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Cave Rock management plan three months out

Darin Olde, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The final management plan and environmental document for Cave Rock State Park is expected to be released in the next three months, U.S. Forest Service officials said last week.

The document, which has been in draft form for the last two years, will outline the types of uses and regulations that will apply to the recreational area.

The Access Fund, a nonprofit agency working to keep rock climbing areas open to the public, has requested a meeting with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit’s Forest Supervisor Maribeth Gustafson on May 20 to discuss the plan.

“We want to meet the new superintendent, and introduce ourselves and talk about Cave Rock,” said Paul Minault, an attorney with the Access Fund and regional coordinator for Northern California.

As the unit’s supervisor of the last two years, Gustafson is hardly new. But since the Access Fund has been in discussion with the government and the Washoe Indian Tribe over Cave Rock, this is the third supervisor in charge.

According to Minault, the request for a meeting has been mutual.

“The idea as I understand it, is they want to meet with us and then they are going to finalize and release their environmental document,” he said.

The Access Fund is concerned the Forest Service may have shifted its policy on rock climbing at Cave Rock.

Sam Davidson, executive director for the Access Fund, said Gustafson’s predecessor planned to submit an alternative that would keep Cave Rock open on a limited basis for climbing.

Gustafson said she considers recreational access one of the main issues surrounding the park, and that making a determination on appropriate uses for the area will have to be considered along with the environmental and historic issues that also apply.

The Forest Service has discussed the historic significance of the rock with the Washoe Indian Tribe for some time, and the tribe views the site as the most sacred ground surrounding the lake.

Gustafson said there was a period of time in which the government wasn’t working on Cave Rock that aggressively, but that it’s now time to meet with the respective entities and finalize the plan.

The draft plan can be viewed at the Forest Service office at 870 Emerald Bay Road in South Lake Tahoe.

Darin Olde can be reached at dolde@tahoedailytribune.com or (530) 542-8008.


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