July 14, 2014. Lexington, Kentucky – The Access Fund and Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition (RRGCC) are excited to announce they have combined forces to offer joint membership. Climbers can now join and support the Access Fund and RRGCC with a single membership. This new combined membership allows climbers to support national climbing access efforts and Red River Gorge access efforts with a single membership donation.
RRGCC has worked with public and private land owners to preserve and expand climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge since 1996. The group owns and manages two climbing preserves, the Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve and the newly acquired Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, which together total over 1,000 acres and nearly as many routes. RRGCC also maintains crucial partnerships with local communities and land managers at places like Daniel Boone National Forest.
Last year, Access Fund and RRGCC worked together to successfully purchase and protect Miller Fork Recreational Preserve, a 309-acre tract of land containing numerous crags and miles of cliff. A largely undeveloped cliff line, the purchase of Miller Fork created a brand new climbing destination in the Red.
“We are proud of our work with the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition, and we are excited to expand that partnership through joint membership,” says Brady Robinson, Access Fund Executive Director. “Joint membership will grow and strengthen our work together in one of country’s most important climbing regions.”
Access Fund’s joint membership initiative is part of the organization’s ongoing efforts to expand support for the nearly 90 affiliate local climbing organizations across the country. Launched in 2012, the joint membership initiative has grown to include twenty one local groups, with the RRGCC being the most recent to join. Access Fund provides full membership administration, including member support services, database work, and renewal mailings, as well as a greater level of support with membership events, communications, and program-related support for grants and access projects. “The joint membership model is about providing a service that makes local climbing organizations stronger,” says Southeast Regional Director and National Affiliate Director Zachary Lesch-Huie. “It allows local groups to use Access Fund’s existing membership systems and resources so they have more time and resources to focus on local issues.”
“We’re an all-volunteer organization, so time and money are precious,” explains Bentley Brackett, RRGCC President. “With Access Fund joint membership we get a national-level program without the administrative burden or overhead. We can grow our base of support while staying focused on direct stewardship and access work.”
Climbers can join RRGCC and Access Fund at www.accessfund.org/rrgcc. Climbers can also sign up in person at this weekend’s 10th Annual RRGCC Johnny & Alex Trail Day on July 19th, one of the largest Adopt a Crag events in the country. New joint member sign-ups will be entered into a raffle for climbing shoes and other great gear. Register for this event at http://rrgcc.org/jatd/jatd.php.
About the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition
The Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition is a 501(c)3 non-profit working to ensure open, public access to quality outdoor rock climbing opportunities in and around Red River Gorge, Kentucky. RRGCC works to conserve the natural environment on publicly managed and privately owned land by protecting, promoting, and ensuring responsible climbing. RRGCC is an affiliate of Access Fund and member of the Land Trust Alliance, operating according to LTA’s national land trust standards and practices. For more information, visit www.rrgcc.org.
About the Access Fund
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 6.8 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Six core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing management policy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, risk management and land owner support, and education. For more information, visit www.accessfund.org.