Recently, DPaW raised concerns about climbing taking place at Eaglestone Rock after a visitor complained about the presence of bolts. Though the bolts have been in place for the better part of ten years, DPaW seemed to be unaware of the climbing activities. The primary route developers, respecting the sensitivities that go with access, had initially sought permission from the local shire, believing this to be the responsible course of action. Permission to climb and bolt was granted but unfortunately by people not entitled to do so, as the area is managed by DPaW (not the local council). It is also part of a nature reserve, where any activity is prohibited without explicit permission from DPaW. DPaW is actually working to have this area reclassified as a conservation reserve, which is less restrictive. However, this is a long way off. There are also other issues here with relations between DPaW and the local council but these have nothing to do with us and are not expected to have any detrimental effect on climbing. It’s not an uncommon situation.
The outcome is that continued climbing access has been negotiated with DPaW and it’s business as usual. Just to be clear, this means that nothing will change for climbers. It’s important for climbers to understand and be aware of the sometimes less obvious but important work CAWA does in promoting the sport and protecting access and for our members to help spread the word. It’s not about aggressively demanding but building relationships and developing some mutual respect. Sometimes it’s relatively straightforward and sometimes it takes a bit longer to work out the kinks.
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions.