help for a crag in danger!

So you've learned of a crag that could be in danger. Here are some tried and true tactics that can get you headed in the right direction.

Get the facts
First of all, get the facts regarding the closure. Don't rely on rumors. Key questions to ask are:

  • Why is the crag being closed?
  • Who owns or manages the climbing area?
  • Who is making decisions regarding the closure?
  • Where exactly is the closure?

Rally support resources
Contact your local climbing organization or your Access Fund regional coordinator. These resources are often already working on the issue. If they aren't, they will want to be made aware. You may also contact the Access Fund directly for help connecting with key individuals or resources in your area. Our staff can also offer strategic advice about how to handle your local access crisis.

Get involved in the process
Once you've got the facts and have reached out to your local access resources, ask the decision-makers if you can provide input. If necessary, ask for a delay in decisions to gain time. Establish criteria for decisions:

  1. If user input is wanted, do an analysis of trail and crag users.
  2. If affected voters must be mobilized, circulate a petition and begin a letter-writing campaign.
  3. If there is a broad base of users, form a coalition with other user-groups to help in trail and crag maintenance. Volunteer together for projects.

Mobilize the troops
Help mobilize local climbers. Hold meetings, attend hearings, provide information, volunteer for trail work, clean-ups, etc. Get businesses with economic interest in the climbing to back you, including climbing shops and gyms, resort and tourist groups, guiding services, newspapers and other local companies.

Be collaborative and respectful
Be respectful and develop a responsible reputation. Ranting and raving will not help keep the crag open. The political process requires cooperation, patience and tenacity. Learn from the process to anticipate future problems. It's much more effective to work with landowners, land managers, and other user groups before a situation reaches the crisis stage.