Responding to Tom's comments from the original standards thread:
Originally posted by Tom Dunlap
Just a thought on wordsmithing.
Standards, by part of the above definition, come from an authority. Along with the authority to set the standard comes the responsibility to enforce the standard. Is this what we're looking for?
Who is going to take the responsibility to enforce?
Maybe it would be better to think along the lines of guidelines or ethics like other disciplines have.
Agree with Tom that guidelines are the way to go as opposed to attempting to enforce/punish etc. That would require a tree climbing police force Hmm, sounds interesting: there you are bat hanging over a kiddie play area and a tree cop (blue helmet w/flashing headlamp and shiny black boots of course) swoops over from a nearby tree and snaps on the cuffs at 50 ft.
Point being that it's important to widely distribute credible guidelines throughout the tree climbing community before the sport takes off in a commercial way.
An example where standards have come too little too late is in the mountain biking world. Various mountain bike organizations have attempted to establish standards for ethical behavior but have been overcome by commercialization and marketing forces that emphasize high risk, high impact activities. Makes for good equipment sales and plenty of uninformed mountain bikers are eager to act out these fantasies in sensitive ecosytems.
Since rec tree climbing is ahead of the commercialization curve at this point it is a critical time to get buy-in and cooperation from the equipment retailers and get the standards out there.
gaaaaawd, i remember the clashes we had up here in BC, when the North Shore was (and is!) a hotspot for hardcore mountain biking. Clashes (violent ones at times) between hikers and bikers, up to the point of angry hikers imbedding nails and spikes on the trails, and in several extreme cases, thin wire at neck level strung across faster parts of trials, resulting in major injuries to several mountian bikers. Trail closures, outright bans, which led to secret trails being built, then more fights, bla bla bla. UGLY!
I hope treeclimbing never gets like that.
only negative response i have had was a grunpy old man walking his dog, who grabbed my shoulder as i was checking my gear on the ground (in a PUBLIC forested park). He spun me around, yelled at me "what do you think YOUR doing?" in an aggressive tone. I used non violent crisis intervention techniques and replied in a low, calm voice "treeclimbing, to count birdsnests". He got surly with me and barked again "are you allowed to do that? i don think you are!!!" i lowered my voice again, and "well sir, i'm sure if there is a problem with me being here, the Proper authorities will let me know. ". he grumbled and stormed off. Parks Guy came by a few hours later, looked at me up in the tree, waved hi , asked a few questions about the gear. when i told him i was using non invasive techniques (cambuim saver, soft soled shoes) and that i was'nt a tree spiker or an environmental terrorist (we have that problem up here bigtime), he said "well, enjoy the climb!, just no climbing over any paths". I thanked him and enjoyed my climb! .
...we could just drop the whole standards discussions, and allow tree spikers to start calling themselves recreational climbers...how soon would it be before that interaction with the proper authorities would have gone quite differently?