Advocate Beta - December 2022

Categories: LCO 101

As I write this issue of Advocate Beta, I’m on a flight home after the 2022 Climbing Advocacy Conference. After several years of virtual meetings, it was unbelievably exciting to bring some of the country’s greatest advocates together in Chattanooga. Nothing can replace watching conference attendees from all different backgrounds shake hands, swap stories, and learn from each other. If you couldn’t make it to the conference this year, we encourage you to rally the advocates in your hometown for some celebration of everything you’ve accomplished in 2022—take a moment to pat yourselves on the back, because you deserve it.

Jenna Winkler
National Affiliate Director

That's a Wrap: 2022 Climbing Advocacy Conference

Photo © Joseph Meehan

On November 11 and 12, over 120 advocates joined Access Fund in Chattanooga for another inspiring Climbing Advocacy Conference. Over 30 speakers generously shared their experience with the advocacy community and helped answer concerns from attendees about issues at their home crags. For a full recap and links to presentations, check out the wrap up here.

Photo © Irene Yee

Do Climbers Leave No Trace?

James Maples, who holds a doctorate in sociology, is at it again with a new study on how climbers learn about Leave No Trace Principles in the first place and how they put them into practice when they’re at the crag. If you haven’t met Maples yet, he’s the researcher behind multiple collaborative studies with LCOs across the country that measure climbers’ economic impact. He added a twist to his latest survey and the results may affect how your LCO educates your community. Check it out here.

One key takeaway is the creation of a new scale that LCOs can use to determine a climber’s impact: The Leave No Trace Rock Climbing Measure. Maples is interested in working with more LCOs and conducting this LNT survey free of cost to the LCO. Just reach out to him at [email protected]. We highly recommend your LCO gets to know him and talk about how his studies can enhance access to your local crags.

Photo © Heather Distad

Annual Reports: Our Guide to Pulling it All Together

‘Tis the season—for annual reports. If you’re not thinking about your organization’s end-of-year report yet, now’s the time. It’s nonprofit best practice to pull together stats and show how donor money was used to push forward your mission. If you need a place to start, check out this guide to the basics and some sample reports.

Many of you are also starting to host annual meetings to share your success with the community and rally more support. If you haven’t considered going virtual with this event, many LCOs are seeing higher attendance when they host a virtual event, and you can record the meeting to send it out later.

Movers & Shakers

Congratulations to Upper Peninsula Climbers Coalition on acquiring the first climber-owned crag in Michigan! Slugg’s Bluff is an 80-foot tall quartzite cliff line that hosts sport routes and gear-protected lines from 5.5 to 5.12. Find out more on how to support this project here.

Southeast Wyoming Climbers Coalition recently successfully achieved 501(c)(3) status! This is a milestone step for nonprofits and will allow the group to grow and continue representing the climbing community surrounding Vedauwoo and beyond. Congrats! Find out more info on this org here.

Big shoutout to Southeastern Climbers Coalition for partnering with Access Fund on the 2022 Climbing Advocacy Conference! It wouldn't have been possible without the partnership. Learn more about its work throughout the region here.

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