top of page


Rock Climbers Left in the Dark

AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho — A hearing on closing rock formations near Massacre Rocks State Park to climbing became shrouded in mystery Wednesday night.

Suzann Henrikson, an archaeologist for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, said it can be frustrating when asked to tell the public how important the preservation of a particular site is without being able to elaborate on exactly what needs protection.

She understands that it must be equally frustrating for people who value the recreation a location offers, but are asked to give it up.

Unfortunately for Henrikson and frustrated rock climbing enthusiasts, federal law requires her to keep mum.

Henrikson was discussing the federal restraints on what she can say about archaeological sites at a meeting hosted by BLM at the Power County Annex in American Falls on Wednesday. The meeting was to provide the public with information about, and take feedback on a proposed plan to close access to parts of BLM land in Cedar Fields and Castle Rocks to preserve culturally important sites.

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act has a section that prohibits us from revealing the location and nature of sites,” she said. “Of course (people) are frustrated. They assume we