08/18/2022

Why the Inflation Reduction Act Matters for Climbers

After a year and a half of projecting, our federal leaders just clipped the chains on America’s biggest investment in climate action ever: the Inflation Reduction Act. This new law isn’t just about inflation. It tackles climate change, health care, and more. It’s a huge deal for Americans, especially climbers.

The Homestead. Ancestral lands of Hohokam. © Todd Bukowski

Access Fund and our partners at Outdoor Alliance fought hard to get this new law across the finish line because it’s a landmark investment in climate action, public lands, and environmental justice. We submitted technical comments, shared testimony, and pushed our leaders to support this effort. At a time when many of us worried that Congress couldn’t get big things done, the Inflation Reduction Act proved otherwise. Outdoor recreation voices—your voices—were critical in that fight.

Here are four ways this law will positively impact your outdoor climbing experience:

  • Big investments in climate action and cutting pollution—nearly $370 billion! Climate change and pollution impact our crags, our climbing seasons, and the air we breathe. Incentives for clean energy, pollution reduction, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and more will help tackle these problems head on. Climate action helps protect climbing and the places we love for future generations.

  • $60 billion for environmental justice priorities, an important step toward cleaning up the air in communities hit hardest by warmer temperatures and dirty air. Our commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) extends to the entirety of our diverse climbing community and we’re pleased that this new law invests in JEDI values.

  • $2 billion for wildfire mitigation, a critical piece of climate resiliency. Wildfires threaten sustainable climbing access. Communities across the country are grappling with raging wildfires, seasonal fire closures, and in some cases the total loss of climbing areas to fire damage. This new law will give land managers the resources to confront these challenges through proven fire mitigation strategies, not crossed fingers.

  • More than half of America’s climbing areas are on federal land, which is why we’re thrilled that this bill invests $1 billion into agencies that manage public lands. Thanks to this new law, the National Parks Service, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management will receive additional funding for staffing, stewardship, and restoration projects that will protect public lands and advance equitable access.

Passing this pro-climate and public lands legislation isn’t the end of our work to support climbing, public lands, or our climate. It’s far from perfect, but it’s real progress that shows we have a path forward. We’ll keep fighting for climate action and for other priorities that didn’t make it into this bill, like the bipartisan America’s Outdoor Recreation Act and the Civilian Climate Corps.

Sign up below to receive updates on important legislation. When we have a chance to turn those proposals into laws, we’ll mobilize the climbing community to make sure your voice is heard!

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