|Submitted by Tom Evans on Mon, 08/12/2013 - 00:36|
SPECIAL Edition ElCap Report 8/11/13
By Tom Evans
It is midsummer and I have been having an enjoyable time. I have done some travelling and am presently visiting my son and his family in Phoenix. However this report has nothing to do with those things. After reading comments and responses written here and elsewhere, I feel the need to clarify some things and have rewritten my original report. Once again I have edited some of my previous writings, as they were of a personal nature and I don't think they belong on the Report in the long term. The Report is a kind of history of Yosemite climbing and should only contain matters related to climbing.
This past climbing season, NPS decided to enforce some regulations that, in the past, have been ignored. In the past I had, for the most part, no direction by anyone, and was able to work the AACP, photograph ElCap climbers and write the ElCap Report as I liked. Unlike years past, regulations are no longer being ignored and this has made it difficult for me to volunteer at the Bridge, write the ElCap Report, and photograph climbers on ElCap. Turns out there are legal issues that cause a conflict between being able to write the report as I wish and working at the Bridge. The NPS is legally bound by these regulations and are no longer ignoring them. I had problems with the NPS, this past season, because I was doing business as usual and not as required by regulations. A few days ago I was presented with a contract that, for the first time, actually spelled out what I was required, by law to do. To volunteer or be employed we are required to sign these conditions of employment. I studied the contract and realized that, for me, the requirements were just too limiting. The NPS has every right state their conditions of employment and one can either accept them and work, or decline and not work. The NPS are not being "bad guys" or unreasonable here.
While I have really enjoyed working for the “Ask A Climber” program for these many years, the situation has become difficult for me and the NPS and I must make a choice between volunteering at the Bridge and keeping uncensored control of my website and possession of my own work. These and other concerns have make me decide to resign from any working association with the NPS and the Yosemite Conservancy. While I have had rewarding experiences with both organizations, and wish them the very best, I think this is the right course of action for all concerned. My departure solves these concerns for me and the NPS. I have been treated extremely well by the NPS over the years and have made many friends among its employees and have absolutely no negative feelings toward them in this matter. So please take the situation for what it is. I am the problem, not the NPS. So... Haters need not hate here!!
I have been fortunate, in the past, to have the full support of Ken Yager and the Yosemite Climbing Association. I couldn’t have been here without Kens support. Thanks Ken!! I would like to thank our Climbing Ranger, Jesse McGahey, for his integrity, friendship, and hard work for the climbing community. Plus, the entire YOSAR community has been a positive influence and a pleasure to work with. Lastly my heartfelt thanks go out to all the readers and supporters of the ElCap Report… you guys make it all happen!
I will be shooting again this fall climbing season, but as a private citizen. The ElCap report will continue, as always. While I will not be working with Tourons at the Bridge, I will be shooting around there sometime during most days… so…. Come on out and hang with the Crew!! See you in early September!
So that’s the way it is, for this Sunday, the 11th day of August, 2013.
Still hanging in there,