Advocate Beta - November 2018

Categories: LCO 101

We often work with LCOs over email or on the phone, but nothing beats seeing you in person. And we’re still enjoying the energy and motivation from our national climbing advocacy summit in New York City in September. We covered many pressing topics at the summit, but one in particular you’re hearing more from us about is stewardship and managing our growing impacts on climbing areas. Many climbing areas are on an unsustainable path. We know you’re on it in your backyard, with Adopt a Crag events and Jeep Conservation Team projects. We’re going to keep driving attention to this issue, and keep working with you to restore our climbing areas long-term. This focus includes providing you with more resources, like grants, joint membership revenue, and Conservation Team visits. Thanks as always for your work and partnership. Enjoy the holiday season and happy climbing!

Zachary Lesch-Huie
Interim Executive Director/National Affiliate Director

Wrap Up from the Summit

On September 22, over 120 climbers joined us in New York City to talk about conserving America’s climbing areas. The day kicked off with an early-morning yoga session and moved into the Community Roundtable, where attendees talked through the accomplishments as well as the needs of their local crags. The rest of the day showcased eight panels filled with experienced and diverse speakers. Topics ranged from cliff ecology studies to fundraising tips for local climbing organizations. Our attendees this year included seasoned LCOs, brand-new LCOs, land managers, Patagonia ambassadors, and climbing advocates from every corner of the country. We’ve got the entire day wrapped up for you as a resource here. ~ Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

The Climbing Advocate Podcast Launch

Access Fund is dedicated to providing resources to LCOs and climbing advocates. To honor that commitment, we are launching our first podcast, called The Climbing Advocate hosted by Peter Horgan. Tune in every month to learn from the trials and successes of climbers around the country as they fight for access to their local areas and figure out the best way to care for these precious resources. Join Peter in the first teaser episode posted here. Check back for our first full episode launching soon. ~Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

Texas Roundup

November marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of our Texas program. In that short amount of time, we’ve made significant progress opening up private lands to climbing by negotiating with landowners. Our work with the Army Corps of Engineers over the past year has helped to protect climbing throughout the Belton Lake region, and we have sponsored several Adopt a Crag events to support the reopening of Miller Springs. We just wrapped up our second round of public comments to protect climbing as a grandfathered activity at the Barton Creek Greenbelt and Bull Creek District Park. We’re also supporting the Texas Climbers Coalition with the acquisition and permanent protection of the much-missed San Antonio crag, Medicine Wall. When the state legislature convenes in January, we’ll pursue legislation to add rock climbing to Texas’s recreational use statute. We’re also working on a “Climbers for State Parks” campaign, which will help engage climbers and policymakers in the issues confronting state parks like Hueco Tanks, Enchanted Rock, and McKinney Falls, while educating decision makers about the value of climbing in state parks. Learn more here! ~Brian Tickle, Texas Regional Director

Transition to Joint Membership

If you’re ready to expand your partnership with Access Fund, and grow your organization’s revenue to support your projects, our Joint Membership program is a solid fit. We launched the Joint Membership program in 2011 after consistent feedback from LCOs that they could use more support, so they could stay focused on critical access and stewardship work. Joint Membership: (1) gives climbers a way to support their national and local climbing access groups in a single membership, and (2) provides our LCO partners with a regular revenue stream, full admin and database support, and the ability to stay focused on critical stewardship and access projects instead of on back-end administration and database work. We now have 38 Joint Membership LCO partners and over 3,000 joint members who donate an extra $15 a year to their local group. Last year, we put more than $40,000 back into local communities through Joint Membership. Learn more about the program here. ~Jenna Winkler, Program Associate

Fall Fundraising Tips

At Access Fund, the fourth quarter is the most active time of the year for fundraising. Digital Marketing Manager, Jordan Fisher, is a pro at scoring last-minute members and creating successful year-end campaigns. We asked her to share some of Access Fund’s top tips to help you end 2018 well and kick off 2019 with plenty of support for your organization’s dream projects.

  • Urgency is key! — The end of the year provides a built-in way to create a sense of urgency and establish clear deadlines for fundraising. “We need your help to hit our goal of $XXX by year-end!” is much more persuasive than a generic fundraising ask.
  • ‘Tis the season of swag — We’re approaching one of the biggest shopping seasons of the year. Take advantage of it! If you have swag, be sure to push it across social media, at events, and through sales.
  • Events, events, events — When the weather turns colder, it’s a great opportunity to bring people together and throw a party. Local breweries, bars, and other businesses are always looking to bring in more people during the winter months and tend to be receptive to hosting fundraisers.

~Jordan Fisher, Digital Marketing Manager

Movers & Shakers

Friends of the Ledge
Friends of the Ledges has committed to leading stewardship efforts for the newly acquired property that allows access to Cathedral Ledge and Whitehorse Ledge in New Hampshire. This LCO will work closely with the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust to provide long-term care for the area.
Learn more.

Olympic Peninsula Climbers
Olympic Peninsula Climbers has been busy this past year partnering with land managers to protect some of the peninsula’s important climbing areas. At Tyler Peak, dozens of volunteers came out for the “Tyler Tuneup” in September to improve the access road and trails.
Learn more.

Ohio Climbers Coalition
Congratulations to the Ohio Climbers Coalition for hosting another hugely successful Adopt a Crag at the Mad River Gorge! Over 140 volunteers showed up to build retaining walls, staircases, and new trails alongside the Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Team East. The entire crew also worked hard to complete another major clean-up of discarded appliances and other rusty metals.
Learn more.

Resource Center

  • Get the beta on how to prepare for large-scale stewardship initiatives. Learn More.
  • Tell land managers to cut the red tape and allow climbers to steward. Sign the petition.
  • Take a look back at our Future of Fixed Anchors II Conference. Learn More.