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Access Fund Announces Second Round Grant Recipients

September 12, 2011. Boulder, CO – The Access Fund, the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment, is pleased to announce the second round of the Climbing Preservation Grant Program for 2011. For the first time this year, Access Fund members were given the opportunity to rate grant projects, helping the Access Fund decide which projects they were most interested in funding. In this round of grants, the Access Fund awarded over $20,000 to support local climbing activism and conservation of the climbing environment. Presented two times annually, the Climbing Preservation Grant program provides financial assistance to the grassroots network and land managers across the United States. During this second round of grants, the Access Fund is supporting eight worthy projects.

Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition — Graining Fork Nature Preserve (Roadside) Restoration
A grant was awarded to Red River Gorge Climbers Coalition (RRGCC) to help private land owners restore and address climber impacts at Roadside Crag in the Graining Fork Nature Preserve near Torrent, Kentucky. The owners closed the highly popular climbing area due to climber impacts and disrespect for rules, and this project will help address these impacts before public access is re-considered. Pending a plan for re-opening, the Access Fund and the RRGCC will work together with the landowners using volunteer labor to implement trail improvements, stabilize base areas to address severe erosion, and install an informational kiosk at the trailhead and other trail signage.

CRAG-Vermont — Bolton Quarry Access Road Repair
CRAG-Vermont was awarded a grant to help cover the cost of repairing the access road on their Bolton Quarry property after an unprecedented flood washed out the road in April and blocked off climbing access to the area. This grant follows an emergency stewardship loan by the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign to help raise $16,295 to cover the cost of repairs completed in June and re-establish their long-term stewardship funds. CRAG-Vermont has successfully protected climbing access to six different crags in the Bolton area and this road provides access to three of those crags.

Utah Open Lands — Castleton Tower Toilet Installation
Utah Open Lands (UOL) was awarded a grant to help address waste management issues at the Castleton Tower Preserve Area. This favorite climbing destination has seen increased use and thus greater impact in recent years. The Access Fund is pleased to support UOL in conjunction with Friends of Indian Creek and Planet Granite to protect and steward Castle Valley to help keep this area fee free and protected for future generations.

Friends of Muir Valley — Muir Valley Parking Improvements/Expansion
A grant was awarded to Friends of Muir Valley to improve and expand parking at Muir Valley, which hosts over 20,000 visitor days each year and growing. Lack of parking was beginning to cause serious access issues, with the current lot overflowing and many climbers (some of whom traveled a great distance) having to turn away. This project will help expand and improve the current parking lot and build an auxiliary parking lot for an additional 27 vehicles, accommodating oversized vehicles such as buses and RVs. Much of the design and labor will be donated.

Yosemite Climbing Association — 2011 Yosemite Facelift
A grant was awarded to the Yosemite Climbing Association (YCA) to help fund outreach and volunteer appreciation at the annual Yosemite Facelift. The event will address impacts to trails, roadways, river corridors, campgrounds, lodging areas, and climbing areas. The 2011 Facelift will also feature special projects such as removal of abandoned infrastructure, non-native species removal, old dump site removal, and, new this year, climbing trail restoration.

New Mexico CRAG — Diablo Canyon Restoration and Recreational Enhancement
New Mexico CRAG (NM-CRAG) was awarded a grant to assist the BLM in an effort to enhance the recreational potential of the Buckman Area, including Diablo Canyon, a basalt climbing area outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The grant money will help restore riparian and other important hydro-ecologic functions of the area, as well as assist the BLM with the development of parking, camping, trail infrastructure, and informative signage about climbing opportunities in Diablo Canyon.

Boulder Climbing Community — Startup and Structuring
A grant was awarded to the Boulder Climbing Community (BCC), which kicked off in 2010 to connect and support the many climbers and local climbing organizations in the Boulder, Colorado area. The grant will assist the BCC in the process of becoming a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization; establish a more formal structure that transcends any one individual and maximizes involvement from community members; and improve BCC’s branding through the development of visible materials such as banners and signs.

Friends of Indian Creek — Superbowl Toilet Installation
Earlier this year, Access Fund awarded an off-cycle grant to Friends of Indian Creek (FOIC) to install a toilet at the popular Superbowl Campground. This toilet installation is part of a larger conservation effort to manage waste and reduce human impacts in the fragile desert landscape of Indian Creek.

About the Access Fund
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the Access Fund has been the national advocacy organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. The Access Fund supports and represents over 2.3 million climbers nationwide in all forms of climbing: rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, and bouldering. Five core programs support the mission on national and local levels: climbing management policy, stewardship and conservation, local support and mobilization, land acquisition and protection, and education. For more information visit www.accessfund.org.