Access Fund Partners with NPS on Climbing Management Training

Earlier this month, Access Fund partnered with the National Park Service (NPS) in Tucson, AZ to host a training event on climbing management best practices. We shared information with NPS staff on fixed anchors, stewardship for sustainable climbing areas, climbing policy, and climbing trends.

The event brought National Park Service representatives and partner organizations together to learn about new management strategies and brainstorm ideas for revising the practical implementation of wilderness climbing management guidelines (DO#41).

Access Fund has an active Memorandum of Understanding with NPS that provides a framework for collaborating on climbing issues in national parks. We began pushing for this type of NPS training event in 2014, after it became apparent that several national parks were either ignoring DO#41 guidelines or lacked the processes to apply the guidelines to a range of issues, including fixed anchor permitting.

The event had great turnout, with over 40 attendees, including NPS administrators, superintendents, wilderness managers, and climbing rangers from major national parks like Devils Tower, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Denali, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, New River Gorge, Canyonlands, Mt. Ranier, North Cascades, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We were also joined by non-profit partners, including the American Alpine Club, American Mountain Guides Association, National Park Conservation Association, and The Wilderness Society.

“This event will go down as an important stepping stone in NPS climbing management history,” says Erik Murdock, Access Fund Policy Director. “The incredible attendance from influential NPS managers indicates that the agency is invested in improving climbing management in national parks and that they value climbing and the climbing community.”

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