Boulder, Colorado,August 12, 2009 — The Access Fund is proud to announce unprecedented industry support of the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign (AFLCC), a new movement to save endangered climbing areas. The AFLCC is a multimillion-dollar revolving loan program designed to provide local climbing organizations and other agencies with the funds and expertise needed to act quickly to save threatened climbing areas.
“Over the years, we’ve seen more private climbing areas changing hands, some of them lost to cash-ready developers. Local climbers don’t always have the money or the resources to save these climbing areas. This program was designed to help them,” says Brady Robinson, Access Fund Executive Director. “The desire to keep these recreational areas open is the goal of the AFLCC and we are pleased with the extraordinary level of support from industry leaders such as prAna, The North Face, Mammut, Outdoor Research, Petzl, Mountain Gear, and Black Diamond.”
While a portion of the Access Fund’s focus and revenues has always been allocated to acquisition and protection of threatened land, the new AFLCC program will expand on this capability, arming local climbing organizations to take on the ever-growing threats of development and protect our climbing resources from landowners who are not climber friendly.
The AFLCC will provide local climbing organizations with short-term loans and expertise on direct acquisitions, leases, easements, and other tactics. This assistance and bridge financing for time-sensitive projects will give local climbers the opportunity to raise money over a longer period of time and/or finalize take-out strategies. In addition to loans, the AFLCC may also offer grants for direct conservation efforts, including acquisitions and other projects that protect climbing areas on private land.
The AFLCC already has two successful pilot projects underway. The first is a $15,000 bridge loan to secure an option agreement for the acquisition of the Lower Index Town Wall in Washington. “The Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign stepped in at just the right time to loan WCC the funds necessary to secure this option,” says WCC Secretary Matt Perkins. The second is a $20,000 bridge loan to Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) to help facilitate the purchase of a 29-acre cliff line in Steele, Alabama.
The Access Fund has been fundraising for the campaign for 14 months and is over halfway toward its goal of $2.5 million. To date, the AFLCC has been supported by a number of generous individuals and companies within the outdoor industry.
About the Access Fund
Founded in 1991, the Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents over 1.6 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.