i commented as well-alternatives b and d seem ok, and i feel that moving the west side parking down the road to the overflow area is not such a big burden, in exchange for more wilderness, or camping. i mean, come on, it's probably a 10 minute walk.
The walk is fairly short.
The bigger issue is that the overflow lot will fill on several days of the year, and then you can't park. It already happens 6-8 days a year with the combined parking lots.
I'm just seeing a perfectly good parking lot, and no need to trade it for the other stuff. Leave it and add the other stuff if you want those things....
The historic significance of rock climbers as a user group should be acknowledged and respected in the planning process. New route development and placement of fixed protection (ie bolts) in new locations at Pinnacles is very slow and done only after careful consideration by local climbers. This tradition should persist to both allow historic use of this resource to continue and to respect the natural values of the unit for all user groups. Replacement of old, weak protection with discrete modern bolts in the same location should continue to be allowed for the safety of park visitors.
I posted my detailed thoughts on the Mudn'Crud site. Here is part of my post to add to this discussion:
Climbing is generally mentioned in many areas of the plan, although most general mentions lump it together with hiking.
Climbing is mentioned more specifically, as follows:
a) Page 56: The language on this page is encouraging: “Climbing use would continue in congruence with raptor advisory updates and voluntary closures. The monument would continue to work in close coordination with the climbing community, including the Friends of Pinnacles - an organization focused on climbing. A Climbing Management Plan would be developed. Existing bolted routes would be allowed where critical resources are not adversely affected.”
b) Page 61 contains more, including the comment “Climbing use would continue to be managed through the Climber Access Plan and Raptor Monitoring Protocol until a Climbing Management Plan is completed.” There’s nothing here that I didn’t like or at least expect.
c) On page 142, the plan states that 14 % of visitors use Pinnacles for climbing. This seems low to me but I noticed that the survey on which this number is based consisted of just over 500 completed survey forms. The survey was conducted in 2002.
d) On pages 143-144, there is a short description of rock climbing and of established routes.
One key realization: I became aware as I studied it that this plan doesn’t have much detail at all regarding climbing. Instead an (intended) Climbing Management Plan will be much more specific if/when it is completed. This is the document climbers should be looking for.
The document just says it will plan to continue climbing, it doesn't mean that climbing is recognized as a longstanding and traditional use of the "park". Getting that language in other national lands was decisive at a meta level so that climbing couldn't be whole sale removed for other reasons even though the use "would" continue. It signals intent, not official recognition. Intent is impermanent. This needs to be recognized in the overarching planning documents, not just the climbing mgt plan.
Point in fact, the survey grossly misrepresents the percent of climbers. With only one survey per user, on a given day/period, it doesn't reflect climber use days. i.e. the number of days actual climbers actually spend there, including repeat users. The same might be true of repeat hikers as well.
Anyways, just my thoughts. I saw what happened to Joshua Tree and climber participation will be more critical than ever with the new designation.