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Tensleep Climbing Management Plan put on pause due to Forest Service staff turnover

Mountains on the left and right side of image with a valley below.
Catherine Wheeler
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Tensleep Canyon has been grappling with an influx of rock climbers during the summer months over the last few years. That has caused stress on the area's natural resources and controversy around management of the sport. A new management plan meant to address that was scheduled to go into effect next summer but has since been put on hold.

The U.S. Forest Service in the Bighorn National Forest is unsure when the plan will be released now. Sara Evans Kirol, the Bighorn National Forest public affairs officer, said that's because its district ranger left her position and the service felt it couldn't implement the management plan until a replacement is hired.

"We don't know when they're [hold ups] going to be resolved. And so it's really based on when we can fill that position," she said. "And that new individual is able to come and get caught up to speed and then be able to provide some leader's intent and direction on how we want to move forward with that project."

Kirol said this means the current policy stays put: no new developed routes. She said there were a couple of violations of that rule this summer.

"We did notice that there were some but from what I understand there wasn't as much in one timeframe as we've had in the past," said Kirol.

In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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