in Zion National Park.

In these days of dwindling park funding and decreasing attendance suffered by National Parks across the nation, new avenues must be explored in order to restore public interest in our nation's natural wonders.

The steadily rising participation in such outdoor adventure sports as rock climbing, trail running, and whitewater rafting indicates that interest in outdoor activities is not declining in America's youth; it is merely shifting to accommodate an ever-growing thirst for challenge and stimulation in our generation's routine-filled lives.

Reclassifying BASE Jumping as an appropriate-use activity in Zion National Park would be a tremendous step forward in the Park Service's continuing efforts to regain its relevancy to the changing tastes of current and future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.

The careful and calculated introduction of lesser-known, low-impact activities such as BASE Jumping can collectively work to bring our Park system's offering of recreational opportunities back in line with the evolving interests of its visitors.

As one of many adventurers, young and old, that share a passion for the opportunities that our Parks can provide, I kindly ask that our requests be heard.


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Chris,

Thank you for posting that! There is a similar effort going on with Yosemite. So far the effort has yielded little, but a respectful email bombardment requesting that BASE Jumping be at a minimum included in the park planning process would be helpful. Anyone willing to write please use the following address and subject:

yose_superintendent@nps.gov

Subject: Attention Kevin Cann (Please Include BASE Jumping in the Park Planning Process)

Regards,

Tom Dancs

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without incident


Nice letter, but I wouldn't have chosen THAT phrase with regards to Moab.



Yeah, I guess I could have worded that more carefully. I didn't mean without death or injury. Those are part of any outdoor sport. I meant without an incident which harms the natural resources. I was thinking about the flatbed incident that contributed to the National Park ban in the first place. Most of the BASE jumpers I've met in my time have been pretty environmentally conscious.

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A few years ago, when some of us where naive enough to work with the ABP, we sent letters to all viable National Parks. The letters requested that parachuting be part of the next park planning process. I haven't heard either way if any parks have addressed BASE jumping, which has been made somewhat easier by the 2006 NPS Management Policies.

At New River for Bridge Day, I obtain a special use permit each year. This year, it's costing me $2500 for six hours of jumping (5 rangers at $40/hr for 12 hours + $100 application fee). I'm not sure how they arrived at 12 hours per ranger, but I'm going to ask them soon. Since the New River rangers have failed to address parachuting in their park planning process, despite a written request, they are still issuing my permit under the 10-year director's waiver (per 2001 NPS Management Policies).

Conclusion: You need to get the park to determine that parachuting is an appropriate park activity. Then you can apply for a permit to jump. Sounds easy, but there are several hoops to jump through. In my opinion, they're always going to say no to us, so more drastic measures are needed (mass packing protests, lawsuits, etc.)

Either way, continue the fight.


8.2.2.7 Parachuting
Parachuting (or BASE jumping), whether from an aircraft,
structure, or natural feature, is generally prohibited by
36 CFR 2.17(a)(3). However, if determined through a park
planning process to be an appropriate activity, it may be
allowed pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit.
(See Appropriate Use 8.1.1)

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

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This is the response I recieved:

Quote

Mr. XXXXXXX:

Thank you for your comments on parachuting. Your comments refer to Zion
National Park, while they may have been intended for Yosemite.

Yosemite planning occurs through the Planning Office, to which your
comments have been forwarded to them.

Please feel encouraged to contact Linda Dahl - our chief of planning -
to learn how you can participate. Linda can be reached at:
linda_dahl@nps.gov.

Charles Cuvelier, Deputy Chief Ranger
Yosemite National Park
(209) 372-0520
(209) 770-6345 cell/voice
(209) 372-0210 fax


Leroy


..I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio...

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Conclusion: You need to get the park to determine that parachuting is an appropriate park activity. Then you can apply for a permit to jump. Sounds easy, but there are several hoops to jump through. In my opinion, they're always going to say no to us, so more drastic measures are needed (mass packing protests, lawsuits, etc.)



Has the class action lawsuit approach ever been attempted? Lets just fucking everyone sue the shit out of the NPS. :P May take a few years but if we can get it to a State or Federal Supreme Court some progress may be made. A discrimination lawsuit.

Coco

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Thats the prob with the US... everyone wants to Sue... shakes head



Well, asking them nicely sure hasn't worked so far Le Roy. Legal action might be necessary. The type of “sue happy” judicial abuse you speak of is similar to the jackass who sued for 54 million for a pair of lost pants.

Suing a government agency over the discrimination in issuance of special use permits is something that may be necessary.

Coco

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further coorespondance:

***Mr. Buckley

Your correspondence regarding planning for base jumping was forwarded to
me. As you know, currently park regulations do not allow these
activities.
A response was send earlier documenting these regulations and the
specific authorities under which they exist.

This is our response to your request that we include consideration of
base jumping in our plans.

Planning Response: The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the
natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system
for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future
generations.

In carrying out this mission, the National Park Service plans for and
manages a diversity of outdoor recreation and other visitor use
activities on public lands. These activities vary depending on the
purpose for which a particular National Park unit was created.

A Park's General Management Plan (GMP) provides overall guidance as to
the types and levels of visitor use activities that are appropriate in a
particular park unit. Yosemite National Park's GMP was completed in
1980.
Regarding visitor use, this plan states,

"Provide only for those types and levels of programs and
activities
that enhance visitor understanding and enjoyment of park
resources.
All interpretive facilities and activities will relate only to the
park's interpretive themes and its resources. The visitor
experience
will consist of opportunities for educational and park-related
recreational pursuits such as walking and hiking, backpacking, and
Merced River floating."

There is no specific mention of recreational parachuting or other
related activity in the Yosemite GMP. However, Park Managers may also
turn to section 8.0 of the National Park Service's Management Policies,
which provides general guidance for managing public use of National Park
Units.
Section 8.2.2.7 provides specific guidance related to parachuting or
base-jumping activities:

"Parachuting (or BASE jumping), whether from an aircraft,
structure,
or natural feature, is generally prohibited by 36 CFR 2.17(a)(3).
However, if determined through a park planning process to be an
appropriate activity, it may be allowed pursuant to the terms and
conditions of a permit."

This and other regulations have already been disclosed in an email
written by Deputy Superintendent Kevin Cann, dated Monday, May 21, 2007.
In this correspondence the various authorities under which recreational
parachuting have been prohibited were outlined.

In response to your more recent request (email correspondence dated June
19, 2007) that Superintendent Tollefson reconsider and allow the
planning process to include parachuting, the Planning Division would
like to reiterate a point made by Deputy Superintendent Cann in his
previous
correspondence:

As to consideration of establishing a permit system to allow for
parachuting (BASE jumping), no planning efforts are currently
underway. We are not taking any actions at this time to change
current policy of practice at Yosemite on this matter. We agree
that
the public, in any planning effort, shall be afforded an
opportunity
to provide input. That input would enable individuals and groups
to
be fully cognizant of the issues and concerns associated with an
activity or action, allow for candid dialogue on the topic, and
shape
any perceptions that may exist or be formed on the activity/action
under review. Without such a planning effort underway, we are
unable
to honor your request

As mentioned above, in accordance with National Park Service planning
guidelines, public use of National Park units is primarily addressed
through General Management Planning. Subsequent implementation level
plans, such as a Wilderness Management Plan for example, may also
address specific public use issues on a more detailed basis.

At this time several planning efforts are underway in Yosemite, two of
which are on the scale and order of GMPs, 1) the Tuolumne Wild and
Scenic River Plan, and 2) the Merced Wild and Scenic River Plan. Both
of these planning efforts will address public use of their perspective
river corridors. These planning efforts have been, and will continue to
be, open for public comment and participation. You are encouraged to
participate in these processes. Please visit the park's planning
website to find out how you may get involved:
http://www.nps.gov/archive/yose/planning/

Unfortunately, however, it is not within the scope of these two river
plans to address a permit system for allowing recreational parachuting
specifically. This would most likely be included in a new General
Management Plan. Again, Yosemite National Park is not engaged in such a
planning process at this time.

As Deputy Superintendent Cann has stated, no other planning effort is
currently underway that would include this issue in its scope. However,
should such a planning effort be initiated, you and the user group you
represent would have the opportunity to participate along with the
myriad other user groups interested in conducting their activities in
Yosemite National Park.

We look forward to your participation in Yosemite National Park
planning.

Linda Dahl

__________________________

Linda Dahl, Chief of Planning
Yosemite National Park
P. O. Box 577
Yosemite, CA 95389
209-372-0352
209-372-0220 FAX
linda_dahl@nps.gov




Charles Cuvelier

To: Linda
Dahl/YOSE/NPS@NPS
06/23/2007 09:02 cc:

AM PDT Subject: Fw: Attention
Kevin Cann (Please Include BASE Jumping in the Park Planning
Process)
Leroy


..I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw my bath toys were a toaster and a radio...

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there would be a better chance if an organized group was to file a lawsuit, but i think there would be a better chance for change if more of the parachuting community was to collaborate together
light travels faster than sound, that's why some people appear to be bright until you hear them speak

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My letter and special use permit for Zion are en route...

I sent a copy to the Zion mgmt plan as well. My point was that we CAN leave no trace and jump with appropriate planning an management of our activities. And that the National Park Serive is OUR service...MY service (American Tax Payer)

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