Access Fund Announces First Round 2010 Grant Recipients

Date: 5/7/2010

In the first round of the Climbing Preservation Grant Program for 2010, the Access Fund awarded over $23,000 to support local climbing activism and conservation of the climbing environment. Presented two times annually, the Climbing Preservation Grant program provides financial assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment in the United States. During this first round of grants, the Access Fund is supporting nine worthy projects. The following grants were awarded this round:

Northern Wisconsin Climbers Coalition – Organizational Start-up
A grant was awarded to Northern Wisconsin Climbers Coalition (NWCC) for start-up costs associated with their 501(c)(3) non profit application, incorporation, and a vinyl banner. In their first year, NWCC has been highly active, seeking partnerships with public entities such as Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The incorporation process is a key step for organizational fundraising and future projects.

CRAG-VT - Carcass Crag Acquisition
CRAG-VT was awarded a grant for the acquisition of 3 acres of cliff line, known as Carcass Crag, adjacent to the Bolton Quarry. The Carcass Crag, although small, includes highly popular climbs on an 80’ overhanging schist wall and continues to yield linkups and new routes. Public access to this privately owned crag would have been lost this summer if an acquisition was not completed. The grant money allowed CRAG-VT to secure a purchase and sale agreement with closing expected in July.

Idaho State University Outdoor Adventure Center - Ross Park Sunny Side Restoration
A grant was awarded to Idaho State University Outdoor Adventure Center for heavy trail work at the popular Rose Park Sunny Side climbing area. This work will create one access trail, eliminating numerous social trails along the cliff that are causing erosion problems. This is a joint project by the City, University, and local climbers.

Climbers of Hueco Tanks - Clean-up and Trail Work
A grant was awarded to Climbers of Hueco Tanks Coalition to help recoup costs associated with a February clean-up at Hueco Tanks. The event drew 85 volunteers to complete a trail project in the maze area and clean over 40 areas at the State Historic Site. This project was a great example of climbers building a stronger relationship with land managers to balance cultural and natural resource protection with public recreation.

Colorado Mountain Club - Lincoln Icefall
Colorado Mountain Club was awarded a grant for GIS mapping to address access issues at the ice climbing area of LincolnFalls, which is popular in the fall when other ice climbs have not yet formed. The project will also address access issues and trail construction at three popular fourteeners: Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, and Mt. Bross. The Access Fund grant will assist with the GIS mapping to help resolve these access issues in an area complicated by private parcels and access points.

Peter Clark of West Virginia University - New River Gorge Sustainable Climbing Assessment
A grant was awarded to Peter Clark, a graduate student at West Virginia University, who is conducting a baseline study of cliff flora in the New River Gorge. This study will evaluate and compare flora populations in areas of different climbing use (trad, sport, top roping). The goal is to evaluate sustainable recreational use of the cliffs by climbers and hikers. The research proposal comes with support of the New River Alliance of Climbers.

National Park Service - Exit Strategies Conference
The National Park Service was awarded a grant to assist with a 2010 conference on exit strategies of human waste. This conference will include land managers and representatives from major climbing areas facing waste management crises due to high recreational use. This new grant will match a grant given to the National Park Service last year in preparation for the conference.

Madrone Wall Preservation Committee – Madrone Wall Trail System
A grant was awarded to the Madrone Wall Preservation Committee (MWPC) to build a trail system at Madrone Wall in Oregon. The County will not allow public access until adequate parking and trails are established; however, they are matching the Access Fund grant with labor costs for project coordinators, vehicle use, and trail building tools. There will be three trail-building days with opportunities for volunteers to climb on those days. This is one of the final hurdles for re-opening Madrone Wall after 13 years of closure.

Arkansas Climbers Coalition - Sam's Throne Vault Toilets
A grant was awarded to the Arkansas Climbers Coalition (ARCC) to assist the Ozark-St. Francis National Forest in the purchase and installation of two vault toilets at Sam’s Throne. In 2005, the Forest Service upgraded the area to include a primitive campground and additional day-use parking area with an informational kiosk. ARCC has hosted a number of Adopt a Crag events in recent years, yet the lack of toilet facilities has led to growing environmental damage at the site. The Access Fund grant, along with matching funds from the Forest Service and ARCC, will allow the toilet installation to be completed.