The Access Fund encourages climbers to maintain an ethic of personal responsibility, self-regulation, strong conservation values, and minimum impact practices. However, as more and more climbers visit our nation’s mountains, crags, and boulders, it becomes increasingly important to have smart climbing management plans that minimize environmental and social impact.
The basic concept of “climbing management” is to develop plans that mitigate site-specific impacts such as crowding, human waste, soil compaction, erosion, and wildlife disturbance. If you are engaging in climbing management planning, it is critical to work in cooperation with the greater climbing community, other recreational users, public land managers, and private land owners. The goal should be to develop climbing management strategies that address specific concerns while utilizing the “minimum required action” principle so that visitors and land managers are not overly burdened by regulations and enforcement.
Climbing management strategies should be well substantiated through science or law, since poorly substantiated policies and regulations can create conflict between land managers, climbers, and other stakeholders.