​New Bill Affects San Rafael Swell Climbing

San Rafael Swell in Utah is home to world-class climbing opportunities. And most of this area is currently slated for a Wilderness designation, which could have some implications to climbing. Access Fund is particularly concerned about the uncertainty regarding the legitimacy and maintenance of fixed anchors within the area slated for Wilderness designation.

Photo courtesy of Keenan Harvey

To address these concerns, our policy staff is working with Utah Congressman John Curtis and Senator Orrin Hatch to improve their Emery County public lands bill, which will protect nearly 100,000 acres of land through Wilderness and National Conservation Area designations, including San Rafael Swell. We are working to strengthen recreation and conservation provisions within the bill to ensure that the incredible climbing is protected and maintained into the future.

We recently secured a seat on the National Conservation Area advisory council for a non-motorized recreation representative. However, we are still working to ensure that existing climbing routes are protected into the future. Congressman Curtis has been particularly willing to listen to the climbing community, and actually went climbing with Access Fund policy staff over Memorial Day weekend to discuss the best ways to protect climbing areas. Stay tuned for more updates.