Your Help Needed to Address Impact Issues at Bishop

Date: 2/14/2012

The Bishop area is seeing more and more climbers every year as its popularity continues to grow. Increased use is causing concern for sensitive cultural and natural resources, especially in the Tableland area north of Bishop. The Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Bishop Field Office is calling on the climbing community to help protect these resources and to ensure continued climbing access. We need your help to answer the call.

Climbers can drastically reduce impacts at Bishop by educating themselves and by following some simple guidelines:

  • Pack out all trash (including micro trash like wrappers, cigarette butts, etc.) And if you see other people’s trash, pack that out too! Leave Bishop a cleaner place than you found it.
  • Take care of business responsibly. Poop happens. Try to do your business in an established toilet. If you can’t make it to one, use a wag bag or deposit solid human waste in a cathole 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water, camp, boulders, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished. Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. In climbing areas, pack out dog waste.
  • Campfires need to be in an approved fire ring or fire pan, and must be permitted. California Campfire Permits are available from most Cal Fire, BLM, and Forest Service offices. If you don’t have a permit or the correct set-up, skip the fire and sit under the stars instead.
  • Travel only on existing roads and trails and park only in existing parking lots. In the Happy and Sad’s, use the lower parking areas. Carpool whenever you can.
  • Watch where you’re tossing your crash pad. Sensitive vegetation and soils around your project can easily be damaged if you’re not careful where you’re stomping.
  • Preserve the tableland by camping in one of the many campgrounds available in the area. Try checking out the Pleasant Valley Pit Campground.
  • Respect wildlife. A pile of sticks covered in “whitewash” may be a hawk, eagle, or owl’s nest. Please don’t disturb nests.
  • Respect each other. Keep yelling, music, and beta-spray to a minimum. Also, make sure your dog is under your immediate control and not bothering neighboring climbing parties.

The Bishop BLM office holds monthly “Climber’s Coffee” meetings at the Pleasant Valley Pit Campground. These meetings provide an informal setting for climbers and the BLM to discuss ongoing issues. Anyone interested in attending the next “Climber’s Coffee” meeting, or who would like to volunteer to help preserve and protect areas like the Tablelands through trail work and other clean-up efforts can contact Becky Hutto at 760-872-5008.