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Moab: ...

To all my BASE brothers and sisters coming to Moab. I am posting this special notice to make some polite requests of you all and to offer my help to those of you wanting to jump some cool, new sites. I would like to ask those of you who decide to go exploring on your own to please confine your travels to established roads and trails. The desert ecosystem is an extremely fragile one and takes years to heal from vehicle tracks and foot travel.

Please do not take this great privilege of legal BASE jumping in the Moab area lightly. The land managers like the BLM and The National Park Service, as well as several environmental groups are watching our actions very carefully. Please realize that our “privilege” to BASE jump here can be taken away at any time. This is our opportunity to show everyone that we are responsible for our actions and that we care about the land we are using. I can clearly see the potential for us to develop a better relationship with The National Park Service by demonstrating to them that we can BASE jump safely and responsibly with minimum impact to our valuable resources.


I know that we have been down the hard road with our sport. The general public thinks we’re totally crazy. The NPS doesn’t want to deal with us. The news media uses us as cannon fodder to sell sensational and mostly negative stories. But we must put our anger aside and prove to everyone that we are simply “”sportsmen pursuing our sport”. Please confine your walking in new areas to dry washes and slickrock as much as possible. Do not drive a vehicle off established roads. Do not leave any litter. Pick up any litter you see, even if it’s not yours. Learn to think like an Aborigine; love the land, as if it was your mother.

I implore you all not to encourage lowtimers to jump here under any circumstances. This is not the place to learn to BASE jump. Wind can be a serious factor here and should be treated with great respect. You will have off-heading openings and you will need to be able to deal with them FOR SURE.

The Grand County Search and Rescue Team will be on alert in the event that they are needed. The Sheriff’s phone number is 259–8115. Or if you forget, call 911 and request the Grand County Search and Rescue Team. Many of the areas we now jump are extremely remote and the best plan is to not get hurt or hung on the wall. I will have ropes and some basic rescue gear in my vehicle in case I can be of help to anyone without the need to call out the team, but they are there if you really need them and they are really good people.
One important consideration for visiting BASE jumpers out here is the environment. Many people feel that the desert is a barren wasteland where we can drive and walk wherever we feel to get to an exit point and that the landscape cannot be harmed. I’m finding out more and more that the desert out here is very fragile. Concern for the environment should be of utmost importance to us if we wish to earn respect from the NPS and the BLM.

Both of these agencies out here are dealing with a huge increase in hikers, jeepers, mountain bikers and so forth and these agencies are very intolerant of land users who damage the desert. Since we are a relatively new land user group here in Moab it would really benefit us to show these agencies that we can respect the desert better than most other visitors.
There is a type of natural ground cover here called cryptobiotic soil (just call it “crypto” like the locals do) which looks like hardened clumps of black sand. It is actually a weave of sticky cyanobacteria filaments (AKA blue-green algae), moss, lichen, fungi and so on. This stuff helps to hold the sand down during wind storms and it also provides vital nutrients to surrounding plants and trees.

If we walk or drive on this crypto it will destroy the delicate filaments and will take many years for it to grow back. Until it grows back, an unsightly footprint or tire track will remain which may entice others to walk on or drive through the stuff creating a vicious cycle of impacts which will never fully recover. Let’s put a stop to it now! PLEASE, DO NOT WALK OR DRIVE ON CRYPTOBIOTIC SOIL. Walk on bare rock or in the dry washes as much as you possibly can while accessing exit points. The NPS, BLM and the community of Moab will respect us for our environmental concern. Hell, after a while they may even start to like us.

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