I just realized that I forgot to put up the Argus report for last month. So here it is!
Self Regulation – Wow, that’s a couple of words that are an umbrella for a multitude of words and meanings. I’m looking at writing an article on this and while I have an idea of what it means to me both personally and from the perspective of my job as an Access officer, it would be great to hear from people as to what it means to them. So far, across my time in this job, it varies greatly from person to person. This, I suppose is natural, but it also might be helpful for future community building to get a better picture of what people really think and if need be, work on some of the elements that can strengthen these bonds rather than divide.
I posted this question on Chockstone recently and while many people who responded are on the same page in regards to the reasoning behind self regulation, it’s interesting to see the levels of process that people might like to see put in place. I think when it comes down to the very basics, it is all about common sense and trying to do collectively, what we know is the right thing to do. But the right thing to do, hmmm – as simple as those things appear to be, it is not always the case. There are those who generally behave like assholes with absolutely no respect for the environment they are in or anyone elses needs and respond in direct opposition to a rule or guideline in place simply because it is that. A rule or a guideline. No matter how much sense it makes. And then there are those who engage in similar activities through ignorance. I really want to believe that the majority fall into this category. As many noted, education is key, I think to ensuring that the community is for the most part, successful at self regulation. Not only for ourselves to know that we are looking after our part of our world but also as others have mentioned, to be seen this way by other stakeholders, and that includes other park users and land managers. If we want to be involved in what happens to the areas we climb at and love, you can’t just rock up out of the wilderness, spout off about what we want, go back to our hidey holes and think that it’s all going to be taken on board. In times gone by, land managers would see a problem in a climbing area, make a decision and put in restrictions or just close the area. No consultation. This hasn’t happened for a long time. PV makes regular contact with me, whenever any issue crops up in order to get feedback, get information out to the climbing community etc and this is due to the climbing community being involved and stepping up.
Getting the educational side of things out there will always be a never ending job as new climbers (and by new, not just new to the sport but new and different thinking )come into the sport/lifestyle and that is always going to be a job that takes time and money. I would like to put more time into this http://cliffcare.org.au/about/education/cliffcare-education-project/ that would hopefully go some way towards helping.
Phillip Armstrong made a really important point on commercial groups on the online forum and this has been something that has been an issue swirling around in my head for a long time and no doubt previous Access officers heads. I have ideas to move forward on this and do think they need to be included in some way in our discussions because as Phillip notes, they are all grouped in together with the rest of us who climb out there when it comes to Land Managers. As individual climbers though our needs and wants can be at odds with them more often than not. And large, concentrated groups have larger concentrated impacts.
Much of this report consists of the comments I have included on Chockstone. But I would like to get feedback from as many elements of the climbing community as possible. Your thoughts on Self regulation, what it means to you, your thoughts on processes etc. You can drop me an email – alternatively, this report will be posted on the Cliffcare site http://www.cliffcare.org.au and you are able to comment there also. Everything you say and feed back to me is taken on board and goes a long way to getting an idea of what the diverse range of people in the climbing community think. Spare a few moments.
Safe climbing to all,