Advocate Beta - August 2020

Categories: LCO 101

As Access Fund pursues its own journey for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), we’re inspired by how many LCOs and climbing advocates have taken a stand and are working to integrate JEDI principles into your work to protect climbing areas and strengthen our community. Check out our new content below on inclusion for LCOs, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Access Fund’s Diversity Fellow, Taimur Ahmad, for help. We’re also excited to share that our annual climbing advocacy summit will go virtual this November. Mark your calendars and join us for a special international gathering of climbing advocates. Also, if you’re taking cautious steps to get back to the crag for stewardship work, check out the tips below.

Be safe, and have a great rest of your summer!

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director

Creating an Inclusive Community

As our country grapples with important social justice issues, climbers and LCOs across the nation are looking for ways to make our community more inclusive. It starts with listening and understanding, followed by action. We encourage you to start or continue your journey with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI), and we have some resources to help. Check out our latest article, 4 Ways LCOs Can Make the Climbing Community More Inclusive. And, in case you missed it, be sure to also check out Why Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter for Climbers. I’d also like to extend an invitation for you to reach out any time, if you have questions or need additional support implementing JEDI work into your LCO operations.
~Taimur Ahmad, Access Fund California Policy Assistant and Diversity Fellow

Virtual Advocacy Conference

Mark your calendars for November 14–15, 2020 for the National Climbing Advocacy Summit, which will look a bit different this year. Instead of meeting you in Chattanooga as originally planned, both our Climbing Advocacy Conference and the Summit Celebration Dinner will be virtual, for the safety of the community. Although we’re sad we can’t connect in person, we are excited to offer unique, new experiences through our virtual platform. We will be opening up the conference to global attendees and speakers to offer A Global Perspective on Local Solutions. This will be an exciting opportunity to learn from our international colleagues about climbing advocacy across the globe. We’re also opening the planning process, and we want to hear from you. If you have ideas for panels or workshops, or would like to present, fill out and submit this application by August 28. The Summit Celebration Dinner will be held separately this year, on October 7, 2020. Learn more about both events here. Keep an eye out for ticket registration, which will open soon.
~Jenna Winkler, Programs Manager

LCO Pro: Challenges & Victories

The next installment of our LCO Pro series explores some of the biggest challenges that paid LCO leaders face, as well as their biggest wins—check it out here. The LCO Pro series gives you an inside look into the relatively new world of paid staff within local climbing organizations. If you missed the first installment of this series, LCO Pro: The New Crop of LCO Professionals, be sure to check it out to meet these professionals and hear how they got started in their roles. Stay tuned for more installments in the series to learn about paid LCO staff, their job descriptions, and tips if you’re considering paid staff.
~Zachary Lesch-Huie, Access Fund National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director

Safe Adopt a Crags During COVID-19

With many climbing gyms still closed and medical professionals generally in support of outdoor activity, climbing areas are getting heavy use and seeing heavy impacts. And many are in dire need of stewardship. Quarantine, face masks, and social distancing were probably never part of your LCO’s annual planning, especially when it comes to Adopt a Crag events and stewardship programming. But the good news is that climbers across the country are amped to put the time in—we just need to make sure we’re creating a safe environment for our volunteers and communities. With careful planning, the Access Fund–Jeep Conservation Teams and several LCOs have been safely hosting Adopt a Crag events. Check out these tips for planning a safe Adopt a Crag during COVID-19.
~Ty Tyler, Access Fund Stewardship Director

About Our Community Ambassadors

Access Fund Community Ambassadors are volunteers who raise awareness and support for Access Fund’s mission. Their work includes support of our most important local partners: LCOs. Ambassadors are trained to support the LCOs in their area—think of them as another pair of hands for trail days, organizing events, and advocating for your work. LCOs will be introduced to their area ambassador after their training in early August. Access Fund Regional Directors are still your main go-to for project support or access issues, but you should feel free to tap into your ambassador for community-building support. To learn more, or to request ambassador support for your LCO’s work, please feel free to reach out to me at any time.
~Heather Distad, Events and Outreach Manager

Movers & Shakers

Iowa Climbers Coalition (ICC) has been working hard to create climbing management plans to solidify relationships with land managers and show a formal plan of action for managing their local climbing areas. Nice work, ICC!
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Boulder Climbing Community (BCC) is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2020 with 10 Weeks of Stewardly Fun, a series of virtual activities including trivia, contests, scavenger hunts, and more. Thank you, BCC, for your dedicated work over the last decade!
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Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento (CRAGS) is working alongside the Access Fund–Jeep Conservation Team to restore popular climbing area Lover’s Leap. This multiphase stewardship initiative will address erosion, create sustainable trails, and more.
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Resource Center