Advocate Beta - May 2020

Categories: LCO 101

Responding to a global pandemic wasn’t supposed to be a part of the climbing advocacy skill set, but across the country, local climbing advocacy and conservation organizations (LCOs) have stepped up and continue to lead an incredible response to COVID-19. Despite challenges, LCOs remain laser-focused on doing the right thing for their climbing areas and communities. With new management pressures, postponed events, and closed areas, the pandemic is having real impacts on LCOs everywhere. We’d love to get your input, via a 10-minute COVID-19 LCO Impact Survey, to help us better understand your needs right now. We’re also pleased to share some COVID-19 resources that you can use in your community, including a new guide to climbing (or not) during the COVID-19 era.

We’re all tackling a challenge that’s greater than climbing right now, but it doesn’t mean climbing and our work to protect climbing areas is not important. Thanks for your work. Hang in there.

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director

LCO Pro, Part I: An Interview Series with Emerging LCO Professionals

A small but growing number of LCOs are making the move to professional staff, and it’s paying off. We interviewed six of these LCO pros to find out how they take care of their local climbing areas, support the climbing community, respond to COVID-19, and much more. With forced downtime from the coronavirus, now may be an ideal time for your LCO to discuss organizational goals, sustainability and growth, and whether paid staff is a part of that long-term trajectory. If your LCO is considering paid staff down the road, or if you’re just curious to see what’s listed in these job descriptions, read through the interviews here. Reach out to Access Fund if you have more questions or want to be connected to one of these leaders.
~Zachary Lesch-Huie, National Affiliate Director

Photo credit: Brian Poon

JEDI 101 for Climbers

You’ve likely heard the acronym JEDI, or DEI, floating around the climbing advocacy world lately. But what does it mean for your organization? JEDI—which stands for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion—has become an increasingly important part of the work both Access Fund and LCOs do. In simplest terms, JEDI work is about creating a climbing community that is open and fair to all, and as our community grows and changes, it is critical for the long-term success of climbing advocacy. For an introduction to what JEDI means and why it matters for your LCO, read JEDI 101 for Climbers. Stay tuned for more JEDI content aimed at helping your LCO in the coming year.
~Taimur Ahmad, California Policy Assistant & Diversity Fellow

Photo credit: Irene Yee

Joint Membership Puts $13,527 Back into LCOs in First Quarter

Access Fund started the joint membership program to fill two needs: to give members the convenience of joining both Access Fund and an LCO with a single membership, and to give LCOs an additional revenue source. We are thrilled to say that the joint membership program is thriving and growing every year. Each quarter, we send money back to participating LCOs to support projects at local crags. We just totaled up the payouts from the previous quarter and, despite COVID-19, we will send $13,527 back to our joint member LCOs—that’s even more than we sent during the same time last year. When our members select joint membership, they are supporting the crags in their back yard and strengthening the partnership between Access Fund and LCOs. If your LCO is interested in learning more about the joint membership program, check out the basics here, and feel free to reach out to me at any time.
~Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

New Webinars and Podcasts

We’ve been working hard to put together new content and resources for climbing advocates. You can take advantage of them right from your couch. Our last two webinars were designed to guide LCOs in dealing with the effects of COVID-19. You can now access recordings of both webinars—Responding to COVID-19 as an LCO and LCO Fundraising in the COVID-19 Era. We will post future webinars on that page as well. We also recommend plugging into the Climbing Advocate Podcast. Our host, Peter Horgan, has lined up interviews with advocates from all areas of the climbing world, most recently Tommy Caldwell. Tune into the podcast while you knock out your indoor training routine or organize your gear closet. If you have a great idea for our next webinar or podcast, please reach out!
~Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

Movers & Shakers

Cheat Canyon Climbers Coalition
The local climbing community has stepped up to form Cheat Canyon Climbers Coalition (CCCC), a new LCO whose mission is to preserve, protect, and expand climbing in the northern reaches of West Virginia. The new group is already forging partnerships with local land managers. We look forward to working with CCCC in the years to come
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Bishop Area Climbers Coalition
Bishop Area Climbers Coalition was one of the first LCOs to see a mass amount of climbers gathering in their community during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This crew acted quickly to spread the word on #stayhome and supported the closure announcements from land managers. We know there are more LCOs out there who’ve had to make tough calls with the community about COVID-19. Let us know how you handled it by emailing [email protected].
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Southeastern Climbers Coalition
Southeastern Climbers Coalition is bringing the community together through frequent Zoom video conversations, called QuaranPint Nights. Each video conference has a theme, unique speakers, tips for thriving during COVID-19, and a strong comradery with local climbers.
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