State Game Lands Update

thumbnail of a link to a video on vimeo.com

This is a recording of the update from Ginette Walker Vinski (SWPACC Vice President), Joel Brady (SWPACC President), and Caleb Hills (Access + Stewardship Co-Chair) on May 4, 2022. We were joined by general members of the climbing community, as well as representatives across the state from other LCOs (Southcentral Pennsylvania Climbers – SCPC, Eastern PA Alliance of Climbers – EPAC) and Access Fund.

Summary:

  • SWPACC is in the information gathering stage to determine what actions can be taken to regain climbing access.
  • Please continue to abide by the closure and do not climb in the areas closed to climbing.
  • If you have further concerns, questions, suggestions, resources, expertise, etc., please contact us at info@swpacc.org

Reference links:

Additional Resources:

Further public updates to this issue will be posted under #sgl on this blog.

IMPORTANT: PA Game Commission announces closure of State Game Lands 51 and 138 to climbing

On April 5, 2022, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced the closure to all rock climbing activities on State Game Lands 51 and 138 in Fayette County. The official statement indicates the reason for the closure is habitat preservation of “several rare, threatened or endangered plant and wildlife species.” Last week, upon notification of the impending announcement, the Southwestern PA Climbers Coalition (SWPACC), together with other PA Local Climbing Organizations and Access Fund, submitted a letter to the Game Commission, stressing our commitment to the conservation of wildlife, consistent with Access Fund’s Climbers Pact and “Leave No Trace” ethic, and requesting that we work together to address habitat management concerns while exploring options for maintaining climbing access. Representatives from the Game Commission received and read our letter, and we remain in communication. The Commission has nevertheless moved to implement the closure of Game Lands 51 and 138. You can read the Game Commission’s official press release here:  https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/Game-Commission-Details.aspx?newsid=537

SWPACC and other PA Local Climbing Organizations, including Eastern PA Alliance of Climbers and Southcentral PA Climbers, with the support of Access Fund, remain committed to the vision of balancing rock climbing activities with habitat conservation on State Game Lands, and will continue to work toward that goal. We ask that, in the meantime, all climbers abide by the closure and do not climb on areas located in SGL 51 and 138, the most well-known of which are Coll’s Cove, Lost Crag, The Vault, Casparis, Rob’s Knob, Fish Rocks, and Zebley Flats. We also ask that, rather than contacting the PA Game Commission or other state agencies directly at this time to express your concerns, instead please contact SWPACC at info@swpacc.org  or your local climbing organization and help us in our focused efforts to reopen our beloved climbing areas. As we have updates, we will share them on the SWPACC website and via social media. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Map of State Game Land 51

Map of State Game Land 138