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The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here!
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TheAlliance

May 26, 2005, 10:59 AM
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The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! Can't Post

You've heard the rumors. Here are the facts!

The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists (www.backcountryparachutists.org) is a U.S.-based non-profit organization created to:

Seek and maintain fair access for backcountry parachutists to local, state, regional, provincial and national parks worldwide for parachutists;

Gain fair access equal to that of other recurring recreational activities that are non-powered, non-polluting, non-damaging, and minimally intrusive;

Educate members about backcountry practices and responsibilities;

Develop alliances with other access-focused organization;

Assist and cooperate with all government agencies connected with backcountry recreation and resource protection;

Promote and encourage the study and knowledge of backcountry parachuting among the membership and the public at large; and

Compile information regarding the sport and science of backcountry parachuting and to edit, publish, and disseminate the same.

As reported in the June issue of Skydiving Magazine, the ABP has started an international membership drive and a letter writing campaign to end a 26-year prohibition of the sport in the United States.

The ABP offers bronze, silver and gold memberships to parachutists and other recreationists interested in access to national park systems worldwide.

The ABP also administers a zip code-based letter generating system that automatically sends pre-written and/or custom-authored fax letters to the letter writer’s congressperson and both U.S. senators.

The letters call on Congress to demand that NPS rescind or indefinitely suspend Section 8.2.2.7 of its 2001 Management Policies manual, which expressly prohibits backcountry parachuting, and which serves as a roadblock to any individual unit superintendent who might seek to allow backcountry parachuting. Copies of each letter are also faxed to Fran Mainella, director of the National Park Service, and P. Lynn Scarlett, assistant secretary of the Interior for NPS policy and budget.

Says ABP executive director Gardner Sapp: “The idea is to inform Congress and thus pressure NPS and DOI to end its discrimination against people who enjoy a recurring recreational activity that’s non-powered, non-polluting, non-damaging, minimally intrusive and no more dangerous than other forms of adventure recreation.”
ABP efforts last year resulted in an invitation to backcountry jumpers by assistant secretary Scarlett to participate in the planning processes of NPS units with jumpable cliffs – and assured the ABP that NPS decision-makers would give it serious consideration – but that hasn’t happened yet because of Section 8.2.2.7.

“That’s why we’re seeking support from Congress in addition to the outstanding help we’ve received from Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo,” Sapp said. “We want NPS and DOI to know we expect them to do what they say they will and that we are fed up with their illegitimate discrimination.”

Sapp stressed that the U.S. campaign is just the beginning of ABP’s efforts to seek, gain and maintain access worldwide for backcountry parachutists, and that the organization plans to create letter-writing systems and related access campaigns for backcountry jumpers in other countries facing similar discrimination.

“We’re starting with the U.S. because it was easiest to get organized here,” Sapp said, “but now we’re ready to roll and we’re looking not just for as many members and allied organizations as we can get, but for people with some specific skillsets that can help us carry the fight everywhere on multiple levels.”

Sapp says the ABP needs jumpers who are lawyers with criminal and/or civil litigation experience to explore judicial remedies to access discrimination in all countries with backcountry parachuting prohibitions.

“We also need jumpers from countries other than the U.S. with knowledge of their country's political system and how best to lobby for change,” he added, “and we need folks from those same countries with the website knowledge to adapt the ABP automatic letter generating system to your country's political/lobbying environment.”

SkiD_PL8

May 26, 2005, 11:19 AM
Post #2 of 33 (6127 views)
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Clicky!

Base626

May 26, 2005, 12:39 PM
Post #3 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [SkiD_PL8] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

Congradulations to everyone in the ABP. Its about time to stop the discrimination. You have 100% of my support.

Everyone please help the cause!!!!

Mike Davidek
Base 626

vandev

May 26, 2005, 12:43 PM
Post #4 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [TheAlliance] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

count me in.......Cool

cpoxon

May 26, 2005, 5:23 PM
Post #5 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [TheAlliance] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

More power to your elbows guys, but if you can't fill in your profile on here and be recognised (surely you are not already registered on here under another username?!), how can you you expect the powers that be to accept you? And why did your other post (Want to jump 3l (@p!t@|\| - legally?") get resigned to the Recycle Bin?
:-P

TomAiello

May 26, 2005, 8:20 PM
Post #6 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [cpoxon] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

This is a growing pain, and we're working on it. Somehow these things came out to the forums before getting vetted by the forumites amongst us.

The powers that be in these forums are not poorly disposed to the ABP.

Nor are the powers that be in the BASE world.

A short review of individuals involved ought to convice you that a lack of respect from the general jumpers public is not something to worry about.

A short list of the Alliances initial financial donors includes:

(1) Robert Graeber, (2) Tom Aiello, (3) Padraig Browne, (4) Jimmy Pouchert, (5) Marta Empinotti-Pouchert, (6) Todd Shoebotham, (7) Collin Scott, (8) Gary Begley, (9) Max Tkatch

The "about us" page also shows Jason Bell, Gardner Sapp and Jason Dawson.

I don't think the BOD names are public yet, but you can see the that various ABP supporters named here represent a pretty serious cross section of the BASE community, particularly in the US.


(This post was edited by TomAiello on May 27, 2005, 6:43 AM)

jasonwhack

May 31, 2005, 8:30 AM
Post #7 of 33 (6127 views)
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Remember,

Even if you don't plan on backcountry jumping it is an activity which should be allowed. Get all your friends at the dropzone and any friends and family which support the cause to submit letters.

You never know when you might want to make a backcountry jump. There should be access for this non-polluting activity.

NickDG

May 31, 2005, 2:29 PM
Post #8 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [jasonwhack] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

The World BASE Association is here . . . !

The Yosemite Skydiving Association is here . . . !

The Cliff Jumpers of America is here . . . !

The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is here . . . !

Not knocking it, Brothers, just keeping it all straight for when we are all gone . . . !

NickD Smile
BASE 194

jasonwhack

Jun 1, 2005, 3:23 PM
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Re: [NickDG] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Well said...very true =)

What do you really think?

Jason

ryoder

Jun 1, 2005, 3:43 PM
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Re: [NickDG] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is here . . . !

Just wondering; If I haven't done a BASE jump, but I have had some really bad spots, can I call myself a "Backcountry Parachutist"?Unsure

ultraviolet

Jun 2, 2005, 10:00 PM
Post #11 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [TheAlliance] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

Isn't hang gliding allowed in Yosemite ? Why don't we get organized like those guys. Site ratings , jumper proficiency ratings , waivers and a 3rd party liability insurance policy ? Wouldn't the NPS then recognize us as a legitimate group ?

TomAiello

Jun 3, 2005, 6:58 AM
Post #12 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [ultraviolet] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hang gliding is allowed by permit. There are heavy restrictions as to launch time, launch site and flight duration. When the hang gliders asked for permits to launch paragliders (the two types of wings intermix heavily in organization, site use and participation), the Park Service denied the request because it might open the door to BASE jumpers.

I think climbing is a better model to follow than hang gliding. The rules and restrictions on climbers are very limited, and I think, a more desirable scenario for us.

jasonwhack

Jun 6, 2005, 3:51 PM
Post #13 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [TomAiello] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

 
In reply to:
Hang gliding is allowed by permit. There are heavy restrictions as to launch time, launch site and flight duration. When the hang gliders asked for permits to launch paragliders (the two types of wings intermix heavily in organization, site use and participation), the Park Service denied the request because it might open the door to BASE jumpers.

I think climbing is a better model to follow than hang gliding. The rules and restrictions on climbers are very limited, and I think, a more desirable scenario for us.


It is also controlled by the FAA. I get plenty of the FAA at the dropzone.

cornishe

Jun 6, 2005, 4:40 PM
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JaapSuter

Jun 6, 2005, 4:52 PM
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Re: [cornishe] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
Yosemite is more beautiful under a full moon than during the day. Let's just keep jumping and not get caught rather than accept rules that most jumpers will consider unacceptable.

I think the volume of 'most' depends very much on the actual rules installed. The ABP has stated clearly they are not interested in a strict set of rules.

I wonder if the people whose gear is lying somewhere in an NPS storage room agree with you. I'm curious if Jan and Frank would have agreed with you.

Besides; even when the rules are there, you can still continue to make illegal jumps if you want. As long as you respect the establishment and don't endanger the platform that other people have worked hard for.

NickDG

Jun 6, 2005, 7:15 PM
Post #16 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [JaapSuter] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

>>As long as you respect the establishment and don't endanger the platform that other people have worked hard for.<<

The above's the rub . . . Brother.

We all knew sooner or later we'd beat them. I knew when the USPA tried. I knew it when Jean tried, I knew it when the CJAA tried, and I knew it when the YSA tried. It's always been just a matter of time. When it does finally come it's won’t be, at this point, because of the "the people who worked hard for it," as in the ABP, or any one person or group.

It will because of every previous jump made there, the ones who were caught and the ones who weren't. It'll been because of every jumper who's spent a cold night on El Cap or Half Dome waiting for the first glint of dawn. It'll be because of those who lost their gear and paid their fines, the ones who stood up alone in Magistrate Pitts' kangaroo courtroom and took it like big boys and girls. It'll be because of jumpers like Keith Jones who spent days in the hell of the Yosemite dungeon rather than give up his fellow jumpers. It'll be because of Andy, Dennis, and others like them who slept in the bush like hunted animals while banging out a hundred jumps per season in the face of insurmountable odds.

Victory in the Park won't belong to whatever "current" organization there is like the ABP. No, it will belong to Jimmy, Maggilla, Susan, Frank and Jan. And especially with Jan you can't tell me what she'd think, or Maggilla either. I'm never going to forget when a Ranger told us, "We know all your key people, and we are going to hunt you all down."

If anyone is going to deserve the lion's share of the credit for going through "official channels" it will be Jean Boenish. She spent over ten years of her life dealing with the NPS. She lost the love of her life to BASE jumping and where most would have turned their backs and faded away, Jean hung in there going punch for punch with the Rangers who hated her and everything she stood for. The time and effort whatever new organization puts in pales in the face of all that, and if they fail, another group will take their place and one day we will beat them . . . And it won't be because of whatever the latest group does either, it will be because of all of us.

Some find it easy to turn their backs on history, but it’s the "thing" that got us to this point, it is the courage and sacrifice of the past that current jumpers are indebted to and even while you're toasting the ABP, karma dictates you also raise a glass to the Brothers and Sisters who came before you and actually paid the price . . .

So don’t tell us who to "respect," my Brother, because we already know who that is . . .

NickD Smile
BASE 194

skypuppy

Jun 6, 2005, 8:03 PM
Post #17 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [JaapSuter] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder if the people whose gear is lying somewhere in an NPS storage room agree with you. I'm curious if Jan and Frank would have agreed with you.

Besides; even when the rules are there, you can still continue to make illegal jumps if you want. As long as you respect the establishment and don't endanger the platform that other people have worked hard for.
__________________________________________________

I didn't know them personally, but I'm pretty sure I know what Jan and Frank would think -- and they wouldn't be for a set of rules!

As far as making illegal jumps once the process has come into place -- we all know what sort of ostracization that would bring on -- look at the threads after someone 'dares' to do a jump from the rail in TF -- or the threats to someone getting caught on 'another's' object.... Once rules are in place I wouldn't be surprised to see BASE jumpers calling the rangers on other BASE jumpers if they think they're not following said rules....

All that being said, I'm still for legal access -- I just don't think we should have bend over to get it.

Skypuppy
BASE 92

JaapSuter

Jun 6, 2005, 8:36 PM
Post #18 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [NickDG] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
So don’t tell us who to "respect," my Brother, because we already know who that is...

Forgive me my ignorance. Obviously in the grand scheme of things our debt to the people who jumped before us can never be repaid. The best we can do is show our respect to them, and minimize concessions to the NPS.

However, it seems that every time somebody brings up the rules, people have to exaggerate it. I suppose that comes from the rules installed around the time the Flatbed Ten were jumping.

Take the Twin Falls rule of not jumping from the rail. Ignore for the moment the ongoing discussion whether or not the sherrif has actually made this a rule, and consider it hypothetical. Is this rule really such a big deal? I have no problem respecting the establishment there and climbing over the rail before jumping.

Rules come in many forms and on many levels, and when we do get access to the parks, it doesn't necessarily have to be something like a time-window. It could be as simple as try to land in meadow X only and prefer to avoid meadow Y, unless in an emergency.

As long as the NPS sees the majority of jumpers land in meadow X, everybody's happy. So what that there is rule? Does that really bother the anarchist in us that much; that we have to give up a tiny bit of freedom to please more than one party?

Again, I think I understand the jumping history of the national parks, and I have the utmost respect for everybody who has made a jump there, and even more for those that have paid a price.

But the word "rule" has become so loaded and emotional that it slows down rational discussion. That handicaps the way we approach the NPS in my opinion.

cornishe

Jun 6, 2005, 9:20 PM
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wwarped
Moderator
Jun 7, 2005, 3:40 AM
Post #20 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [cornishe] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

so...
what rules/conditions seem reasonable to this forum?

any concern that it would be a high visibility activity in one of the country's most congested parks?

any concern that virtually ANYBODY could mimic a highly trained BASE jumper?

I've traveled to Norway. the SBK runs a remote sight that requires a boat to take you away from the landing area.

there is no such limitations in the valley.

I've read a lot of people concerned about the unmentored growth of the sport. wouldn't legal jumping of El C add tremendously to it?

let's consider what we are asking for...

jasonwhack

Jun 7, 2005, 5:20 AM
Post #21 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [wwarped] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

let's consider what we are asking for...
I don't know about anyone else, but I am asking for fair and equal access. Long before jumping I enjoyed the backcountry through various means. Backpacking, kayaking, river rafting are just a few backcountry activities I enjoy. I did all of those activities with a permit and enjoyed them just fine. I did all of those activities in the confines of the rules set forth by the National Park Service, BLM, and National Forest. Each has their rules for a very good reason. The rules did not affect my experience.

Each ranger has had their experience with the very essence of why the park needs rules. People overcrowd the parks, trample the backcountry, and more.

What I am asking for is simply to participate in a sport which is non polluting and much less intrusive as climbers and many other rec users. I want to be able to jump throughout the year without the fear of being arrested and fined. Especially when what I am being arrested and fined for is far from any crime.

I know everyone loves cops and robbers and cat and mouse but I would rather not play that game when I am trying to use my energy to plan and execute a successful jump.

I will cherish the day I can drive 4 hours from my house get a backcountry permit and make a jump. Nothing will affect anyone eases cat and mouse game because there are plenty of objects to continue to play that game on; for those who want it.

Jason

---The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the opinions or goals of any group


(This post was edited by jasonwhack on Jun 7, 2005, 5:38 AM)

littlestranger

Jun 7, 2005, 5:55 AM
Post #22 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [NickDG] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

you are a wise man.

In reply to:
It'll be because of jumpers like Keith Jones who spent days in the hell of the Yosemite dungeon rather than give up his fellow jumpers.

i'd like to hear this story sometime.

wwarped
Moderator
Jun 7, 2005, 7:24 AM
Post #23 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [jasonwhack] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

we all agree with those sentiments.

but you'd be greatly raising BASE's profile.
that would accelerated the perceived rapid growth of, um, "less than ethical" jumpers. of course, the authorities would see no difference from --name your BASE hero-- to someone devoid of training.

ALL BASE sites would be susceptible to increase activity from novices.

does the obvious benefit outweigh the possible costs?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on that side of the equation.

jasonwhack

Jun 7, 2005, 7:46 AM
Post #24 of 33 (6127 views)
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Re: [wwarped] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
we all agree with those sentiments.

------------------------------------------------------------
but you'd be greatly raising BASE's profile.
that would accelerated the perceived rapid growth of, um, "less than ethical" jumpers. of course, the authorities would see no difference from --name your BASE hero-- to someone devoid of training.
-----------------------------------------------------------
You could say the same thing for a lot of backcountry activities. Backpacking, climbing, drunken cliff jumping, and more are all legal in the National Park system. Each of these activities brings with it the same issues. Climbers have been fined heavily for attempting something out of their league requiring rescue. Progress will dictate in time the system will learn to understand the sport better. Fair and equal access to the national park system I don’t think is going to raise the profile of BASE jumping anymore then BASE jumpers do already (TV, Newspapers, etc).
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ALL BASE sites would be susceptible to increase activity from novices.
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Can’t you say the same thing about any of the legal jumps in the world? They have created an increase in novice activity.

All the problems will never be worked out just as they are not for the climbers and other backcountry users. I can tell you if you ask any of the other backcountry users who are permitted in the NPS, they would rather be enjoying their activity then not.

Jason

---The opinions expressed herein are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the opinions or goals of any group


(This post was edited by jasonwhack on Jun 7, 2005, 7:48 AM)

TomAiello

Jun 7, 2005, 8:00 AM
Post #25 of 33 (4501 views)
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Re: [littlestranger] The Alliance of Backcountry Parachutists is Here! [In reply to] Can't Post

In reply to:
In reply to:
It'll be because of jumpers like Keith Jones who spent days in the hell of the Yosemite dungeon rather than give up his fellow jumpers.

i'd like to hear this story sometime.

Read Number 28.

Keith is a great guy. First jump the last day that the NPS allowed jumping, from the captain. Still sticking in there with us youngsters. Still having fun. He told me a really funny story about applying for a concealed carry permit one time--the punch line was "and then all the reviewer asked me was "what is 'air delivery'?"

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