Access Fund Helps CRAG-VT Take Emergency Stewardship Action to Repair Access Road to Major Local Crags

07/11/2011

Date: 7/11/2011

The Climbing Resource Access Group of Vermont (CRAG-VT) and the Access Fund are pleased to announce that road repairs are now complete at the Bolton Quarry after an unprecedented flood washed out the road on April 26, 2011. A small loan through the Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign (AFLCC) will assist with the cost and jumpstart CRAG-VT fundraising efforts to rebuild their financial reserves for ongoing land management and stewardship.

The damaged road is the main access point to three major crags in the Bolton, Vermont area, including Bolton Quarry, 82 Crag, and the recently acquired Carcass Crag. The severe rainstorm completely destroyed the road and blocked off climbing access to the area. To prevent further damage to neighboring lands, CRAG-VT took immediate action in June to restore the road. The cost of repairs nearly exhausted the climbing organization’s endowment, leaving them with very little buffer for upcoming taxes and other expenses throughout the year.

CRAG-VT has a strong track record of success in land conservation: in the past eight years, the local climbing organization has successfully protected or assisted in efforts to protect climbing access to six different crags in the Bolton area. Their history of good stewardship and strong local support led the Access Fund to amend AFLCC loan guidelines to allow for “emergency stewardship action,” such as flooding, fire, or legal disputes.

The Access Fund realizes that unanticipated events and opportunities may require quick and efficient responses. The amendment to the loan policy will allow the Access Fund to better assist local climbing organizations with time-sensitive projects, especially small loans under $10,000. The emergency loan helps CRAG-VT regain public access and add improvements to reduce the likelihood of future damage, and it puts the organization in a more secure position to cover anticipated and unanticipated expenses. As outlined in national Land Trust Standards and Practices, the Access Fund encourages local climbing organizations to fundraise additional stewardship funds with land conservation projects. CRAG-VT has already initiated online fundraising and plans to repay the loan within one year through fundraising events, some of which will be jointly hosted by the group and the local climbing gym, Petra Cliffs.

About CRAG-VT

Since 1999, CRAG-VT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving access and conservation of Vermont’s climbing resources. We serve the climbing community of Vermont through a variety of mechanisms: preserving and aiding in the protection of climbing opportunities in Vermont by building and maintaining long-term relationships with landowners; serving climbers, land managers, landowners, and the general public as an educational resource for responsible climbing, access status, historical information, species and habitat protection, and legal matters; and promoting responsible stewardship and reducing environmental impacts by conducting trail maintenance, volunteer clean-ups, and producing educational materials. For more information, visit www.cragvt.org.