Advocate Beta - November 2020

Categories: LCO 101

Although 2020 has been cruxy, it has been an inspiring year for climbing advocacy organizations. Y’all are learning and leading through a global pandemic and a national movement for social justice, and it’s been amazing to watch the reflection, innovation, and response to new challenges. Our climbing advocacy movement is truly global, and climbers everywhere are organizing to keep climbing areas open and accessible for everyone. That’s why I’m excited to join hundreds of advocates from across the globe on November 14–15 for our first-ever international Climbing Advocacy Conference, which is free and virtual. There’s really nothing quite like these gatherings of dedicated climbing advocates and stewards to put fuel back in the tank for our good work—and it’s a perfect time to share success stories and new solutions. The pandemic is far from over, so stay vigilant around COVID-19 climbing practices, educating your community and minimizing impacts at the crag. Climbing areas and public lands are getting slammed right now, so our role as upstanders and stewards is even more important.

See you at the conference in a few weeks,

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director


Credit: Francois Lebeau

Only 2 Weeks Away from the Climbing Advocacy Conference!

We’re less than two weeks away from Access Fund’s Climbing Advocacy Conference, so be sure to register if you haven’t already. We have more than a dozen webinars, workshops, and discussions to help you protect your local climbing areas and build a climbing advocacy community. For the first time ever, international speakers are joining us, from more than 10 countries, to talk about how climbing access works around the world. This is a great opportunity to learn from our peers overseas who face similar issues with climbing access and conservation. Register today to reserve your spot! This virtual event is free, and all attendees will receive access to the recordings from each session, as well as an evening of inspiring, action-packed documentaries from Mountainfilm on Tour on Saturday night!
~Jenna Winkler, Programs Manager

Credit: Heather Dubrall

Send Us Your Adopt a Crag Information

Please take a couple of minutes to fill out this form and tell us about the stewardship work your LCO accomplished in 2020. We will use this information to prove to land managers and lawmakers how climbers are a part of the solution to mitigating impacts. COVID was tough on stewardship plans, but we know that many of you got creative and were still able to make significant progress. Let us showcase your good work! You can also register your Adopt a Crags here.
~Jenna Winkler, Programs Manager

LCO Pro: Making the Leap to Paid Staff

In the first two parts of our LCO Pro series, you heard from the advocates who make up the small group of paid LCO staff about their biggest challenges and achievements. In this part, we switch gears to dig deeper into when and why these LCOs transitioned to paid staff and how these positions are funded. If you’re on the fence about making the leap for your LCO, these two key questions could help you decide if you’re ready.
~Zachary Lesch-Huie, National Affiliate Director


Credit: Brian Tickle

New JEDI Tracking Tool for LCOs

Over the past few months, many LCOs have embarked on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) initiatives to make our community a more welcoming place—learning and leading, hosting community roundtables, welcoming new board members, starting JEDI committees, and forging new partnerships. To track these efforts and help us all learn from each other, we’ve created a sharable tracking tool. Thanks to those of you who answered a short JEDI survey to inform this tracker. We’ve also fielded calls from many of you, asking for help and feedback on your organization’s JEDI journey. We’re here to help, so keep ’em coming!
~ Taimur Ahmad, JEDI and Policy Associate

Movers & Shakers

Mid Atlantic Climbers downsized their regular Adopt a Crag program for COVID precautions, but maintained stewardship work with small teams of volunteers. Check out their work to clean up graffiti at Great Falls.

We’re psyched to join WyoClimbers in welcoming Josie McKee as their new executive director, taking the torch from Lauren Heerschap. Josie is based in Lander, and you can meet her at our Measuring Community Impact panel during the Climbing Advocacy Conference.

Iowa Climbers Coalition brought the community out on an amazing Pictured Rocks Adopt a Crag this past September. Masked volunteers took care of business. Check out this great video.

    Resource Center

    • If your climbing community is struggling with inappropriate route names, check out Why Routes Names Matter and reach out to us for support.
    • Catch up on The Climbing Advocate Podcast to listen in on Brown Girls Climb and Access Fund discuss how we can make our crags more accessible.
    • Did you know we put together a Climbers in Quarantine package to keep you psyched? And make sure you check out our other resources in the Access Fund store.