Advocate Beta - April 2019

Categories: LCO 101

It’s spring, and our climbing advocacy network is in full bloom. When Access Fund began in 1991, local grassroots advocates were just starting to organize. You could count the number of local climbing organizations (LCOs) on one hand. Today, there are 130 LCOs focused on climbing advocacy and conservation. That’s amazing growth, and the positive impact we’re all having at climbing areas from Alaska to Maine really shows.

Access Fund remains committed to supporting local climbing advocacy organizations. Take a look at the new resources below, including a a slick new graphic design kit with custom climbing icons to create kiosk signage. We’re also revamping webinars this year. Our first one, on cliff-nesting raptors, is linked below. The Adopt a Crag program is one of our longest-running trail day stewardship support programs, so don’t forget to register your events on the national calendar. Last, we hope to see you at our upcoming Midwest Climbing Advocacy Summit (details below). Thanks for your partnership and work to protect local climbing areas.

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director

New Climbing Signage Kit

Educational kiosks and interpretive signs are starting to become a staple of climbing areas across the country. They are an easy way to show visitors the local ethics and access issues. These signs can also help relay the concerns of land managers by showcasing crucial safety information right at the trailhead. Access Fund now has sign templates available for your use, along with climbing-specific icons and suggested language that can be customized to each climbing area. Advocates looking to use the templates will need Adobe InDesign to download the templates, swap out pictures, and rearrange the icons. Check out the templates and options here.~ Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

2019 Advocate Webinars

We will host a series of webinars in 2019 that will feature Access Fund staff and the experts they partner with to answer some of climbers’ most frequently asked questions. The series kicked off in March on the timely topic of raptor conservation and climbing management. That recording and details on upcoming webinars can be found here. Future topics include planning long-term stewardship initiatives, tools for working with landowners, and liability and insurance. ~ Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

Register Your Trail Day as an Adopt a Crag Event

Are you organizing a trail day or volunteer stewardship event? Register it as an Adopt a Crag for greater Access Fund support. Since 2011 Access Fund has helped thousands of LCOs to organize and host successful trail days and cleanups. As the weather starts to warm up, many local climbing organizations and climbing advocates dedicate time to steward and care for their local crags. Register your stewardship event, and Access Fund will post the details on our calendar, send a regional email blast to members in the area, and ship out a support box full of waivers, event posters, and giveaways for volunteers. Take advantage of these benefits by filling out the form on this page. Every time an Adopt a Crag gets registered, we show land managers how serious and enthusiastic the climbing community is about helping to care for their treasured places. ~Ty Tyler, Stewardship Director

Insurance for LCO Events

When selecting insurance coverage for your event, take the time to carefully review your policy and make sure it provides the kind of coverage you’re actually looking for. Access Fund and over 20 LCOs around the country carry insurance through Alliant, which covers a variety of activities, including fundraisers, Adopt a Crags, and stewardship events. Obtaining coverage for a climbing competition may require a separate special event policy. Check whether your policy contains an athletic participants exclusion. If you purchased a policy for a few hundred dollars without having to provide in-depth detail about your climbing competition, there is a good chance your policy contains this type of exclusion -- meaning that everyone participating in the event is covered except the actual climbers. If your LCO already carries a general liability policy, look into purchasing volunteer accident coverage and request a short-term endorsement for your competition. This type of “good guy” policy allows you to provide up-front medical payments to someone who gets injured during your competition. If your LCO doesn’t carry a general liability policy, give yourself plenty of time before your climbing competition to find an insurance carrier that will write a policy to cover your event. You can expect to be asked about the nature of the event, the number of climbers, your emergency rescue plan, and other questions that will give the insurer an idea of the scope of your event. While it is difficult to give an estimate of the cost of a typical event insurance policy, it is not unreasonable to spend upwards of $800 for a single event. ~Brian Tickle, Texas Regional Director

Join Us at Our Midwest Summit, May 4-5

Local climbing organizations, volunteers, and passionate climbers are invited to join us in Devil’s Lake on May 4 and 5 for Access Fund’s Midwest Climbing Advocacy Summit. Day One will be conference-style, filled with speakers who have fought for climbing access. Day Two will take attendees into Devil’s Lake State Park to explore best practices for climbing area stewardship. Tickets are only $25 and are selling fast! Register for the weekend here.

Movers & Shakers

South Central Pennsylvania Climbers
Access Fund is excited to welcome South Central Pennsylvania Climbers (SCPC) to our joint membership program! This local climbing organization formed in 2015 to serve the south central climbing community by maintaining relationships with landowners, educating about best practices in climbing, and stewarding local crags.
Learn More

San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance
San Luis Valley Climbers Alliance (SLVCA) in Colorado has become an official partner of Access Fund by signing on as an affiliate organization. Access Fund will support SLVCA as it provides education to the climbing community, creates stewardship opportunities, and maintains access to local crags.
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Portland Area Climbers Coalition
We're excited to welcome the new Portland Area Climbers Coalition (PACC) to our affiliate network of local climbing organizations. PACC is covering stewardship and conservation of places like Viento, Ozone, Beacon, and many more crags and boulders in and around Portland.
Learn More

New in the Resource Center

  • Listen to our latest release of The Climbing Advocate Podcast. Listen Here.
  • Review the results from our LCO Survey. Learn More.
  • Take a look at the new infographics we've uploaded on resource management. Learn More.