Another meeting down, another docket of business together, another set of cookies, stickie buns, and brownies put away.. Yep, the April 17th meeting of the RRGCC is all but history with one of our larger crowds in hand, likely due to some of the spring’s best weather to date.
If you missed this one, have no fear – there’s one tentatively scheduled for July 24. Check back again (or subscribe to our feed) to find out the details. In the meantime, read over the proceedings from this last meeting to stay up with the current happenings and updates.
Read more after the break..
The meeting started with introductions to the Moore’s, the very welcoming owners of the white house on Bald Rock Fork Road. With some recent events, they’ve come to own most of the land near the top of the hill to the Southern Region. Having noticed the number of climbers that come by (and the number that need a hand getting up the difficult hill to the Southern Region), they came to the RRGCC to discuss options regarding parking near the top of the hill. The RRGCC and the Moore’s will be coordinating the best solutions for both parties and look forward to working together in the future.
The RRGCC is doing a partnership with Leave No Trace (LNT) again this year. The USFS is working with the LNT organization to work on a new program LNT is running, the Leave No Trace Hot Spots. The RRGCC will also be looking into the possibility of bringing a trainer course or scheduling a visit from the Traveling Trainers sometime this year.
Bill Strachan, the Executive Director who has committed a lot of time and energy to working with the USFS, informed the group that the Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) was approved. It’s been a long process and this helps bring the RRGCC and the USFS closer to working together on using and maintaining crags on Forest Service land. However, more work still needs to be done and Bill and the RRGCC still needs to draft a climbing management plan (CMP). This plan must be approved both by the RRGCC and the USFS. Bill explained that to improve “system trails”, which are official, published trails, such as the trails that start to Military and Left Flank, the climbing community needs to contact the USFS for permission to address the trails. ”User trails”, such as those to Phantasia, cannot be improved or maintained until the climbing management plan is approved and published. The CMP will likely be drafted by the end of summer and approved by the RRGCC BOD at the September meeting. At that point, it will be submitted to the USFS.
Josephine gave a brief recap of the Red River Reunion, which was put on by Miguel’s Pizza. By the end of the night, Miguel’s had helped the RRGCC pull in over $2,900! Rick Bost helped to organize and run the climbing competition at Torrent Falls. In the future, we’ll be working harder to get the word out about the climbing competitions. As it was, more than twenty people competed and most of them walked away with some pretty handy prizes. It was also proposed that we have a raffle and silent auction at Rocktoberfest.
Mike Driskell gave a brief recap of the Roadside trail day. In addition to the improvements, he and JR Goodwin expressed concern about the dilapidated state of the slab wall base. One option he presented involved building a retaining wall and a fence similar to what is currently in place at Animal Crackers Wall in Muir Valley. He also discussed building a split rail fence to keep the general population from spreading down the hill. Since any actions would need to be coordinated with the land owners, no action was taken at this time. Mike is planning another trail day for Roadside in the spring of 2011. Later, Mike showed off some signs that he’d made for around the area. Keep an eye out for some nice looking signs and remember to thank Mike for the efforts.
Matt Tackett of Red River Outdoors discussed the mountain bike trail building on the PMRP. Thanks to several weeks of hard work, Matt mentioned that the trails are really coming along nicely. Every third Saturday he and a small crew are doing a small trail day to work on the trails and hey’re currently working 70 to 80 hours per month. Matt Tackett has written a grant to fund the trail building and that grant is currently pending approval. Should the grant by approved, Matt will be more strongly promoting the trail days and the trail building effort.
JR Goodwin, racked with the guilt of having yet another birthday, volunteered his big day to host a trail day on May 15, likely at Dark Side. Also, JR and Mike Driskell are asking that the RRGCC website have a place for people to “report bad trails” and Yasmeen Fowler and Paul Vidal were volunteered to implement this feature. Matt Tackett also suggested doing a trail building clinic for people that are interested in building trails. IMBA has a great program and Tackett suggested imitating it. Eastern Kentucky University has environmental impact programming and the RRGCC may try to reach out to this group to see how we can work together.
Earlier in the meeting, the community was informed of a climbing accident that occurred at the Dark Side. Details were fuzzy but, having been on the scene, JR was able to give a slightly more complete picture. One thing that JR explained was that Lee County could use assistance with regard to preparation for climbing accident rescues. For example, they are in need of wheeled rescue litter and directions and descriptions of the crag locations. Rick Bost promised to research the cost of the litter and the RRGCC will strongly consider purchasing it for them. Another effort that would go a long way to improving the situation would be to establish better communication with the Lee County Search and Rescue (SAR) with possibly an appointed RRGCC liaison.
With the mortgage still the top priority, the topic of fundraising spurred plenty of ideas. Rick Bost further explained the new RRGCC credit card. After the first purchase, the RRGCC gets $50 and 0.3% of all purchases after that. Josephine Neff asked that the RRGCC purchase logo items for sale. Specifically, she suggested a coffee mug, flask, and beer koozie and the Board agreed to get back to Josephine with a vote with two weeks. Bill also suggested leveraging large donations to use as incentives for matching donation drives.
For Rocktoberfest, the RRGCC is working to host the event at the same location as last year. As for managing the waste, Mike Driskell asked that we promote aluminum can usage so that we can recycle them for income at Rocktoberfest. Mike Driskell volunteered to talk with the Beer Trailer about putting up signs encouraging aluminum can use. Also, Joe Haynes suggested outreach programs at the school systems, something the RRGCC has tried to incorporate with past Rocktoberfests. JR proposed giving a day of guided climbing for students who get a certain GPA. Tackett suggested we do a scholarship for local residents for U-Climb. In support of Rocktoberfest and other events, Josephine will be working to get a few vinyl signs that says “RRGCC” of some sort.
Thanks for reading over things.. If you’d like to get more involved, we’d love the support. Just let us know and we’ll get you plugged in. If cash or credit card is your prefered donation currency, we’re happy to accept that as well.
We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.