access fund land holdings

Since its inception in 1991, the Access Fund has made eight direct acquisitions under the Access Fund Land Foundation (AFLF), a separate entity set up two decades ago to hold title of land and easements while offering the Access Fund liability protection. Throughout the 1990s, the AFLF was an important conservation tool, allowing the Access Fund to purchase and transfer threatened climbing resources, including property at Rumney, NH; Baldy Point, OK; and Shelf Road, CO. In 2010, the AFLF was dissolved and all current holdings—including Society Turn, CO; Handley Rock, CA; Golden Cliffs, CO; Unaweep Canyon, CO—were transferred to the Access Fund. This simplified organizational model reduced administrative burdens, sped up land transactions, and maximized the effectiveness of the Access Fund’s private land protection efforts.

land trust standards and practices
As a nationally recognized member of the Land Trust Allliance, the Access Fund stewards its properties in accordance with Land Trust Standards and Practices to ensure sustainable recreational use of these open space areas. Volunteer Land Stewards have been put in place in each area to help monitor and steward the properties. Access Fund is currently seeking donations to provide a long-term fund for stewardship and legal defense of these land holdings in compliance with these standards. Contact Joe Sambataro to make a direct contribution towards stewardship. In 2014, Access Fund is seeking land trust accreditation by a separate entity, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, to take the next step in working as a national land trust.

land holding policy
The Access Fund has limited resources and capacity for land management and conservation easement monitoring across the nation. It is our first priority to support and empower local organizations to protect climbing areas by providing short-term capital and transaction expertise. Naturally, local organizations are better adept at monitoring and stewarding local properties. Yet, the Access Fund realizes not all climbing areas have a local community to act as stewards. We may consider direct action and involvement under the following conditions:

  • A local climbing organization, land trust, or other land-holding entity are not present in the area;
  • The local organizations do not have capacity to carry out a transaction or manage the property;
  • The local climbing community cannot set up a qualified organization within an adequate time frame for protection;
  • The property is of significant value to the local and national climbing community;
  • The climbing area is imminently threatened by development or closure; and
  • A long-term owner is identified: the Access Fund has good assurance the property can be transferred to a climbing-supportive owner for long-term management, such as a newly formed local climbing organization, land trust, or government agency.
  • With appropriate stewardship funding, the Access Fund may consider holding a conservation easement to further protect long-term conservation and access

current holdings

policy for commercial guiding on af land holdings
Commercial access to Golden, Unaweep, and Society Turn such as guiding and paid instructional services require permission, liability insurance coverage, and a signed release. Contact Jim Chase for more information.