Joe's Valley Assessment
Joe’s Valley Bouldering Area Recreation Site, Informal Trail, and Dispersed Campsite Impact Baseline Assessment In 2013, a concerned Forest Service employee (who is also a climber), reached out to the SLCA and suggested that if we provided the two land agencies that manage Joe’s Valley - the BLM and the Forest Service - a baseline assessment of the current conditions around the boulders and on the trails, that this may help to be able to get some attention to the alarming erosion problem that is occurring. Joe’s Valley is in the watershed for Emery County causing the issues of erosion and human waste to be of great concern especially with the increase in numbers of climbers over the years. The SLCA followed through with the Forest Service employee’s tip and with help from the Access Fund, formed the Joe’s Valley Coalition. This Coalition is made up of employees from the BLM, FS, Governor’s Office, Emery County, SLCA, and the Access Fund.
The SLCA received two grants from the Access Fund and the American Alpine Club, contributed in-kind services, and its own resources in order to put together the Joe’s Valley Bouldering Area Recreation Site, Informal Trail, and Dispersed Campsite Impact Baseline Assessment. The SLCA would like to thank the authors, Jeff Porucznik, Jonathan Knight, and surveyor, Justin Wood for the countless hours they spent putting this assessment together. The SLCA hopes that this document will serve as a resource for future planning at other bouldering areas as well as at Joe's Valley.
The assessment was presented to the Coalition this past Friday, October 24th, 2014 at the Emery County Courthouse. The land agencies were beyond impressed at the professional level of detail that the assessment provides. It has helped to raise the priority level for resources to be allocated to the bouldering areas at Joe’s Valley from low on the docket to high priority. The assessment will serve to advise an Environmental Assessment that the BLM has committed to conducting as the lead agency in collaboration with the Forest Service. Archeology studies have recently been conducted by the BLM and will be conducted by the Forest Service later this month. The climbing advocacy groups will be asked to bring matching funds to the table within the next year for implementation of more defined camping, vault toilets, and better trails and improved landing zones at the boulders. Please stay tuned for upcoming ways to donate your time and support. We will need funds and volunteers in order to continue to protect and enhance the world-class bouldering that is in Joe’s Valley.