Tuesday, December 11, 2012

You can stop the "NO"

The genesis for the Old Rag Mountain Stewards was the proposed Rock Outcrop Management Plan drafted in 2008. Some of the more extreme recommendations were to restrict the public from access to some of the more popular rocky high points in Shenandoah, like Old Rag Mountain, Hawksbill, Little Stony Man and others. 
In response, the ORMS was formed to serve as "stewards" interacting with the public about the resources that need protection and why. 
In this, we have been highly successful, interacting with tens of thousands of visitors annually for the past five years.

Well, now it seems that regardless of the work of so many volunteers and the overwhelming positive response of the public, a few people in the National Park Service feel that it will be much more expedient to  simply restrict access for both hikers and climbers to these popular destinations.   

The goal is for the park to put these restrictions in place before February 2013.Comments are needed at your earliest opportunity and before 10 January 2013

What can you do???
open up the ROMP
Read it... decide if you like the proposed restrictions to your favorite rock outcrop... and then comment..

This is time urgent.
If you consider these mountains to be our shared resources, then you need to get involved and let your voice be heard.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ready, Set.....

Returning to Old Rag!

After a much needed hiatus, the Stewards will be returning to weekend patrols on Old Rag over the next few weekends! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It's been an honor and a privilege..

The past three years have been amazing!
as the 2011 results indicate.. and when combined with 2009 and 2010... well, there are very few organizations that come close, anywhere.

It's been a privilege to meet so many of you, to share some of the really fascinating information about Old Rag, its flora, fauna and history.

For a few of you who experienced a mishap or illness, we were glad to have been there to help improve the quality of your life.

For those of you who we taught lessons of backcountry travel and camping or LNT techniques or even just how to hang a bear bag... Don't forget! pass it on!

The "orange shirts" will be taking a break from the mountain for at least part of the 2012 season..

Thank you for your interest... we now have more than 60 really great volunteers from all walks of life.
.. and stay tuned... we may be back..

With best wishes and humble appreciation,

The ORMS "orange shirts"

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2011 Recap

For those of you who follow such accounting... we have finally finished tallying up all of the pertinent "bean counter" data for the Old Rag Mountain Stewards for 2011.... and I have to say, that for a volunteer organization, we nailed up some pretty impressive numbers. (as one of our members said "it proves the old adage: many hands make light work"
A brief summary of the year:
-ORMS donated 4338 hours of STEWARDSHIP SERVICE (of which 816 hours are travel)
- averaged 5.3 stewards on the mountain per weekend...
- We provided 880 sets of directions..
-We taught 90 lessons in outdoor skills to novice hikers/campers..
-We put out and disassembled 15 fires/rings!! (open fires are illegal on ORM!!!)
- taught 350 LNT /plant /resource lessons to visitors..
-.had 4 major incidents involving carryouts/medivac (plus we assisted with 1 on another mountain)...
-We re-connected 14 separated parties...
-We escorted and assisted 32 groups off the mountain due to low visibility and their lack of preparedness....
- We observed 44 dogs on the mountain, also illegal!
-We observed lots of folks camping illegally,
- and of all things, we had 5 incidents of having to clear the trails because folks had brushed them in!!?
Beyond service on the mountain, the volunteers of ORMS also completed... 2,110 hours of focused hard skill training training.... from first aid and rescue to climbing and plant identification.
THOSE are impressive numbers in anyone's book ...and we are all looking forward to 2012!.