An online petition has been started to ban Shawn Snyder, a local. self-identified bolt regulator, from public lands by Central Oregon climbers.
Central Oregon Daily News received a lot of feedback from a story we did last week on Snyder’s activities. Many in the local climbing community were critical that we didn’t dive deeper into Snyder’s criminal record. And while installing or removing bolts in national forest climbing areas is not illegal, the concern we heard was more about violence that Snyder has resorted to while interacting with locals.
An incident at Smith Rock on May 3, 2021, resulted in Snyder swinging a hammer at John Collins, a local climber.
“He definitely tried to stick it in my head and at the last second I had to make a decision to duck and the hammer missed me by maybe an inch,” said Collins.
Snyder was convicted of attempted assault in the second degree, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, attempted assault in the fourth degree and theft in the second degree.
He was also banned from Smith Rock State Park and put on probation for five years.
Due to interactions like this with others and Snyder’s stated personal mission to maintain and regulate bolts in the area, climbers are hoping he is eventually no longer allowed on public lands.
The new petition cites Snyder stealing climbing anchors — which include bolts — damage and vandalism. But according to the National Forest Service, removing or tampering with bolts is not illegal.
“We have no special regulations and we really feel like the climbing community needs to resolve this within themselves,” said Jean Nelson-Dean, Public Affairs Officer for Deschutes National Forest.
While messing with left-behind climbing equipment is not illegal, threatening and assaulting people is and the climbing community wants something to be done about this issue.
“Shawn is a threat because he goes out to these climbing areas and he looks for confrontation and then he deals with it in a violent way,” said Collins.
As of the publishing of this story, the petition has 247 signatures.