- Associated Press - Friday, September 6, 2019

ALMO, Idaho (AP) - Highlining - a daredevil sport where someone tries to walk across a rope or nylon strap suspended high above the ground - has been banned at a national reserve and state park in Idaho while the activity is studied.

Officials at the state-managed City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park say the ban took effect Aug. 28 after several highlining episodes among the towering, rocky outcrops.

Most people participating in the sport wear a harness to catch them if they fall.

Superintendent Wallace Keck told The Times-News in a story on Thursday that officials want to analyze the potential effects of the sport before possibly allowing it to continue.

“If it’s acceptable to the park’s mission and purpose, then there’s no reason why we wouldn’t find a place for it somewhere,” he said.

Keck said some considerations include views being marred by ropes stretched between pinnacles, damage to the area and illegally anchoring ropes on federal land within the reserve.

It’s not clear when a decision about highlining could be made.

The 22.5-square-mile (58-square-kilometer) park is comprised of land belonging to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service and Idaho State Parks and Recreation. The state manages the site in a deal with the National Park Service.

Keck, an Idaho employee, said National Park Service policy requires him to monitor and examine uses at the area to make sure lands do not see unanticipated impacts.

Highlining took place in August in both the federal and state portions of the recreation area before the ban was put in place.

Ryan Robinson took part in an event called the Idaho Mountain Festival in August and set up a highline. He said he studied park regulations before putting up a highline at Castle Rocks.

“Just because something is new or unknown doesn’t mean it should be illegal,” he said. “We are lovers of this place and this planet. Our sport is inspiring and gets people outside to enjoy nature while learning the art of balance.”


Information from: The Times-News, http://www.magicvalley.com

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