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The Way Foundation
EarthTeach Forest Park

General Waiver Form
Acknowledgement of Risk
Agreement to Participate
Acceptance of Responsibility
Release of Liability



Acknowledgement of Risk and Danger

Invitation:
The primary purpose of the Way Foundation and EarthTeach Forest Park is to be an agent for heightened consciousness. Our mission is to advocate, literally and metaphorically, for living our lives in awareness and balance...with total respect for how other life is lived. We see this agentry in terms of fostering a new 3 R’s--reverence, remembrance, and responsibility--in support of an emergent “new culture of meaning;” an inspiring, life-affirming new sense of why we are here.

EarthTeach Forest Park is meant to be a model of stewardship, learning community, and sustainability in the process of offering a wild nature public setting for experiential education and wisdom schooling. As such, EarthTeach is envisioned variously and simultaneously to be a laboratory, a workshop, and a very big sandbox. You are invited here to experiment, to work, to play.

So you are welcome!...and well come! Know, however, that with this invitation there comes an obligation: To be aware. And to be responsible. Beware and be response able.

Warning:
Much of the efficacy and value of experiences at EarthTeach Forest Park is derived of the fact that the park is a somewhat remote, semi-wild, relatively un-peopled place.

One aspect of the danger and risk associated with outings at EarthTeach stems from the fact that participants will be engaged in physical activities in an area without immediate access to emergency services or professional medical aid.

Another aspect of the danger and risks associated with these outings results from the fact that effective experiential education, healing, and challenge adventure trainings by their very nature encourage participants to operate at the edges of their perceived competence and capacity (i.e., to get outside the proverbial “comfort zone”).

In addition, as with any wilderness activity, rugged terrain, the weather, potential encounters with wildlife, and travel to and from the program venues on foot or by motor vehicle will, each alone or in possible combination, subject EarthTeach participants to risk of accident, injury, and--projecting a worse case scenario--even death.

Inventory of Hazards:
EarthTeach Park is located in mountains at the edge of the Cascade/Siskiyou high elevation land bridge. Siskiyou is a native word meaning “moving earth” or “shaking ground”...i.e. earthquakes. Earth heaves, fissures, land slides, distorted trees and dislodged boulders bear witness to a long history of seismic activity and unstable ground, including evidence of such that dates back no more than a decade.

Relatively large predators that have been witnessed within the bounds of EarthTeach Forest Park include mountain lion, black bear, lynx/bobcat and coyote.

There are a few isolated instances of poison oak and many instances of stinging nettles. Brush and lower branches of trees can lash and lacerate. There are remnants of very old barbed-wire fences here and there.

Insects that are disturbing, if not hazardous, include mosquitoes, deer flies, hornets, yellow jackets, honeybees, spiders, centipedes and ticks.

Snakes are present that can startle and alarm, but we’ve been 40 years covering this ground without encountering or even hearing of a rattlesnake at this elevation.

There are swamps, bogs, and other water elements, often covered by reed and grass mats, in which to get wet and/or stuck in the mud unexpectedly.

Footing can be treacherous. There is rugged and precipitous terrain. There are areas of rubble and loose stone and areas of steep, loose soil. There is soil of high clay content, which can be very slippery--especially in combination with steepness--when wet. Decaying wood and gopher activity can cause ground to give way underfoot.

In the fall, hunters will pose a safety threat until our prohibition of hunting with firearms on this land--historically open without restriction--becomes known and heeded.

There is potential danger overhead. For a short period each year, squirrels cut green Sugar Pine cones, sending 3lb+ “missiles” hurtling down with the force of a small pile- driver. A more widespread problem stems from the fact that much of the timber at EarthTeach Park is subject to dwarf mistletoe, a cancer-like condition, which simultaneously weakens the fiber strength of tree, limbs and causes weighty runaway growth of foliage. Wind and snow frequently bring down these heavy, structurally compromised limbs. It is a primary goal of EarthTeach to mitigate the impact of dwarf mistletoe but the disease is extensive and will present a hazard for some time.

Similarly it is a long-term objective of the Park’s forest management plan to minimize fire danger by replicating the effect of the natural fire cycle. Presently, however, because fire has been suppressed for several decades, we are faced with a major accumulation of fuel. Catastrophic wildfire is a severe risk to the Park with obvious potential to put EarthTeach participants in jeopardy.

So, with reference to all of the above--and to “acts of God” (we can show you varied evidence of lightning strikes)--you should be fully cognizant of the fact that, while all but the most private and personal of EarthTeach activities will be supervised by qualified and experienced personnel and while safety is always a paramount concern, it is impossible to guarantee that accidents will not occur.

Your best insurance--and ours: Be Conscious. Be Aware. Be Responsible.