Hey there Ontario rock buckaroo. Wonder what good stuff the OAC did on behalf of the climbing community in 2011? Here’s the Top Ten Ontario Access accomplishments of 2011.
1. Helping Land Managers understand
OAC volunteers presented climbing management best practices to the Niagara Escarpment Parks and Opens Spaces Council (NEPOSS Council). The presentation reached NEPOSS Council members who consist of all major land management agencies for the Niagara Escarpment. The Niagara Escarpment hosts many of the most popular cliffs and bouldering areas in the province.
2. Legal support for climbers and land managers
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG), Canada’s largest law firm, signs on to provide pro bono legal council to the OAC. BLG will provide valuable expertise to the OAC in helping land managers to understand, minimize and mitigate liability associated with climbing access.
3. Help from the Access Fund
OAC wins sponsorship from the Access Fund to attend the National Access Stewardship summit conference in Colorado. MEC, OAC, and private contributions enable an OAC representative to attend the conference, network with peers, attend seminars, and learn from other access groups across the continent.
4. Formal Access to Bouldering Established at Niagara Glen
Ontario’s largest and most popular bouldering area, the Niagara Glen, was nearly closed in 2009. In just two years, the OAC worked to turn this situation into one in which the NPC announce the formal management of bouldering, thus legitimizing bouldering as an permissible activity at Niagara Glen. With the introduction of a waiver and fee system, and some restrictions on bouldering access, the Niagara Glen is now formally open to bouldering and recognized as an environmentally sustainable activity. The OAC is continuing to work with the NPC to refine the plan for the benefit of all.
5. Earth Day Halton
2011 saw the re-instatement of Earth Day activities with Conservation Halton. The OAC has committed to a multi-year plan to help work to try to eliminate the invasive species Garlic Mustard that threatens the forests of Conservation Halton. This year, think about what you are doing to help save mother earth and consider joining us to help preserve the environment on Conservation Halton’s lands. Enjoy a BBQ with friends and have a chance to win some great prizes.
6 Niagara Escarpment Commission Conference
OAC volunteers presented the results of a qualitative research study on sustainable bouldering at Niagara Glen to the Niagara Escarpment Commission Conference. The presentation brings the value of bouldering, access issues and the importance of working with the OAC to the attention of various land managers in a new light.
7. Volunteers Recognized
OAC volunteer Harry Hoediono and longtime ACC member Kit Moore win the 29th annual Conservation Halton award of excellence. Amongst other items, Harry and Kit have worked on behalf of the OAC and Conservation Halton to establish and implement the installation of hundreds of fixed top anchors at Buffalo Crag and Rattlesnake Point. The anchors facilitate safety for climbers while helping to minimize environmental impact to the area.
8. Old Baldy Re-bolting
With only a handful of routes left to go, the Old Baldy re-bolting project reaches near completion with hundreds of aging pieces of fixed hardware having been replaced by volunteers with new hardware donated by MEC. Grey Sauble Conservation Authority has been very supportive in facilitating the project, so in 2012 please buy a permit and check out the great work that has been done at Old Baldy by whipping on a few of the new bolts.
9. New, Improved OAC website
2011 saw the launch of the new OAC website to provide easier access to information and improve the experience of visitors. The site allows for online membership enrolment and online volunteer signup. If you haven’t checked it out yet, there are loads of resources on the site for climbers and Land Managers, the latest confirmed access information for Ontario crags, and more. Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook fanpage to get all the news from the site and more right on Facebook.
10. You’re Invited
Recognizing the value of including climbing and bouldering in thier management planning activites, Bruce Peninsula National Park has invited the OAC to participate in formal park planning processes. A photo of boulderers is featured on the cover of the planning brochure delivered to every home on the Bruce Peninsula.
This is just a taste of all of the great work done by OAC volunteers this year. If you would like to help out too or find out more about what the great steps towards improved access taken last year check out www.ontarioaccesscoalition.com.