Cave Rock report deadline missed |

Cave Rock report deadline missed

The U.S. Forest Service’s intention to release a draft environmental impact statement about the future management of Cave Rock by the end of June has not reached fruition.

Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit officials Wednesday could not estimate how long of a delay there will be.

The draft environmental document will be the next step in a long process for determining the future of the volcanic rock formation on Lake Tahoe’s east shore.

The final decision on the issue – which has been debated for years and become controversial – is expected to be ready by the end of 1999.

Rock climbers love Cave Rock because it provides very difficult climbing routes. However, the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California says the rock is a powerful spiritual place.

A proposed action was released in January, calling for the elimination of about 20 percent of the climbing routes bolted to the rock and a prohibition of any new bolt installation. Maintenance of the existing routes could continue, but additional recreational use of the area – climbing or otherwise – would be discouraged.

During the proposal’s public comment period, the Forest Service received more than 100 comments.

Climbers indicated a willingness to compromise, provided that they still be allowed to go there. Climbers also stressed that it wasn’t necessarily a climbers-vs.-Washoe issue; all recreational activities at the rock were at stake.

The Washoe Tribe objected to the proposed action. To the tribe, whose elders traditionally traveled to the rock for spiritual purposes, there cannot be a compromise on the issue.

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