2017
Access Fund
Annual Report

The Access Fund is the national advocacy organization that protects America’s climbing. Here’s what we accomplished in 2017, thanks to your help.

Photo Courtesy of Bryan Miller, Fixed Line Media ©

Access Fund and Partners Preserve
Access to 240 Climbing Areas

A Thriving Grassroots Network

117

Local Climbing Organizations

35

Joint Member Local Climbing Organizations

8

Regional Offices



Leading Climbers in the Fight for Public Lands

© Anneliese Steel

176 hours advocating for climbers in Washington, DC.

10,188 Climbers Mobilized

Access Fund Sues to Protect Bears Ears

© Andrew Burr

Following President Trump’s December 4, 2017 proclamation ordering a drastic reduction of Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah, Access Fund filed a lawsuit to protect the monument and its exceptional climbing opportunities. No President has the legal authority to revoke or modify a National Monument, and Access Fund is fighting this in court on the grounds that it significantly impacts world-renowned rock climbing. This fight is about more than just protecting the incredible climbing at Bears Ears. Nearly 60% of our climbing areas are on federal public lands, and this proclamation threatens the very foundation of our public lands system.

© Andrew Burr

Access Fund–Jeep Conservation Team Continues Legacy of Stewardship

303 Stewardship projects 21 States 715 Days on road

5,135 Feet of New Trail Constructed

15,991 Feet of Social Trails Closed

1,635 Volunteers Engaged

68 Drainage Structures Installed

103 Stone Staircases Built

101 Retaining Walls Constructed

38 Areas Cleared of Trash

14 Cliffs Cleared of Graffiti

An Unprecedented 314
Adopt a Crag Events Across the Nation

The Access Fund envisions a world where climbers are seen as stewards of the land, versus simply users of the land. The Adopt a Crag program helps climbers give back, and 2017 was a banner year for volunteer stewardship. Here’s one of our favorite events from the year.

Not Work Week

New River Alliance of Climbers (NRAC) is setting a new standard in Adopt a Crag events with their fourth annual Not Work Week, a five-day stewardship event that drew more than 60 volunteers in 2017. They worked to construct the new North Bridge Trail, which connects the campground to Bridge Buttress and several underutilized crags along the way. Volunteers were treated with free camping, free meals, coffee, and giveaways. The tight knit and motivated NRAC crew is doing an exceptional job harnessing the visiting climber population and turning them into stewards. Access Fund is so impressed by NRAC’s vision for this event, that we’ve applied this model to other destination climbing areas like Indian Creek in Utah and Cathedral Ledge in New Hampshire. Way to go NRAC!

9,059

people volunteered for Adopt a Crag events in 2017


54,354

Volunteer Hours

$57,660 in grants awarded for 22 projects

Acquisitions $17,000

Trailhead Improvements $4,000

Stewardship and Trail Work $7,260

Education/Signage $4,900

Climbing Research $6,500

Anchor Replacement $18,000

Addressing the Problem of Aging Bolts

© Shawn Willsey

Across the United States, bolts installed in the 80s and 90s are aging, and there are growing concerns of anchor failures and access issues. Access Fund is committed to bolt replacement initiatives across the country, and in 2017 we partnered with Petzl to launch a new series of workshops to train volunteers on current best practices for replacing aging hardware. We are also manufacturing cutting-edge bolt replacement tools and putting them—free of charge—into the hands of bolt replacers across the country. And again in 2017, Access Fund and American Alpine Club awarded $10,000 to replace bad bolts through the Anchor Replacement Fund. This fund is made possible by the generous support of Petzl and 5.10.

© Shawn Willsey

Rumney’s Final Frontier Saved!

© Lee Hansche

Rumney Climber’s Association (RCA) and Access Fund partnered to purchase the final set of privately owned climbing resources at this New Hampshire sport climbing mecca—including Northwest Territories, Buffalo Pit, Northwest Passage, Prudential, Asylum, and the western portion of the Black Jack Boulders. Access Fund provided RCA with two loans from the Climbing Conservation Loan Program to help cover the purchase price, and the local community stepped up in a big way, raising over $100,000 to secure the Northwest Crags. RCA constructed a new parking area, and is now in the process of installing a toilet and building a trail system to the Northwest Crags to help alleviate crowding at the main parking area and crags. After these projects are complete, RCA intends to transfer the property to the climbing-friendly White Mountain National Forest for long-term management.

© Lee Hansche

Madrone Wall Opens After 20 Years

© Sam Wilson

After 20 years of being closed to the public, Madrone Wall outside of Portland, Oregon was finally opened in the fall of 2017. The 44-acre county park features over a hundred basalt sport and trad climbs within thirty minutes of Portland, making it a big score for local climbers. This victory was made possible by two decades of persistence, leadership, and advocacy of the Madrone Wall Preservation Committee (MWPC). Over the years, Access Fund awarded $15,000 in grants to help MWPC with start-up costs, public outreach, trail work, a vault toilet, and trailhead kiosk to help get the park opened. "Without the expertise and initial financial contributions of the Access Fund, which helped get the word out and strategize advocacy, this amazing civic treasure could have easily been blown up and lost forever. Access Fund stood beside us and prevented a catastrophe,” says Keith Daellenbach MWPC Board Director. Congratulations MWPC!

Thousands of Climbers Commit

© Keenan Harvey

The Climber’s Pact

  • LEARN THE LOCAL ETHICS FOR THE PLACES YOU CLIMB
  • PARK AND CAMP IN DESIGNATED AREAS
  • DISPOSE OF HUMAN WASTE PROPERLY
  • STAY ON TRAILS WHENEVER POSSIBLE
  • PLACE GEAR AND PADS ON DURABLE SURFACES
  • RESPECT WILDLIFE, SENSITIVE PLANTS, SOIL, AND CULTURAL RESOURCES
  • CLEAN UP CHALK AND TICK MARKS
  • MINIMIZE GROUP SIZE AND NOISE
  • PACK OUT ALL TRASH, CRASH PADS, AND GEAR
  • USE, INSTALL, AND REPLACE BOLTS AND FIXED ANCHORS RESPONSIBLY
  • 43,160 CLIMBERS COMMIT

2017 Financials*

Access Fund ended 2017 with its most successful annual campaign to date. Total assets increased by 37%, to $2.9 million dollars, allowing us to build much-needed reserves for legal and policy work, as well as working capital to even out cash flow as a $3M organization.

32%

increase in programming to protect climbing areas

75%

spent on mission-related programs

$742,000

in assets currently invested in climbing area acquisitions

Support $3.4 Million

Individuals, foundations, & organizations $982,000

Member Dues $647,000

Corporate
Support $582,000

Stewardship
Contract Work $396,000

Conservation Loan Program $63,000

In-Kind
Contributions $371,000

Events $289,000

Other Income $80,000

Expense $2.95 Million

Program Expenses

Stewardship and Conservation $1,183,000

Land Acquisition
and Protection $139,000

Education $107,000

Climbing Policy
& Advocacy $665,000

Local Support
and Mobilization $124,000

Operational Expenses

General
and Admin $252,000

Fundraising $481,000
 

Based on preliminary financial data

2017 Access Fund Board of Directors and Staff

Board Officers

President
Kenji Haroutunian, CA

Vice President
Jonah Harrison, WA

Treasurer
Jeff Buhl, CO

Secretary
Alex Kutches, MT

Board Directors

Elaina Arenz (WV)

Peter Croft (CA)

Josh Friedman (OR)

Ryan Gellert (Amsterdam)

Hilary Harris (CO)

Shelma Jun (NY)

Charlie Lieu (MA/WA)

John Winsor (CO)

Jessica Yates (CO)

Rob Price (WA)

Staff

Michael Allen
Development Director

Lindsay Anderson
Conservation Specialist

Kay Chan
Database & Membership Manager

Jessica Dauchy
Operations Director

Jordan Fisher
Digital Marketing Manager

Ryan Kempf
Finance Manager

Katie Goodwin
Public Lands Associate & California Regional Director

Andrea Hassler
Conservation Specialist

Kate Johnson
Conservation Specialist

Jason Keith
Sr. Policy Advisor

Zachary Lesch-Huie
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director

Annabelle McClure
Conservation Specialist

Mike Morin
Northeast Regional Director

Erik Murdock
Policy Director

Chip Powell
Conservation Specialist

Brady Robinson
Executive Director

Joe Sambataro
Access Director & Northwest Regional Director

Curt Shannon
Policy Analyst

Holly Smolenski
Communications & Marketing Director

Jenna Snyder
Office Manager

Anneliese Steel
Corporate Partnerships Manager

Brian Tickle
Texas Regional Director

Ty Tyler
Stewardship Director

Chris Wu
Conservation Specialist

Chris Archer
General Counsel

17,004 Members

Each one makes a difference in our ability to protect America’s climbing. Here’s one of our favorite 2017 member stories.

Casey Crowley

A junior at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Casey volunteered over 100 hours in 2017 as Access Fund's Marketing and Membership intern. Casey has made a substantial impact through market research, digital marketing, wrangling donated photos, and a host of other tasks. Casey is a dedicated climber who is on the board of the CU Boulder Alpine Club. He is studying Business Entrepreneurship and continues to volunteer while juggling a full course load. If you see Casey out climbing, be sure to thank him for his contributions!

138 Corporate Partners

Our work would not be possible without the generous companies and professionals who donate their money and talents to protect America’s climbing. These partners support the Access Fund and you! We encourage you to support them.

27

New Corporate Partners

8

new gyms welcomed into the Member Gym program

THANK YOU

It was quite a year. Thanks to your generous support, our programs are more far-reaching and effective than ever. We now have regional staff in New Hampshire, Tennessee, Washington, California, Arizona, Utah, Texas, and Colorado, plus three roving Access Fund-Jeep Conservation Teams. Our staff regionalization strategy continues to be instrumental to our ability to protect climbing across the country.

The issues that impact climbing are constantly evolving—and 2017 saw some unprecedented challenges. But one thing remains constant: Access Fund is committed to keeping climbing areas open and conserved for future generations.

One of our biggest challenges in 2017 was the fight to protect Bears Ears National Monument and its exceptional climbing resources, including the world-renowned Indian Creek. By now, you probably know that Access Fund took a legal stand to protect Bears Ears and all of the climbing resources it holds. This was not a decision we took lightly. We pride ourselves on working collaboratively with federal, state, and local government whenever we can, but sometimes it is necessary to take a stand. Revoking Bears Ears National Monument not only threatens the climbing within the monument, it sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the integrity of our public lands system. No matter your personal political affiliation, I hope that we can all agree that the Bears Ears region is worthy of landscape-level protection.

Of course, our work doesn’t stop with protecting public lands. I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through some of our highlighted successes from 2017, from buying threatened climbing areas, to replacing bad bolts, empowering local advocates, and building more sustainable climbing areas. Our community has a lot to be proud of. And these successes are only possible because of the support and generosity of our donors and the climbing community.

On behalf of climbers across the United States, thank you for your continued support.


Brady Robinson
Access Fund Executive Director