Management plan would benefit all

 In Letters, Opinion


I was sad to read another anti- climbing piece in The Creemore Echo. I applaud the reopening of Ontario Parks for climbing and look forward to a better managed future where climbing is an activity that is integrated into the management plan for Devil’s Glenand Lion’s Head and other cliffsides in Ontario.

Rock climbing is a growing sport, and while it may have had a slightly counter-culture history, modern climbers are athletes who generally care about the outdoors, care about the places they climb and form an inclusive community regardless of age, gender, race. A pretty great sport for a divisive and degraded world.

While The Echo and I will not agree on whether climbing is a good sport to have in your backyard, I think we can agree that any outdoor recreation that has growing participation should also have a management plan. In the past, the parks’ stance has been to “turn a blind eye” to climbing, which doesn’t benefit the park or the climbers. No trailhead or signage allows for the proliferation of shoulder parking and spider trails, blocked-off trails meanseven more of them, and no rules means no rules to follow. Signs and expectations (and toilets) benefit the environment, the community and the climbers.

The tiny scale of climbing on the escarpment has far less impact and potential for impact on the ecology of the local environment than all the ski hills, golf courses, and mountain bike and hiking trails in the region. Perhaps The Echo could redirect its energy to more pressing social and environmental issues.

Bianca Perren,
Climate scientist, mother of a climber Creemore and Toronto

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