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Archive for March 22nd, 2010

Conservation versus Recreation: The Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan

March 22, 2010 @ 18:49 By: gordon Category: Climbing, Current affairs, Environment, In the news

Climbing at Luskville 044 The National Capital Commission released the Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation Plan (PDF version) last week, which they’re calling “an essential reference document for Gatineau Park through 2035”. Basically, the GPECP is a long-term plan for the management of the various ecosystems in Gatineau Park. It describes the current state of and threats to the ecosystems and the steps that they believe must be followed to in order to protect and restore them.

Included in the GPECP are key actions on how they’re going to deal with various issues, including some that directly impact the rock climbing on the Eardley Escarpment. Specifically, they seek to “[c]onfine rock climbing to the two or three most damaged rock walls, where rehabilitation work will not be effective.”

They plan on achieving this by…

  • Identifying two or three walls on which rock climbing could take place, based on their impact on the Eardley Escarpment ecosystem, their current level of damage and their popularity (also applies to Eardley Escarpment).
  • Changing the boundaries of the integral conservation zone, as set out in the Gatineau Park Master Plan, to accommodate these walls.
  • Restoring the environment of former climbing sites that are not selected, including any access trails.

Effectively, this means that the number of routes available to rocks climbers will drop from an estimated 500 route to as few as 40. In other words, a 90% reduction in the number of available routes.