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 ©
A Thriving Grassroots Network
Local Climbing Organizations
Joint Member Local Climbing Organizations
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
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.
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.
people volunteered for Adopt a Crag events in 2017
$57,660 in grants awarded for 22 projects
Trailhead Improvements $4,000
Stewardship and Trail Work $7,260
Climbing Research $6,500
Anchor Replacement $18,000
Addressing the Problem of Aging Bolts
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.
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
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
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
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.
increase in programming to protect climbing areas
spent on mission-related programs
in assets currently invested in climbing area acquisitions
Support $3.4 Million
Individuals, foundations, & organizations $982,000
Member Dues $647,000
Contract Work $396,000
Conservation Loan Program $63,000
Other Income $80,000
Expense $2.95 Million
Stewardship and Conservation $1,183,000
and Protection $139,000
& Advocacy $665,000
and Mobilization $124,000
and Admin $252,000
✱ Based on preliminary financial data
2017 Access Fund Board of Directors and Staff
Kenji Haroutunian, CA
Jonah Harrison, WA
Jeff Buhl, CO
Alex Kutches, MT
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)
Database & Membership Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
Public Lands Associate & California Regional Director
Sr. Policy Advisor
National Affiliate Director & Southeast Regional Director
Northeast Regional Director
Access Director & Northwest Regional Director
Communications & Marketing Director
Corporate Partnerships Manager
Texas Regional Director
Each one makes a difference in our ability to protect America’s climbing. Here’s one of our favorite 2017 member stories.
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.
New Corporate Partners
new gyms welcomed into the Member Gym program
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.
Access Fund Executive Director