Closed: Draper’s Bluff, Illinois

Date: 6/15/2009

Owners of the popular Illinois climbing area, Draper's Bluff, published an open letter to the climbing community last month announcing the immediate closure of their land to climbing and other recreational use. Landowners recently discovered that the Illinois state legislature had amended state law and narrowed the liability protections afforded landowners who allow recreational access on their land. The Access Fund is collaborating with the Illinois Climbers Association and local regional coordinator on risk management strategies for the area, as well as a political advocacy strategy to address this issue at the state legislative level.

This amended state law now limits liability protections to hunting or recreational shooting only. Despite a long history of open access at Draper’s Bluff, the climber-friendly landowners felt compelled to close Draper’s to climbing due to increased risk of liability. However, the landowners have encouraged the climbing community to take action and urge amendment to the state’s recreational user statute and have left open the possibility that Draper’s could be reopened to climbing in the future.

Part of our collective political advocacy strategy will be a letter writing campaign to harness the voices of the climbing community. Please stay tuned to Illinois Climbers Association/Access Fund news and action alerts to learn how you can contribute to an organized effort to address this issue.

Read letter from the landowner.

For more information, visit the Illinois Climbers Association’s website