Friends! The Friends of Indian Creek, The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance and The Access Fund welcome the opportunity to provide input in the planning process for the Draft Monument Management Plans (MMPs) for the Shash Jáa and Indian Creek units of the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM).

This planning area contains Indian Creek, a world-class climbing area attracting thousands of climbers from across the United States and internationally each year. This plan also affects important remote wilderness climbing areas such as Arch Canyon located within the Shash Jáa unit of the BENM. The Climbing Organizations’ members regularly climb at these locations, and we have provided climbing management funding, expertise and labor for stewardship projects, and community outreach throughout this planning area to assist the BLM with stewardship projects and ensure the appropriate management of the iconic climbing resources found within BENM.

PUBLIC COMMENTS ARE DUE 11/15/2018. Our comments are attached, below. Generally, the Climbing Organizations support the adaptive management approach outlined in Alternative C, with modifications to replace a few provisions in Alternative C with specific direction from Alternatives B and D. The Climbing Organizations also recommend adding management direction for a few issues not addressed in the draft MMP, and support several actions common to all alternatives.

Please read ours, and send in yours!

Climbing Orgs comments BENM draft MMP 111218_Final

Arches and Indian Creek Raptor Closures

Please Assume these closures are consistent and persistent each spring. We will update and amend on a yearly basis, when notified of changes to status. Even when not officially posted, if you observe nesting raptors at any cliff, abide by at least a  half-mile buffer throughout the breeding season (Feb–Sept 1, species dependent).

raptor closures Arches

National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day 2010
September 25th (Saturday)
8:00 am at Donnelly Canyon Parking Lot (Supercrack)
Come and help revegetate land, improve facilities, and support access at Indian Creek canyon.

Contact us with questions:

The Wall and 75 Cairns Wall – Temporary Nesting Closure

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has documented a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons near The Wall and 75 Cairns climbing areas. These raptors are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the BLM is required to protect these raptors from activities that may cause stress and/or nest abandonment. Therefore, the entire portion of The Wall and 75 Cairns Wall climbing areas will be closed until August 31, 2010. Closure signs have been placed in the area and on all the kiosks along Indian Creek. Thank you for your help in protecting our natural resources. If you have any questions, please contact Tammy Wallace, Wildlife Biologist for the BLM Monticello Field Office at 435-587-1527.


New Indian Creek Corridor Camping Rules

Written: Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday, the Bureau of Land Management announced new rules for camping on BLM land. They make perfect sense, in part because they do not really apply to camping at all.

What is being addressed is not camping for a few days to enjoy the outdoors, but actually living on public lands. The BLM is right to limit that.

A lot of seasonal jobs pencil out pretty well if a person can live rent free. And in years past, Durango has seen entire tent cities spring up on public lands for exactly that reason.

To limit that, regulations published in 1990 limit campers to 14 days on any one site. After that, they must move to another location at least three miles away and cannot return to the first place for at least seven days.

The new rules keep the 14-day limit, but change the other requirements to 30 miles and 30 days. That effectively changes the post-14-day requirement from “shuffle around” to “go away.”

With the three-mile rule, too many people could simply move back and forth between sites, perhaps repeatedly trading with friends. Not being able to return for 30 days, though, means multiple sites would be needed. And 30 miles makes the underlying economics harder to work out.

Good. Public lands are not an alternative to rentals. Long-term “camping” damages the land. Heavy use tramples vegetation, and there is increased risk of fire and sanitation problems. Where true campers may drive in and out of the site from time to time, people using the land as housing probably have a daily commute, with further affects.

Allowing long-term squatting is not fair to the land, its nonhuman occupants or its owners – the taxpayers who have to pay for cleaning up after those “campers” leave.

The BLM did the right thing.

Jason Keith
Policy Director
The Access Fund
Tel: 303-325-5936

Closure of Routes In Arches NP Across Colorado River from Hwy 128

Climbing routes are temporarily closed approximately 2 miles upstream fromthe US 191 bridge across the Colorado River. Closure began on May 13 and remains in effect until July 31, 2010.

Closed routes are Pergrine’s Pillar (aka Trail of the Navajao, aka Princess) through Hyena.

Read the memorandum from the Arches NP Superintendent.PDF Download.

Raptor Nesting: Slug, Reservoir, Cat Walls Closed Through August 2010!

Below is the BLM update for Spring 2010 regarding raptor nesting. The BLM has worked hard to support climbing at Indian Creek, so please respect their wall closure.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has documented a pair of nesting Peregrine Falcons near the Reservoir Wall and Cat Wall climbing areas. These raptors are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the BLM is required to protect these raptors from activities that may cause stress and/or nest abandonment. Therefore, the entire portion of Reservoir Wall, Slug Wall, and Cat Wall climbing areas, as well as the access roads into the area will be closed until August 31, 2010. Closure signs have been placed in the area and on all the kiosks along Indian Creek.

Thank you for your help in protecting our natural resources. If you have any questions, please contact Tammy Wallace, Wildlife Biologist for the BLM Monticello Field Office at 435-587-1527.

Cat Wall Area Closed to Camping

The Cat Wall area (including parking) has been closed to camping for a long time. Please respect this closure and camp in permitted sites.

Route Closures To Protect Archaeological Remains

Friends of Indian Creek is supporting the BLM in their decision to close a few climbs on the Battle of the Bulge and Supercrack Butress. This is not a new standard, but an exception.

• Supercrack Buttress: A couple of fairly obscure climbs have been closed. Signs are posted in front of these. The names of these routes are unknown.

• Battle of the Bulge Buttress: The Ruins Crack is closed. A sign in posted in front of the route.

Please respect these closures. There are hundreds of other high quality climbs at Indian Creek.

Update from the Access Fund

General Info

The Friends of Indian Creek and the Access Fund have installed 4 informational kiosks with Restop dispensers and a donation box to help pay for the Restop bags. See the waste section below for more info on human waste concerns at Indian Creek. Slide shows are being organized around Moab to help make people aware of the issues surrounding Indian Creek. We are working hard to keep Indian Creek the way we all love it – but we do need your help to make this happen. It can be easy – sign up to join the Friends of Indian Creek. Adhere to the recommendations in the BLM management plan. Leave no trace, and use Restop bags or a toilet. Pack it in, Pack it out.


During an Access Fund Adopt-A-Crag in early September, the Friends of Indian Creek assisted Dugout Ranch tenant Heidi Redd in closing approximately 10 campsites along the Bridger Jack Road that are on Dugout Property. This work, in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and the BLM, was part of a FOIC compromise with Heidi for continued climbing access across Dugout Land (such as access trails to Super Crack, Scarface and several other popular buttresses). Over thirty designated BLM campsites remain 1.5 miles further down the BJ Road, and nearly all other established Indian Creek campsites remain open for use.


Heidi Redd will keep us informed of any major cattle movement. However, please be respectful of Heidi and her operation by not blocking gates. Also, park off the road in designated parking areas, and keep all dogs on a leash when cows or horses are present.

Please pay special attention to the movement of Heidi Redd’s cattle through the climbing areas. The main area of concern is the parking for Way Rambo


There is now no parking at the Way Rambo parking area, just before you go through the fence. The parking for Way Rambo is now back at the triangle junction where you turn right for Pistol Whipped. Please park off the road at this triangle and do not block the road which causes problems for Heidi when she is driving her cattle through these areas. Please also keep your dogs on a leash at all times during this time. Thanks for your co-operation, and hopefully we can avoid any upsets.

Human Waste

Update (10/10/08) – The FOIC have installed 3 port-a-loos which will be placed at Superbowl and Creek Pasture. As with the BLM toilet these are to alleviate the use of human waste bags. Please do not dump human waste bags in the toilets. The port-a-loos will be an important part in minimizing human waste and reducing the number of waste bags used. These toilets are going to be installed and cleaned out on a weekly basis during the busy climbing season. Please consider supporting your crag by making donations in the donation boxes at the kiosks. These toilets will help with the human waste problem. Don’t forget to take your waste bag to the crag in case you get caught short!

Update (3/5/2007) – The BLM have installed a toilet at the Beef Basin turn off. This is not to replace the use of human waste bags, just to alleviate it. Please keep the toilet clean and do not dispose of your human waste bags in the toilet.

Update (10/13/2006) – The pilot program for self management of human waste at Indian Creek continues. The success of this trial program is key to maintaining the unique primitive camping and climbing experience found at Indian Creek. See Timmy O’Neil taking care of business the right way at the Creek:

BLM News

The BLM has made it’s decision on the management plan. This plan is very favorable to climbers. It is now up to us, as climbers, to make this plan work and keep Indian Creek the way we love it. Please read the management plan documents (accessed via the links in the next paragraph), and inform yourself of the plan, and please talk to others who are unaware, and encourage them to adhere to the recommendations that the plan outlines. If this does not happen, Indian Creek WILL change forever. Fees will be introduced, and camping will be restricted with developed campsites. If you don’t want this to happen, then each of you need to do your part, use Restop bags, thereby helping to preserve Indian Creek. Many people have a nonchalant and negative attitude about using Restop bags, writing it off that no one will do it, so why bother. This way of thinking is going to turn Indian Creek into a fee area. This cannot be stressed enough. Using a Restop is easy. Go to the ‘How to do an Indian Creek Pooh’ link and see a funny and entertaining DVD starring Timmy O’Neil, and you’ll see that it just isn’t that bad. Restop bags and a pack it in pack it out policy are used and have been used on the rivers for years. If they can do it, why can’t we? Restop bags are also in use in other areas in the States – Castleton Tower to name one area close to home. So please take off the blinders, and think about the consequences if we don’t start to use these bags. With money we are raising, we are going to provide bags to start with, so it couldn’t be easier.

For those of you who have joined the FOIC and have asked what you can do to help, this is how you can help – read the documents and learn about what they mean, and help us to get the word out there. Act as a Steward for the land you love. Let’s not be complacent, this is a unique opportunity for climbers to take care of their own land and keep it the way we want it.

Click the following links to read the the documents regarding the management plan.

  • Access Fund Comments to Indian Creek Corridor Recreation Plan: Word Doc | PDF
  • Access Fund Scoping Comment for Indian Creek Corridor Recreation Plan: Word Doc | PDF


Click the following link to learn about other BLM projects:BLM Project Page.


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