Environmental Ethics and the Use of Fixed Anchors in Wilderness Areas by 489n0Bm


Ethics and the Use
of Fixed Anchors
  in Wilderness

      Agata Czerminska
Fixed Anchors
 Rock Climbing
 Nylon slings, Metal
  bolts and pitons
 Pounded or drilled
  into cliff
    The Bolting War
Can climbers legally place anchor
  bolts in federally designated
        wilderness areas?
The Battle Erupts
      1997: Anchors banned in
       Sawtooth Wilderness Area in
      June 1998: Ban extended to
       include all wilderness areas
      Fierce opposition from
       climbing groups
      August 1998: Ban repealed
     Negotiated Rulemaking
 Fixed Anchors in Wilderness Negotiated
  Rulemaking Advisory Committee met on
  four separate occasions through the summer
  of 2000
 Committee comprised of 21 representatives
  from organizations such as Wilderness
  Watch (anti-bolt) and the Access Fund
  (very pro-bolt)
Interpreting the Wilderness Act
Access Fund:
 Fixed anchor ban contradicts the Wilderness
  Act’s provision to provide for primitive and
  unconfined types of recreation
 Climbing is a legitimate use of public lands and
  permanent fixed anchors must sometimes be
  used to ensure climbing safety
Interpreting the Wilderness Act
Wilderness Watch:
 Fixed anchors are permanent installations as
  defined by the Wilderness Act and therefore
  violate the act
 Bolts would open the hills to mountain
  bikes, ATVs, and snowmobiles
“After a decade of war in the
 hills, environmentalists and
    rock rats draft a treaty”

                But do they?
Neg-Reg Results
    No consensus was
             Ethical Analysis
   Approach in the meetings:
    Deontological – contending
    parties discussed their
    different interpretations of
    the Wilderness Act
Key Factors Missing in
         The impacts of anchors
          on wildlife and
         Public opinion
         The role rock climbing
          plays in local economies,
          which are tied to
          recreational use of public
    Policy Recommendations
 Comprehensive study on
  the effects of climbing on
  cliff habitats
 Site specific regulations
 In some situations:
  permits limiting number
  of climbers

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