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Proposed Regulations Could Impact Rock Climbers In California

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TWENTYNINE PALMS, CALIFORNIA - JULY 22: A rock climber ascends Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree National Park on July 22, 2021 near Twentynine Palms, California. The park is among California's most popular tourist destinations.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images,)

Here are the morning’s top stories on Friday, June 14, 2024…

  • Federal agencies are considering a controversial rule that would restrict rock climbers from leaving gear attached to cliff walls in designated wilderness areas. This could affect some of California’s iconic routes in Yosemite and other historic climbing destinations. Some climbers fear the policy would bar them from creating new routes, but others say regulation is necessary to keep wild places wild. 
  • A bill that would ban “forced outing” or “parental notification” policies in California schools has moved forward in the state legislature. At least six California school districts in the past year have adopted measures that require staff to tell parents if their child changes their gender identity at school.
  • The state legislature on Thursday passed a placeholder state budget, just ahead of a mandatory deadline. But lawmakers must still negotiate with Governor Gavin Newsom on the final deal.

Rock Climbers Sound Off On Proposed Equipment Rule

The National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service are considering a controversial rule that would restrict fixed anchors for climbers in areas that are deemed to be wilderness.

If the federal proposal is approved, a permit would be required for drilling new bolts and replacing rusty old ones in all land protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964. Park staff would also have to evaluate hundreds of existing routes.

A top concern from some climbers is that reclassifying fixed anchors as installations will slow the use of climbing routes and disincentivize climbing as an activity. In addition, delays in anchor surveys could mean old anchor bolts take longer to be replaced, adding a safety risk. But some conservationists believe wilderness needs protection from climbers.

State Senate Approves Bill That Would Ban Controversial Parent Notification Policy In Schools

School districts in California would be barred from requiring teachers to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender, under a bill the state legislature is weighing.


The state Senate approved the proposal Thursday. It would ban school districts from passing or enforcing policies requiring school staff to disclose a student’s gender identity or sexual orientation to anyone else without the child’s permission, with some exceptions. 

At least six California school districts in the past year have adopted parent notification measures. But California Attorney General Rob Bonta has vowed to fight them in court.

Gavin Newsom, Top Democrats Deciding California’s Budget Behind Closed Doors

After legislative leaders failed to reach an agreement with Governor Gavin Newsom about how to close California’s projected multibillion-dollar deficit, the Legislature passed a placeholder state budget Thursday, just ahead of a mandatory deadline.

With only a few weeks left until the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, both sides refuse to publicly discuss what specific issues are holding up a deal.

Newsom’s office and his Department of Finance declined to answer questions about the remaining differences with the Legislature that still need to be worked out. Representatives for Senate President Pro Tem Mike McGuire and Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, who are in charge of negotiating with the governor, would not make them available to the media after their members approved a spending plan that almost certainly will not be the actual budget.

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