WHAT IS THE SCORP?
The State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) has just been released for public comments through Nov 19th,2021. The SCORP plan, which is revised every five years, is intended to guide federal, state, county, and private agencies in Hawai’i in the planning, development, funding, and management of Hawai’i’s outdoor recreation resources.
What’s AT STAKE?
Climbing has still not been a recognized as a fully legal sport even though there are 150+ crags and bouldering areas within the State. The recreational activity of climbing is already here and very present, on each island. Currently, The Mokulē’ia Crag is the only permitted climbing area within the state.
The land managers need to understand that climbers do and can responsibly climb within Hawai’i. We recommend a partnership with one of the three already existing non-profit climbing organizations to help with education, management, and funding of the climbing resources.
The SCORP and State need to hear this message from you now.
Please take 5 minutes to write to the SCORP at SCORP2021@pbrhawaii.com and tell them that climbing is a safe, traditional activity in Hawai’i with many health benefits to all segments of the community and that we would like to see the land managers work with one of the current Climbing Non-Profit Organizations, all which are active and who can help with education, management resources and funding in order to address the needs and trends in the islands climbing community.
If you would like to read the full SCORP Report, click on this link: https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/scorp/.
SCORP DOC. Summary
The SCORP Document is 400+ Pages, we spent some time and summarized everything climbing related.
Here are the main points of the report are as follows:
*Rock Climbing/Bouldering: A large number of rock-climbing advocates attended the public meetings and participated in the public survey. Over 130 SCORP Surveys were received regarding the need for legal rock-climbing areas and the recognition of the activity, particularly on the islands of Kaua’i and O’ahu. While another 150 comments were received during the virtual island meetings. Comments include “a lack of recognition of rock climbing as a legitimate activity can make access restricted,” “I would like to see rock climbing allowed,” and “Rock climbers do not need facilities, but rather access.” The climbers would help develop and maintain as they have with current areas. “As a climber, I would like to see rock climbing allowed with guidelines for responsible cultural/environmental sensitivities.” An area for concern was additional challenges for expansion including private versus public landownership and the associated location of suitable climbing areas creating trespass issues.
Talking Points In your own comments to the SCORP board, you can make your message more powerful by describing your personal stories. Additionally, here are some talking points: *There is precedent, and demand for, rock climbing in Hawai’i. -For example, 3000+ People have signed the revocable permit for the Mokulē’ia Crag. Hawai’i Climbing Coalition provides free information to assist with mitigating risk to climbers. The partnership between the State and HCC has proven that allowing permitted climbing does work and is manageable through more local partnerships. *Climbing is a risk associated sport, like most of our ocean sports and our hiking trails. Accidents can happen. But with protocols, partnerships, and management in place. We as a climbing community can assist in mitigating that risk. Furthermore, there is already a climbing liability waiver system put into place and recognized by DLNR. * The benefits of rock climbing are numerous, including the fact that it builds focus, self-control, connection to culture and self-confidence. The experience of climbing has the potential to be life changing as well as health sustaining. * Climbing is a traditional Hawaiian activity. Climbing over cliffs to go from one valley to another, to access fishing and hunting as well as fire-branding acts are traditional pre-plantation acts for Kānaka Maoli. Connecting with Pōhaku and the ‘āina is also an important element of climbing for many Native Hawaiians. *Recreational providers have stated that there is a lack of resources and funding to manage or provide additional permitted access for recreational use. We propose that the DLNR partner with one of the three current climbing stewardship groups. Mahalo for Taking Action!