Thursday, May 7, 2009

LETTER WRITING ACTION STILL NEEDED ON ROAD CONSTRUCTION AFFECTING WHITE MOUNTAIN RECREATIONAL CLIMBING AREA!

Current road construction, including brushing and possible blasting on the Atlin Road, will have negative impacts on the White Mountain climbing area.

Despite the initial serious impacts of brushing, at present, all climbs at White Mountain are still climbable, and the rock has yet to be disturbed. Let’s work together to make certain the Government of Yukon is aware of the climbing community’s concerns and is willing to work towards finding solutions that ensure access to our area of recreation is maintained.

Climb Yukon Association urges everyone to submit letters to the Government of Yukon (Minister of Highways and Public Works, Archie Lang), your local MP or media. At the bottom of this update is a list of contacts where you can send your letter.

Climb Yukon recommends keeping your letter clear and concise. You can choose to write your own letter or use the form letter below. Sample letter #1 is more political, while the #2 provides several topic options to choose from. Try to make no more than two points in any letter to ensure your audience’s attention is maintained throughout.

Notes: If you are writing to your MLA or Minister, keep to the issue; always Urge or Request, do Not Demand.

White Mountain Recreational Climbing Area- suggested letter #1:


Hon. Archie Lang, Minister of Highways and Public Works
Yukon Legislative Assembly
Box 2703, Whitehorse, YT Y1A 2C6

May 7, 2009

Re: White Mountain Rock Climbing Recreation Area on Atlin Road.

Dear Minister Lang ,

I am a Yukon rock climber writing to express my concern with the current construction activity in the vicinity of White Mountain on the Atlin Road.

The Yukon portion of the Atlin Road provides access for a variety of recreational uses including this prime rock climbing location. Located approximately eleven kilometers from Jakes Corner on the Atlin Road, White Mountain is one of the most popular sport climbing locations in Yukon. Over the past ten years, avid climbers have at personal expense worked diligently to develop and maintain twenty-five different climbing routes, a small parking lot/ day area and walking trails.

Should the current construction continue strictly as planned, it will result in a devastating impact to this valuable Yukon recreational site.

Preventing any further negative impacts to this recreational site is of paramount importance to me and I urge the Government of Yukon to meet with Climb Yukon Association (CYA) to identify the concerns of Yukon climbers and find practical solutions that will meet the objectives of improving Yukon highways while preserving the integrity of the White Mountain climbing site.

Activities carried out at White Mountain have a low environmental impact and are enjoyed by Yukon residents and Yukon visitors alike.

I am forwarding a copy of this letter to the Minster responsible for Tourism as I believe these partners have a direct interest in any determinations you make.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter. I would appreciate if you would respond to Climb Yukon Association email address (climbyukon@gmail.com).

Sincerely,

Your Name
Address


Or use pick a topic below and write your own letter;

Date
Address

Re: White Mountain Rock Climbing Recreation Area on the Atlin Road.

Dear _______________________,

I am a Yukon rock climber writing to express my concern with the current construction activity in the vicinity of White Mountain on the Atlin Road.

With respect to this valuable rock climbing area that is under threat from the Atlin Road upgrade, there are many urgent issues that need to be addressed prior to proceeding with the road construction project. Preventing any further negative impacts to this site is of paramount importance to me, and I urge the Government of Yukon to consider the following points in any determinations to be made.

• Yukon has many climbers but limited climbing areas, and White Mountain is one of our best! Access to this area for sustained recreational climbing use needs to be maintained for continual development.
• The main needs of climbers at White Mountain include: a small parking area; a reasonable distance from road to cliff; at least three metres of undisturbed or (roughly) level ground extending out from the base of the cliff; a bush buffer to provide a natural atmosphere and to act as a sound and dust barrier from the road; an outhouse.
• Climbing has many benefits for the territory and its people. It is a healthy, safe and low-carbon form of recreation that is enjoyed by individuals and families. To inadvertently demolish one of the Yukon’s prime recreational sites would disenfranchise a significant number of old and new climbing enthusiasts.
• The Yukon outdoors is an important aspect of tourism and lifestyle choices that attracts people to the territory
• With more climbing infrastructure being developed, there are increased numbers of climbers from outside the territory coming to experience a new challenge that Yukon climbs present. This is a positive aspect for Yukon tourism especially during global economic recession and decreasing numbers of visitors to the territory.
• While recognizing the importance of maintaining Yukon roads, it is also of importance to identify and protect areas that Yukoners value and use.
• Climbing has low environmental impacts… White Mountain climbing area is non-renewable resource that cannot be replaced over time. It is important to protect the area since we will not be able to restore it at a later date.

I request that the Government of Yukon work with Climb Yukon Association representatives to find a solution to this situation so that climbing enthusiasts can continue to use and enjoy this climbing area.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I would appreciate a response to this inquiry via Climb Yukon Association (climbyukon@gmail.com).

Yours truly,

Your Name
Address

Send to:

Media

Yukon News
211 Wood Street
Whitehorse, YK
Y1A 2E4
Fax: 867-668-3755
Email: rmostyn@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse Star
2149 Second Ave
Whitehorse, YK
Y1A 1C5
Fax: 867-668-7130
Email: letters@whitehorsestar.com

Government of Yukon

Hon. Archie Lang, Minister of Highways and Public Works
Yukon Legislative Assembly
Box 2703
Whitehorse, YK
Y1A 2C6
Email: archie.lang@gov.yk.ca

Hon. Elaine Taylor, Minister of Tourism
Yukon Legislative Assembly
Box 2703
Whitehorse, YK
Y1A 2C6
Email: elaine.taylor@gov.yk.ca

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