September 3rd, 2010
US Forest Service Releases Draft Williamson Rock Plan, Temporary Closure Likely to Continue for at Least Three More Years!
The Angeles National Forest recently released a set of alternatives for managing climbing access at Williamson Rock north of Los Angeles (see previous post below). Williamson has been closed since 2005 while the US Forest Service analyzed whether to allow climbing access while also protecting a federally-listed endangered frog species and its critical habitat. The 2009 Station Fire complicated matters further when neighboring portions of the forest were burned (including other critical habitat). This draft plan proposes to extend the existing “temporary” closure at Williamson Rock for an additional three years for species monitoring. According to the Angeles National Forest, this action is needed “while neighboring [mountain yellow-legged frog] population segments are given time to rebound from the effects of wildfire and consequent watershed emergency.”
FoWR is working with our partners at the Access Fund and Allied Climbers of San Diego to assess whether the closure extension is warranted and to analyze and advocate for a management alternative allowing climbing, such as Alternative 3 in the Williamson Rock draft plan under which facilities would be constructed to route use away from critical biological habitat. You can view the US Forest Service’s draft environmental assessment at the previous post, below.
Your comments, which must be submitted by October 1, may be sent to:
Attn: Williamson Rock Environmental Assessment
701 N. Santa Anita Ave. Arcadia, CA 91006