Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

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#1)  Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby oxman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:28 pm

Howdy, big tree lovers!
Just wanted to invite everyone to join the new Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing.

See pics & movies, or post your own scenes of fantastic trees!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/228614690921264/
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#2)  Re: Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby AndrewJoslin » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:05 pm

Hello Oxman,
I'm thinking there are not a lot of climbers on the NTS forum, could be wrong but most NTS members do ground-based measuring. The other part is how controversial climbing on PNW old-growth is. Damn, climbing in the woods is controversial where I am in the northeast U.S. I know there are a lot of "politics", legal and legitimate ethical concern around this issue between canopy researchers, pro climbers and/or rec climbers and other tree/forest advocates as well as law enforcement personnel. Don't know what the answer is. I believe climbing almost any tree* can be done ethically, ie: not damaging or changing/affecting anything in the tree or on the ground habitat but... it's a tough sell, all it takes is one climber or group of climbers to create negative impacts in old-growth forest to undermine our credibility. At any rate it would be cool if there could be more effort among woods tree climbers to spread the word and promote a culture of "leave no trace" ethics in forest and wilderness tree climbing.

*I absolutely believe no one should be targeting high profile trees for climbing or "peak bagging" unless it is for specific non-destructive (to the tree or habitat) research. There are so many great trees out there, more than any of us could ever climb in a lifetime or two or three lifetimes, no need to be up in the tallest or the most notable.
-AJ

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#3)  Re: Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby oxman » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:48 pm

Tree climbing can be controversial if you think about it too hard. Does an 8 year old feel a climb is 'controversial'?

I recently had a chance to give my perspective to a group of people taking a class at Shoreline College from the Washington Native Plant Society. At the conclusion of the 12 week session, the graduates of the class became Native Plant Stewards.

This is a half hour video of my presentation, which includes more than just tree climbing. You may infer my perspective from it.

Enjoy !

https://youtu.be/VFQe-gr1inE

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#4)  Re: Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby AndrewJoslin » Tue Mar 14, 2017 6:44 pm

oxman wrote:Tree climbing can be controversial if you think about it too hard. Does an 8 year old feel a climb is 'controversial'?

I recently had a chance to give my perspective to a group of people taking a class at Shoreline College from the Washington Native Plant Society. At the conclusion of the 12 week session, the graduates of the class became Native Plant Stewards.

This is a half hour video of my presentation, which includes more than just tree climbing. You may infer my perspective from it.

Enjoy !

https://youtu.be/VFQe-gr1inE


Agreed, for me there is nothing controversial about tree climbing. I facilitate a lot of young people up into trees, they never ask, "Why climb?", they always ask the right question, "When can I climb?".

As mentioned previously, as long as we promote good tree climbing ethics we're on the right path. There is still the problem of how to deal with the clash between rec climbers, land managers/law enforcement and researchers around high-profile old-growth. My strategy is find my own trees.

Great talk! I love the Saluting Branches Rope, I have a 150' length, one of my favorites. Thanks Michael.
-AJ
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#5)  Re: Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby Don » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:41 pm

I guess I'd weigh in on the path of "unintended consequences", and point to the discussion here in the NTS BBS on redwoods and the damage around the base of say the top 20 trees...Mario Vaden has a pair of photos taken several years apart, and the damage to the area around the base is disheartening, and I'm sure that none of those who caused this damage thought about the cumulative consequences of tree hunters out to "bag" another 300 plus-er.   I share Andrew's comment about valid reasons (research) for climbing these MOST superlative trees (for my part, with less than 4% of the pre-settlement old-growth remaining, they should be off-limits to recreational climbing. It's only been in the last couple of decades that we've known that there are heretofore unknown communities up there (yes, I know, it was climbers and 'bridgers' that have discovered them).  They are very unique, very sensitive to disturbance, and take centuries, perhaps even millenia to develop. Just saying...
Don Bertolette - President/Moderator, WNTS BBS
Restoration Forester (Retired)
Science Center
Grand Canyon National Park

BJCP Apprentice Beer Judge

View my Alaska Big Tree List Webpage at:
http://www.akbigtreelist.org

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#6)  Re: Facebook Group called Old Growth Tree Climbing

Postby AndrewJoslin » Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:53 pm

I climb primarily in the east so the issues are different than in the PNW old-growth. However the impact issues in the forest are the same. Take white pine for example, my favorite eastern species. Where I am the finest whites often grow right on the edge of or partially in wooded wetlands. In a single climb I have to be careful not to crush understory habitat, it's not my right to do so. If I climb a tree like that it is unlikely I will climb it again, if I do it will get a long break of a year or more. I will not reveal locations or take other climbers to trees in vulnerable habitat. The ground habitat around a tree changes very quickly with only a few visits in a year. If 4 climbers show up at a tree there will be considerable impact on the ground from just one climb session. There are plenty of interesting trees in less vulnerable habitat so choices can be made by climbers, we are not "forced" to damage habitat in pursuit of a great climb.

There needs to be nuance in the discussion, high profile trees that are attracting a lot of visitors are not good candidates for climbs. A responsible climber can find excellent trees and minimize impacts. Climbers never need to claim they should have access to whatever they want to climb and likewise researchers and public land managers are really overdoing it if they make blanket statements like "no old-growth should ever be climbed" by the general public. It's very understandable that they would be reactive with all the efforts to locate and visit the most notable and vulnerable old-growth trees.

Clearly we now live in a heavily politicized and polarized world, it's very difficult to find middle ground that makes sense, it''s much easier to sit on a high horse whatever side a person is on in any discussion. It takes more effort to look at the details and come up with reasonable conclusions.
-AJ
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