Access Fund Gathers Land Managers and Climbers in Vegas

On October 22 through 24 the Access Fund brought federal land managers and field-level personnel who are involved in recreation policy together to share best practices in climbing management.
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On October 22 through 24 the Access Fund, the national non-profit

advocacy group that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, brought federal

land managers and field-level personnel who are involved in recreation policy together to share best

practices in climbing management.



Over 80 land managers and climbers from around the United States gathered in Las Vegas, Nevada for

the Access Fund hosted National Climbing Management Summit. Federal land managers from the

Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and US Forest Service outlined their management

practices at climbing areas such as Yosemite, Red Rocks, the Black Canyon, Indian Creek, Denali

National Park, and White Mountains National Forest. Together with climbers, the group tackled

complicated climbing management issues related to cultural resources, fixed anchors, sensitive species,

and wilderness designations.



With land management offices starved for resources, both human and financial, the easiest way to deal

with management challenges like climbing is often to restrict access or just close the area down. This

summit was meant to provide land managers with proven tactics to address common climbing

management issues, bring consistency to policy and enforcement, and impose fewer unnecessary

climbing restrictions.



“There are a lot of misperceptions out there that are tied to climbing issues,” says Access Fund Policy

Director Jason Keith. “With better communication, land managers will be more prepared to understand

and meet climbing management challenges and be less reactive. Our hope was to provide them with a

network of people to go to for solutions to climbing issues they might be experiencing.”



The group spent a day in the field at Red Rocks, observing climbers. The rest of the conference was

spent on presentations and discussions related to climbing techniques, management best practices, and

how climbers interact with the surrounding environment.



The Access Fund is working with its agency partners to create an online information center that will

provide contact information for planning experts, model management plans, and other planning resources

that will assist with solving future climbing policy challenges.



About the Access Fund

Since 1991, the Access Fund has been the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas

open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents over 2.3

million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and

bouldering. Five core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing management

policy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, and

education. For more information visit www.accessfund.org.

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