Monongahela National Forest
The Monongahela National Forest has announced plans to develop a rock climbing management plan for the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area (NRA) of the forest. This includes Seneca Rocks, Smoke Hole, Reeds Creek, and other areas. Whether you climb at these places multiple times per month, a few times a year, or just hope to someday climb there in the future, your input and perspective is valuable as the U.S. Forest Service determines how climbing will be managed for years to come. Mid Atlantic Climbers will be working with the Forest Service and various recreation groups relevant to the area to ensure this plan addresses the concerns of increased climber traffic in the area while ensuring equitable and sustainable access to these crags climbers love.
When the Forest Service announced their plans, they released a rough outline on how the plan will be developed. This outline revolves around three series of workshops:
- Series #1: Focusing on what climbers value in the area, what issues they might have, and what they envision the future of climbing in this area as.
- Series #2: Focusing on the development of management actions to protect resources and promote an improved visitor experience.
- Series #3: To be held after the release of a draft climbing management plan, this will focus on giving the public an opportunity to critique and encourage potential revisions to the draft.
While the Series #1 workshops run by the Forest Service have been completed, the next step, Series #2, has not been scheduled at this time, nor has any timeline been provided on when those workshops will be scheduled. At this time the effort is on hold until the process resumes. MAC is keeping in touch with the Forest Service and will make public any updates when we receive them.
The Series #1 workshops have been completed and notes can be found on the USFS website. In an effort to provide to provide the climbing community with an additional way to participate, Mid Atlantic Climbers released a survey framed after the format of these workshops and has shared the results with the Forest Service. At this time the Series #2 workshops have not been scheduled.
How Can I Help?
As this time, there is little opportunity involvement until the planning process resumes. When said process does resume, we strongly encourage all climbers to participate and stay informed. We will update this page as the situation evolves.
- Mid Atlantic Climbers and several other climbing groups have formed a coalition to coordinate on the situation as it progresses. If you’re a representative of an organization that would like to be a part of this coalition, contact us.
- Mid Atlantic Climbers has created a mailing list to help climbers stay informed as the situation progresses. If you would like to be on this mailing list, contact us and we’ll add you.