Boulder, CO – The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, is pleased to announce that it has awarded over $1 million to local organizations, climbers and public agencies through the Climbing Preservation Grants Program. “We are thrilled to have put over $1 million dollars back into local climbing communities over the last two decades,” says Joe Sambataro, Access Director. “These funds empower climbers to improve their climbing areas, showing land managers that climbers are responsible stewards.” The Climbing Preservation Grants Program has been in place since the Access Fund’s inception in 1991, and awards up to $40,000 in grant money a year to local climbing communities with worthy projects that preserve or enhance climbing access. This second round of 2013 grant recipients has set the organization over the $1 million mark. We are pleased to announce funding for the following projects:
Friends of Muir Valley: Emergency Road Erosion Control – We are pleased to announce a grant to The Friends of Muir Valley (FoMV) to create a retaining wall to reclaim 10 feet of essential right-of-way to the emergency access road, which was lost during a flash flood in July. After the flood, the rear wheel of an ambulance fell off the edge of the road during a climber rescue, with the paramedics and patient inside. A four-wheel drive vehicle had to pull it back onto the road. This project will safeguard this vital access point, allowing first responders to safely reach the entire valley climbing area, which covers 400 acres and 350 different climbing routes.
Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council: Red Rocks Education and Awareness - We are pleased to announce a grant to The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council to continue stocking human waste disposal bags at Red Rocks (which currently average about 2,100 bags per year), install more dispensers throughout the climbing area, and provide educational signage regarding proper human waste disposal. This project will help mitigate climber impacts in high traffic areas like the Calico Hills, Kraft Boulders, and Black Velvet Canyon, thus preserving both culturally and ecologically sensitive sites as the number of climbers grows.
Minnesota Climbers Association: Save Sandstone Bouldering - Nearly ten years ago, the Minnesota Climbers Association (MCA) worked with private landowners to gain access to the high-quality bouldering area in Sandstone, Minnesota. This past fall, the MCA got word that the landowners were looking to sell the property, putting public access at imminent risk. The landowners generously agreed to give local climbers the first opportunity to purchase the land. With support from MCA and Access Fund, the Parks & Trail Council of Minnesota (PTCM) has agreed to purchase the property to be integrated into the nearby Banning State Parks. This grant will help PTCM purchase and hold the 108 acres of prime bouldering.
Mohonk Preserve: Climber Education at Lime Kiln Loop – We are pleased to announce a grant to The Mohonk Preserve, in partnership with the Gunks Climbers’ Coalition, to promote climber safety, ethics, etiquette, and ecological responsibility among climbers who access a popular local bouldering area via the Lime Kiln Loop trail. The grant money will fund the design and installation of interpretive/wayfinding signs, as well as three on-site public education programs that inform climbers about the area’s rich ecology and natural history. The project goal is to strike a balance between climber access, safety, and ecological protection.
Ouray Ice Park, Inc.: South Park Bathroom - Every year more psyched climbers enjoy The Ouray Ice Park than in years past. With this increase in visitation comes significant impact. We are pleased to announce a grant to The Ouray Ice Park to construct non-permanent and self-contained bathroom facilities in the South Park area of the park, which does not currently contain accessible bathroom facilities. Human waste will be removed for proper treatment, minimizing climber impact in this world-class park. This project will demonstrate to land managers and owners that the climbing community is serious about minimizing our impact on this truly unique resource.
Rumney Climbers Association: Capacity Building – We are pleased to offer a grant to the Rumney Climbers Association (RCA), which has been in existence since the early 1990s and was one of the first beneficiaries of an Access Fund land acquisition. In order to conserve and maintain the wonderful rock and ice climbing resources at Rumney, RCA will use the grant money to obtain their 501c3 nonprofit status. This will enable them a variety of benefits to more effectively pursue their mission to protect and steward the Rumney climbing area.
Salt Lake Climbers Alliance: Technical Rock Work Tools - For the past decade, the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) has organized half a dozen stewardship projects each year to improve and maintain climbing areas. This grant will help SLCA purchase technical rock work tools, safety protection for volunteers, and cleaning and maintenance materials for tools so that they can better execute their stewardship mission. The tools will be used to construct high quality trails and staging areas, made of natural long lasting materials, at crags across the Wasatch Range.
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.