Last week, the NEOCC attended it’s second meeting with Metro Parks Serving Summit County (MPSSC) to discuss climbing within the parks. In attendance from the NEOCC was Abe Nabors and myself (Brian Sabourin). From MPSSC was the Board of Directors, Director-Secretary, as well as representatives from Natural Resources, Operations and Rangers.
In anticipation of their questions I gave a short presentation intended to cover what generally seems to be the 3 biggest questions/concerns for landowners in the region. These are 1. why allow climbing, 2. liability and 3. environmental impact. The presentation and minutes (as recorded by MPSSC) are linked at the bottom of this post.
The big take away from this meeting is that MPSSC is generally interested in allowing climbing within the Gorge Metro Park (Liberty Park was ruled out due to restrictions associated with the parks funding). However, in order for climbing to become a reality there are many details to work out including environmental, rescue, insurance and other user group impact, as well as how to manage liability. At this time MPSSC feels that they have a grasp on what climbing is, what it means within the context of the park and what its impacts and benefits are. Now we (MPSSC and NEOCC) are ready to start looking into the finer details.
Assuming that we can find a solution that meets everyone’s needs, climbing at the Gorge is a real possibility. Finally, it was indicated that this climbing location (if allowed) would be a test case, with the possibility of more climbing opportunities in the future.