Update on the Via Ferrata progress; Sinks Canyon Wild continues efforts

(Lander, WY) – It’s been two months since the third and final small-group stakeholders meeting about the Sinks Canyon Via Ferrata.

Shoshone District Manager Kyle Bernis shared State Parks is currently “working with tribal representatives from the Tribal Historic Preservation Offices for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes to ensure they have the level of participation they would like to see in this process.”

They are also planning to have cultural surveys done in the Spring, and at this point, Bernis continued, they cannot move forward without these items being completed.

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Those are the latest updates on the Via Ferrata progress.

The Sinks Canyon Wild (SCW) group has remained active during this time as well.

SCW board members announced in a press release earlier this month that they removed signs (“NO VIA FERRATA ON PEREGRINE CLIFFS”) from around Lander in January but the organization has continued its efforts.

SCW has become a 501C3 non-profit with a mission to advocate for the protection of the natural and cultural heritage of Sinks Canyon.

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“The group was initially formed in the summer of 2021 in response to a rapidly progressing plan to build a Via Ferrata on critical peregrine falcon nesting habitat within a Wildlife Habitat Management Area in Sinks Canyon State Park,” the press release states.

“Grassroots efforts, including the sign campaign, caused the State Park and Via Ferrata proponents to reconsider. The location now being proposed for a Via Ferrata is on the sandstone buttress, directly across from Sawmill Campground at the entrance to the canyon. Many issues with the new location will require a thorough analysis by State Parks. SCW continues to receive community feedback indicating strong local interest and many concerns with this new location.

“SCW hopes to work productively with State Parks and State Game and Fish to see that any further decisions concerning development within Sinks Canyon State Park are held up to the “Guiding Principle” within the 2020 Master Plan…”Keep Sinks Canyon Wild” (p. 5 Sinks Canyon State Park Master Plan.)

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“State Parks intends to release the new Via Ferrata proposal to the public sometime this Spring. SCW states that the group is passionately committed to remaining involved in these park issues.”

Click here to view all of County 10’s Via Ferrata coverage.

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