What will the Trump administration mean for climbing?

11/16/2016

Now that the election is behind us, many climbers are wondering what’s next for issues that are important to us. The election will certainly have implications for conservation and public land policy. And with over 60% of the climbing in this country located on federally managed public lands, it is likely to have implications for climbers too.

The climbing community is politically diverse. Our shared passion for climbing unites us. The Access Fund protects and conserves America’s climbing areas, no matter which way the political winds are blowing. We will adapt to changes in the political landscape. While we don’t always agree with politicians and policy makers on all issues, and there are times we need to stand firm, we must work with people across the political spectrum to achieve our mission. Along with our partners in the Outdoor Alliance, we have already started reaching out to the Trump transition team to begin laying the foundation for how we will work with the new administration to advocate for climbing and conservation of public lands.

Photo Courtesy of:
John Dickey | Indian Creek, UT

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It is more important than ever to have a strong and steady voice in Washington, DC to advocate for climbing access and conservation of our public lands. Please make a donation today to support our public lands work.
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President-elect Trump does not have a voting record and has voiced a wide-range of ideas and ideologies that are not always consistent with the GOP platform, so the policy positions of the forthcoming administration remain largely unknown. To better understand the contours of a Trump administration, we must wait to see who is appointed for key leadership roles, including the Secretary of Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Head of the President’s Council of Environmental Quality, among others.

Here are some of the issues we’re currently paying close attention to:

  • Public lands transfer – The GOP platform advocates for the transfer of public lands to states, which is one of the greatest threats to climbing and recreation access today. If that happens, certain states could sell off their land or restrict access. Republicans will soon control both sides of Congress, as well as the presidency, making it much easier to move this kind of legislation through Congress and get it signed into law by the President. However, Trump has said that he opposes turning over public lands to the states. We will work with our friends at the Outdoor Alliance and the outdoor industry to hold the Trump administration to this commitment, and will consistently make it clear that good land conservation policy is great economic policy.
  • Recreation infrastructure – Trump’s infrastructure plan calls for the transformation of “America’s crumbling infrastructure into a golden opportunity for accelerated economic growth.” While the details of such a plan are still unclear, building out public land and public access infrastructure would be a valuable investment for the outdoor recreation economy.
  • Federal funding – It is also critically important that our federal land management agencies continue to have sufficient funding to function effectively—the areas under their management must be included when we think about our nation’s infrastructure. Many projects supported by the Access Fund Conservation Team and Climbing Conservation Loan Program rely on federal funding for acquisitions and recreation improvements. For example, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a valuable tool for purchasing lands for recreation and conservation purposes. We will work with our partners to protect federal funding sources for these investments.
  • Conservation values – The makeup of Trump’s transition team appears to indicate conservation is not a high priority. However, Trump’s energy plan states his commitment to “protect clean air and clean water” and to “conserve our natural habitats, reserves and resources.” We will work to hold him to this conservation commitment, as well as the preservation of public access to public lands for recreation.

The days ahead are uncertain. Once President-elect Trump appoints his cabinet and those leaders hire staff, Access Fund will begin the work of building relationships with the new administration and advocating for the climbing community and the places we love. It is more important than ever to have a strong and steady voice in Washington, DC to advocate for climbing access and conservation of our public lands. Please make a donation today to support our public lands work.

Thank you for your support. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates.

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