Help Shape the Future of Climbing in the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests

Do you climb in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range? The Sierra, Sequoia, and Inyo Forests are home to iconic climbing areas such as the Needles, Mt. Whitney, Incredible Hulk, Bear Creek Spire, Cardinal Pinnacle, Shuteye Ridge, and Pine Creek Canyon (just to name a few).

Right now there is a historic opportunity to get involved to protect these forests and our climbing opportunities. There are a number of events happening in the next month that will shape the future of the Inyo, Sierra and Sequoia National Forests. We encourage you to attend. These National Forests are in the process of revising their Forest Plans which will determine how the National Forests, including climbing, will be managed for decades. The Access Fund and our partners at Outdoor Alliance, have been working on these plan revisions on behalf of the climbing community for over 3 years and now it is your turn to step up.

The Forest Service relies on comments, insight, and data from people like you who know the forests and their recreational opportunities better than anyone. Your participation at the workshops and public meetings is what keeps the public in public lands, and makes sure quality recreation is available to everybody. Please attend one of the following events to represent the climbing community and to share your concerns about the draft Forest Plan alternatives.

Here is what you need to know now:

Among other things, the draft Forest Plan proposes new wilderness areas, outlines how the Forest Service will provide recreation opportunities and describes a framework for protecting animals, vegetation, land, air and water. Climbers should tell the Forest Service that:

1) Climbing is an appropriate recreation activity of historical significance in the Sierra Nevada mountain range (John Muir’s first ascents date back to the late 1800s).

2) National Forests should allow and maintain access to the entire spectrum of climbing opportunities (front-country bouldering and sport climbing to backcountry alpine adventures).

3) Climbing areas that are well developed (such as Needles) should not be recommended as wilderness in order to prevent future management issues associated with fixed anchor maintenance (power drills are not allowed in wilderness).

4) Climbers make significant contributions to local economies and support gateway communities throughout the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

The Forest Service will be hosting a number of public meetings in August:

● August 1 – Mammoth (Inyo NF): 6pm-8pm

● August 2 – Bishop (Inyo NF): 6pm-8pm

● August 3 – Porterville (Sequoia NF): 6pm-8pm

● August 4 – Clovis (Sierra NF): 6pm-8pm

(click here for information on meeting locations)

Outdoor Alliance will be hosting two workshops in the LA area August 7 and 8.

● Arcadia REI, August 7 from 5:30-7:30 PM

● Santa Monica REI, August 8 from 6:30-8:30 PM

And, finally, our friends at the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative will be hosting a workshop in Bishop on August 15.

For more info, read the Plans and/or contact [email protected] .

Photo by Kevin Calder - Access Fund board member, Peter Croft, on Cardinal Pinnacle in Inyo National Forest.