Access Fund to Assist in Purchase of Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders - SNEWS

Access Fund to Assist in Purchase of Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders

The Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund announced today the intent to purchase and conserve the Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North Carolina.
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Boulder, CO, December 7, 2009 — The Carolina Climbers Coalition and the Access Fund announced today the intent to purchase and conserve the Rumbling Bald West Side Boulders in North Carolina.

The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, will provide a bridge loan of $72,000 from the new Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to finance 90% of the purchase price for the 6.12 acre tract that is currently under contract by the Carolina Climbers Coalition.

The two organizations are working together to finalize the purchase of this popular bouldering area from a private developer. Developed in 1999, the parcel hosts 30 boulders with approximately 200 high quality boulder problems. The area sees considerable use from southeast climbers due to its central location to several nearby metropolitan areas, including Asheville, NC; Charlotte, NC; Greenville, SC; and Spartanburg, SC.

North Carolina State Park officials and wildlife biologists have confirmed the existence of the endangered White Irisette on the property. Park officials and biologists agreed that climbers do not pose a significant threat to this species. In fact, it was generally acknowledged that the use by climbers is likely benefiting the population, as disturbance of the trails reduces leaf litter, which aids in the survival and reproduction of White Irisette.

The Carolina Climbers Coalition plans to work with park officials to survey the property and to ensure the protection and health of the endangered species while under their stewardship.
The Carolina Climbers Coalition plans to hold the parcel for the duration of the loan repayment. It has an aggressive fundraising plan in place for the full purchase price and is set to own the property outright within a year. In the summer of 2011, the Carolina Climbers Coalition plans to transfer the property to North Carolina State Parks as an addition to the Rumbling Bald area of Chimney Rock State Park for long-term, climber-friendly management.

The Carolina Climbers Coalition takes on the Rumbling Bald property with the full confidence and support of the Access Fund. The CCC has a strong track record of owning and managing climbing areas—including Laurel Knob and Asheboro bouldering area—and raising funds to secure and steward these areas. To date it is estimated that the CCC and the Access Fund have raised over $250,000 to secure access to these 2 areas.

The deal is expected to close by January 3rd, 2009. Please stay tuned to the Carolina Climbers Coalition for detailed fundraising plans and opportunities to give your support. For more information, contact Anthony Love at alove@carolinaclimbers.org or Joe Sambataro at joe@accessfund.org. Visit www.carolinaclimbers.org for new updates.

About the Carolina Climbers Coalition The Carolina Climber's Coalition was established in 1995 with the purposes of preserving the natural environment, promoting safe climbing practices and preserving climber's access to climbing areas in North and South Carolina. The Carolina Climbers Coalition has a track record of success with their ownership of Laurel Knob and their regular lease of the Asheboro bouldering area. For more information visit www.carolinaclimbers.org.

About the Access Fund Since 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.

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