Shape the Future of Georgia Climbing

Access Fund and Southeastern Climbers Coalition (SCC) need your help to shape a better future for climbing in Georgia, including Rocktown, Tallulah Gorge, and many other popular crags and local boulder fields.

Bouldering at Rocktown, Crockford-Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area, ancestral lands of ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East). | © Dan Brayack

Right now, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources is updating its statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan (SCORP), which will set direction and priorities for outdoor recreation for the next five years. This plan will provide guidelines for all outdoor recreation, including climbing, and allow the state to qualify for funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This planning process provides a unique opportunity to strengthen the legitimacy of climbing and secure critical funding for climbing areas.

Climbing is one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation, and Georgia is home to more than 30 outdoor climbing areas. Yet rock climbing has never been acknowledged as a legitimate use in Georgia’s SCORP. Gaining this recognition would help us improve climbing management, open new areas to climbing, and secure critical funding for acquisitions, stewardship, and infrastructure projects that would make climbing more sustainable.

TAKE ACTION NOW

Take 5 minutes to tell Georgia recreation planners how climbing is a vital, growing, and significant part of the state’s outdoor recreation resources, and that it’s overdue for recognition in the state’s outdoor recreation plan. We've provided talking points below to guide your advocacy, which can be copy and pasted into Question #2 of the public input form.

Talking Points - Question #2 in Survey

I’m a rock climber who regularly visits and enjoys Georgia climbing areas, and I would like to see climbing recognized as part of Georgia’s comprehensive outdoor recreation plan (SCORP). Georgia is home to more than 30 excellent climbing areas—from the internationally renowned boulder field of Rocktown to the adventurous climbs of Tallulah Gorge State Park, the historic routes on Mt. Yonah, and many backyard crags across the state.

Climbing is part of Georgia’s outdoor recreation heritage, and the state’s climbing areas are part of a greater system of parks and public lands, whether federal, state, county, or city managed. Climbing should be acknowledged and managed in the SCORP for the value and benefits it provides to residents and visitors, and its contributions to public health and economic well-being.

Climbing has demonstrated physical and mental health benefits for participants of all ages. Climbing is also part of a billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry. Studies show that climbers have a significant economic impact in local communities, and they are an important sector of the outdoor adventure tourism economy. Climbing has an especially positive economic impact in Georgia’s rural areas, where tourism dollars are vital.

Please recognize climbing in Georgia’s SCORP planning to help open up funding opportunities that would enhance sustainable climbing access; open new climbing areas; and promote responsible, low-impact use. Organizations like Southeastern Climbers Coalition and Access Fund are established and trusted partners ready to offer resources and people-power to help Georgia’s land managers promote and manage climbing and outdoor recreation.