Access Fund Announces First Round Grant Recipients for 2009

Date: 4/1/2009

In the first round of the Climbing Grants Preservation program for 2009, the Access Fund awarded over $20,000 to support local climbing activism and conservation of the climbing environment. Presented three times annually, the Climbing Preservation Grants program provides financial assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment in the United States. During this round of grants, the Access Fund is supporting ten proposals, representing a wide array of projects from grassroots start-up and outreach, to acquisitions, trail work, climber education, kiosks, and research surveys. The Access Fund applauds the grant applicants and climbing community across the nation for a great start to 2009.

The following grants were awarded this round:

Southeast Climbers Coalition (SCC) – Steele Acquisition
A grant was awarded to SCC to go toward the purchase of over 25 acres known as Steele in Alabama. The Steele property features 1,418 linear feet of cliff line and includes access, parking, and land above the cliff. Steele has been permanently closed since 1987 but features a rich history of traditional and sport route development in the 70s and 80s with potential for new bouldering development. Steele is located close to metro areas and is visible on the drive to Horse Pens 40.

Dr. Rob Ramey – Review Paper on Raptor Closures
A grant was awarded to Dr. Rob Ramey for the research and production of a scientific publication that provides an objective and well-documented peer-reviewed analysis of the literature on human disturbance to nesting raptors. This paper will provide a quantitative and reasoned basis for land managers and climbers to make informed choices on the appropriate scale and timing of recreational closures for cliff nesting raptors.

Friends of Indian Creek (FOIC) – Organizational Start-up
A grant was awarded to FOIC to assist with start-up costs, including 501(c)(3) non profit fees and incorporation. This process is a key step for organizational fundraising toward future projects.

Yosemite National Park – Climber’s Brochure
A grant was awarded to Yosemite National Park for the creation and printing of a brochure for climbers visiting Yosemite. The Access Fund, Yosemite Climbing Association, the American Alpine Club, Friends of YOSAR, and the YosemiteMountaineering School have participated in drafting the brochure, which will include low-impact expectations, safety information, maps, and descriptions of various climbing opportunities in the park. The brochures will be distributed widely at visitor centers, campgrounds, outdoor stores, and climbing schools in the area as well as online at NPS and partner websites.

Four Corners Climbing Coalition (4CCC) – Hawkins Preserve Kiosk
A grant was awarded to 4CCC for construction of a kiosk at Hawkins Preserve, a popular local bouldering area on private property in Cortez, Colorado. The site was closed in 2007 but reopened with 4CCC’s efforts in partnership with the landowner. The kiosk will meet a critical need to communicate permit requirements at the trailhead.

Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) – Rumney Rocks Trail and Staging
A grant was awarded to AMC to help fund a professional trail crew for a one-month project to perform heavy trail reconstruction at the popular Waimea and Main cliffs at Rumney. Further work will be done in coordination with local volunteers and the Rumney Climbers Association. This project will address recent impacts of Rattlesnake fire in 2008, in agreement with the newly adopted Rumney Rocks Management Plan.

Climbers of Hueco Tanks (CHTC) – Organizational Start-up
A grant was awarded to CHTC to assist with start-up costs, including 501(c)(3) non profit fees and incorporation. CHTC is a newly formed local climbing organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing rock climbing at Hueco Tanks Historic Site with projections of 1,000 members within the three years.

Access Fund Land Foundation (AFLF) – Operating Funds
A grant was awarded to the AFLF to cover expenses for the continued stewardship and management of Golden Cliffs, Unaweep Canyon, and Society Turns in Colorado. The AFLF is a separate non profit entity incorporated in 1990 to hold title of these climbing areas.

The BLM-Bishop Field Office – Bishop Climbing Ethics Brochure
A grant was awarded to the BLM-Bishop Field Office to help with the creation of a climbing ethics brochure. The brochure will feature low-impact climbing practices specific to Bishop, a sensitive climbing area on BLM land and Inyo National Forest. Greater distribution of materials at campgrounds is necessary to educate the growing number of climbers bouldering at Bishop each year.

Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council (LVCLC) – Education Materials
A grant was awarded to LVCLC for education materials, including membership brochures, Leave-No-Trace membership, and banners. The LVCLC recently restructured and new materials are needed to grow membership and outreach.

About the Access Fund
Since 1991, the Access Fund has been the only 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.