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madturtle


Apr 23, 2003, 8:58 AM
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I'd be interested to know. I'd also be interested to know what similar groups spend on overhead as a basis for comparison if anyone out there has good data on not for profits. I'd like to think the discrepency in funds can be explained and if not hopefully this discussion will lead to a change in the right direction. Thanks Dave.


dave1970


Apr 23, 2003, 9:58 AM
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I am in possession of the Access Fund Tax return and associated disclosures for the year ended 2001. This return was actually filed in JUly of 02 ( they extended).

At first glance, it does NOT look pretty .


Partner tim


Apr 23, 2003, 10:04 AM
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Yes, I am interested.

Please post your findings. I want to know where my money went.


drkodos


Apr 23, 2003, 10:13 AM
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Like the "Encylclopedia Foundation" in Asimov's Classic Foundation Trilogy:

The Access Fund is a fraud, and always has been.

I remember their "summit" at the Gunks a few years back to try to force the Private Land owners at Mohonk Mountain house to re-open Skytop. They all drove up in rented Jeep Cherokees ($65/day), one to a vehicle. They all took rooms in the Hotel ($150/nite). All expenses for this "summit" paid right out of the General Fund.

A bunch of Silver-spooned, high-pedigree, spoiled brats that have found a way to bilk the avereage Johnny punch-clock climber of money so that the Russ Clune's of the world can climb wherever and whenever they want.


drkodos


Apr 23, 2003, 10:15 AM
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It's not the money....












..............it's the money.


dave1970


Apr 23, 2003, 10:36 AM
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Just a few highlights from form 990 for the Access Fund for 2001.

In 2001 the executive director was paid salary of 68,000.
In 2001 AF reported advertising expense of 64,807 and postage expense of 74,675.

In 2001 access fund reported to the IRS 100,824 in total cash grants and allocations made. ( cash for climbing )


They spent more than twice as much money on postage, advertising, and the executive director than they did for the stated mission of the fund.


Additionally, they report the existence of a 403(b) annuity plan. Anyone who follows college sports and coaching should know about these. In general ,these are used to shower people with compensation in the future, while not requiring a lot of current disclosure. I would like to see the AF disclose all documentation related to said plan.

One more little piece of food for thought.


In 1998 AF reported 7,743 in income from interest and dividends.
In 2000 the amount was 28,919. That was an increase of 273%.


How can they have such stellar increases over that period when everyone else was losing it.


One simple answer: They would rather take the money we give them to buy rocks and instead buy stocks. ( at least since 1998).


thoughts ?


hooker


Apr 23, 2003, 11:05 AM
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If you really think about it, shouldn't the main goal of the Access Fund be:


To Get Rid of Itself?


baldguy


Apr 23, 2003, 11:12 AM
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In 2001 the executive director was paid salary of 68,000.

That may or may not be excessive, depending on what duties the executive director is responsible for - rent in Boulder is expensive (kidding). Carl Pope, e.d. of the Sierra Club, makes twice that and then some.

Sadly, IMHO, once an organization receives a tax break and a budget (i.e. becomes a not-for-profit org), everything changes. The vision of the originators is blurred by the desire to generate new memberships and meet/exceed certain financial goals. Bah.

I am a member of the AF, but I'm thinking, as some of you others have said, that it's much more important to lead by example than with my wallet.


drkodos


Apr 23, 2003, 11:37 AM
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The above point by Hooker is worth examining.....

If the Access Fund were to be successful, they would be ensuring their own non-existence!

So, like police forces everywhere, they have a vested interest in maintaining that which they have named as Nemesis.

Also, the above argument refering to Carl Pope's Salary is disgusting. The Sierra Club is the best example of hypocrisy and irony in the Outdoor world. Look at the cars parked in the lot at one of their meetings......ALL SUV"S!!! What a bunch of poseurs.

I think that salary reported is only the tip of the iceberg.

What about all the other perks that other climbers don't get? Such as car expenses, travel expenses, hotel rooms, the priviledge to travel and climb to a given area on someone else's $$$ and claim doing it is helping ensure "access". Do these guys get Health Coverage??

It a shame that most climbers hold themselves out from the "ordinary" when it comes to behavior, but they succumb to the same tired old White middle class paradigm: "I care, see how much $$$ I give??"


baldguy


Apr 23, 2003, 12:08 PM
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In reply to:
Also, the above argument refering to Carl Pope's Salary is disgusting.

The argument is disgusting or the salary? I think I might not have made myself clear...my point was this: $68k/yr. for an e.d. may/may not be excessive - Carl Pope's salary is undoubtedly excessive ("twice that and then some"). I agree with you about the nature of both the AF and the Sierra Club (bloated, self-important, orgs. that might do more harm than good...).

BUT.

What else can we as a community do to collectively resolve access issues? Should it be left to the crag-in-question's local community - who would likely never be able to organize a critical mass to oppose closures or retain legal representation?


drkodos


Apr 23, 2003, 12:18 PM
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My bad...I meant arguing that the AF salary is OK because some other greedy a**wipe takes even more is disgusting. I understand your point now. Thanks for clarifying. 8)

The salaries are ALL disgusting. Where's my cut for NOT being part of the problem.....

If you think there's a solution..... you're part of the problem.... :wink:

On a more serious note:
Access issues will resolve themselves if climbers acted in a manner that was respectful to land ownership.

I've been climbing on private lands for years with respect for (and permission from) land owners, only to see some guy make a name for himself by publishing some "routes", then having the place get popular, subsequently get defoliated/destroyed, then having access denied by the PRIVATE LAND OWNER and then have the AF bozos show up and start pressuring the owner and using the media in a way that makes the poor sap, that let three of us climb, into the biggest yank and the scourge of climbers just wanting to "express their free will and given RIGHTS to climb".

(Breath in now)

They are Liars ....er, I mean Lawyers, yes?


dave1970


Apr 23, 2003, 1:00 PM
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http://documents.guidestar.org/2001/943/131/2001-943131165-1-9.pdf


Here is a link to the tax return.


On the upside, Utah Open Lands seems to be really walking the walk financially. Does anyone have any knowledge of that group?


hardmann


Apr 29, 2003, 4:40 PM
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Dream on! The only way climbing issues will improve is if climbers are proactive. The Access Fund educates climbers on how to behave at the crag. Access issues will never go away, face it! Climbers are too apathetic.
:cry:


Partner tim


Apr 29, 2003, 6:00 PM
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This is a statement we received from the Access Fund's Publications Director, John Heisel, this morning. I hope Amber does not shoot me for posting it (esp. since we're hoping to establish front-page residence for releases like these, where a respected group can address public concerns). Regardless, I hope that those of you following this thread will read it. Here goes:

In reply to:
Access Fund Statement

April 29, 2003



How the Access Fund Manages Its Support



We want to thank all our members and volunteers for their time and support.
Many members have volunteered with trail projects, given significant
donations of time and money, have worked with or started local climber
organizations, have developed good relationships with local land managers or
owners, and volunteered as Regional Coordinators.



In a perfect world, the Access Fund (AF) and many of the other volunteer
organizations working to forward stewardship of recreational areas would put
themselves out of business. As one writer said, ?Access issues will resolve
themselves if climbers acted in a manner that was respectful to land
ownership.? However, climbing is growing rapidly and attracting many people
with many different backgrounds that require environmental education, an
understanding of impact mitigation, and minimum impact in sensitive and
sacred areas. Also, private land is being developed at an exceptionally fast
rate as the quantity of outdoor users groups increases which in turn creates
potential for conflicts.



The simple answer to conflict is to close or severely restrict climbing
areas.



The truth is that protecting our rights to public lands and gaining proper
access to private land requires time, dedication, money, and patience. For
our members, we would like for you to know that we take your investment in
the AF as seriously as protecting access for climbing. To be an excellent
representative organization, it is vitally important for us to hear what the
climbing community is thinking and feeling. Below are facts about the AF in
response to a recent posting on Rockclimbing.com.



Salaries & Expenses

AF Board Members are unpaid. They donate hundreds of their hours a year,
mostly pay for their travel to meetings, and also contribute monetarily. In
the earliest days of the AF, some board members loaned the AF money -
interest free - to get us though difficult times.



The recent misrepresentation of an alleged "Summit" was actually a
semi-annual board meeting timed to coincide with a ribbon cutting ceremony
for Minnewaska State Park. There was no meeting with the Mountain House,
and no member of the board stayed there. The opening of Minnewaska State
Park was the first and only New York state park to allow rock climbing, and
it took several volunteers five and a half years of working with the state
to make it happen. There have been conversations with the owners of Skytop
to work with liability concerns. To date, however, these conversations have
not lead to a change in the existing situation. Climbers have no right to
climb on private land without the landowner?s permission and jeopardize the
rights of the rest of the climbing community by their actions. The AF has
limited tools other than trying to buy, lease or negotiate conservation
easements. Success on gaining easements on private land depends on the
landowner?s desire to work with the AF. Private land ownership rights are
important to all, and we encourage all climbers to respect private
landowners and their choices.



The AF has a small number of dedicated full-time staff. Their focus
includes access and stewardship issues, review and comment on policy and
management plans, membership support, coordinating volunteers and
fundraising required in accomplishing our mission. This team is compensated
with salary and benefits as required for fulltime employees by law. Like
any good climber, we are lean and nimble. Compensation is determined by a
national and local average for non-profit organizations. Most of our staff
is paid at or below the national average for non-profits. Without our
dedicated staff, events like Adopt a Crag Day, education materials on
Raptors, and much of our core mission work would not be possible.



Acquisitions

The AF has a long history of working with local climbers to protect our
climbing resources through conservation easements. As a last resort, we
acquire land. We never bid against Horse Pens 40. In fact, we spent
considerable time working with the local climbing community and the new
owner to ensure continued climber access.



Grants

The grants program puts money in the field for trails, toilets and other
mitigation measures. We are not a foundation whose purpose is to give away
its assets. Instead we created the grants program as a way to leverage the
work we are doing by supporting local activists pursuing these same goals.
The National Park Service recently recognized our efforts in helping to
clean up Denali.



Mostly, we support local volunteers with our professional staff, supply
expertise, encourage others to help protect their local climbing areas and
develop positive relationships with their land managers. For more
information on our grants program see our website at
www.accessfund.org/programs/programs_prog/html.



Stock Ownership

The AF does own stocks and bonds that were directly donated by its members.
Membership money has never gone to purchase stock. As the economy has
declined during the past few years, we have suffered significant losses to
our stock investments. We are hoping for a rebound so we can devote these
resources to the support of our mission.



The Access Fund

The AF is a national organization that works with private landowners as well
as federal (USFS, BLM, USPS) state, and local affiliations. We are dedicated
to being the voice of the climbing community for resolving access issues and
to promote stewardship of the land. We value input from the community in
order to serve it better.



Please visit our web site at www.accessfund.org
if you would like more information or have questions about the AF. For
those looking for financial information, see our 2002 annual report that we
will post on-line in May.





Thank you for your continued support,



The Access Fund

This release will also be posted as a news story as soon as practicable.


Partner calamity_chk


Apr 29, 2003, 8:55 PM
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nope, no shooting here. well, not at you anyways .. ;)


gawd


Apr 29, 2003, 9:25 PM
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In reply to:
The above point by Hooker is worth examining.....

If the Access Fund were to be successful, they would be ensuring their own non-existence!

So, like police forces everywhere, they have a vested interest in maintaining that which they have named as Nemesis.

Also, the above argument refering to Carl Pope's Salary is disgusting. The Sierra Club is the best example of hypocrisy and irony in the Outdoor world. Look at the cars parked in the lot at one of their meetings......ALL SUV"S!!! What a bunch of poseurs.

I think that salary reported is only the tip of the iceberg.

What about all the other perks that other climbers don't get? Such as car expenses, travel expenses, hotel rooms, the priviledge to travel and climb to a given area on someone else's $$$ and claim doing it is helping ensure "access". Do these guys get Health Coverage??

It a shame that most climbers hold themselves out from the "ordinary" when it comes to behavior, but they succumb to the same tired old White middle class paradigm: "I care, see how much $$$ I give??"

holier than thou?

i think so.

if they access fund showed spine maybe they could earn some respect.


hardmann


Apr 30, 2003, 1:04 PM
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Dkorkdos, what is your solution? Do you think climbing access issues would be better without the Access Fund? Staff at the AF don't travel around to different climbing areas they, visit them to meet with land managers, local climbing organizations and governmental agencies.

What are you doing for climbing access :?:


drkodos


Apr 30, 2003, 1:11 PM
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A lot more than you imagine.

I just spent $115,000 of my own money to purchase a large amount of acreage that will protect a famously well known climbing area. Untill you push me, I really don't come forward to promote myself or what I actually DO for the issue of Access.

Nazi Germany was fairly adept at spewing propaganda. The Access Fund are masters of spin. If you choose to seal your fate with these people, that is your choice.

Talk to land owners. Talk to land managers. Learn the truth.

Not just the Pimped out Rhetoric from a bunch of Liars/lawyers.


Here is some of the solution. CAVEAT: It is not pretty!

Stop F@cking Rap bolting. It is the NUMBER ONE ISSUE that closes land. Period.
Stop promoting NEW PEOPLE to join the sport. The mags, rags, the AF and manufacturers are trying their hardest to GROW the sport for $$$$. The overswelling of the ranks with a bunch of numbnuts that have no outdoor wilderness ethics is killing us.

One Major problem is that most climbers don't want to handle the truth that it is THEIR OWN BEHAVIORS that cause the problems.

Want to learn more? There are a lot of solutions out there that are FAR BETTER than anything the A$$HOlE FUND is doing....


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 30, 2003, 1:37 PM
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Funny how those who slam the AF are so unaware of the details that are printed in the Newsletter than members recieve.

Hell, I even post the eVertical Times by the AF monthly in the Access Issues & Closures Forum for all to read.


Still continuing to donate.


drkodos


Apr 30, 2003, 2:20 PM
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If you'd refrain from smoking those cancer sticks at the crags you'd be doing a lot more to help the cause......


drkodos


Apr 30, 2003, 2:22 PM
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In reply to:
Funny how those who slam the AF are so unaware of the details that are printed in the Newsletter than members recieve.

Hell, I even post the eVertical Times by the AF monthly in the Access Issues & Closures Forum for all to read.


Still continuing to donate.


I get the newsletter. It is propaganda. That's the point.

It's your attitude and behaviors, as well as others such as yourself that actually CAUSE the problem....

Ironic that you have a quote in your signature that obviosuly does not apply whatsoever to your own mindest.


Partner rrrADAM


Apr 30, 2003, 2:27 PM
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In reply to:
I get the newsletter. It is propaganda. That's the point.

It's your attitude and behaviors, as well as others such as yourself that actually CAUSE the problem....

Ironic that you have a quote in your signature that obviosuly does not apply whatsoever to your own mindest.

Where is the logic in that arguement, or lack of one ??? Try to discuss, not flame. More logic in discussion.

I think you've watched too many Oliver Stone Movies brutha, as a "closed mind" sees conspiracey in everything. I have seen the AF in action.



I assume you are of some relation to 'hooker', or maybe it is an alter ego. You really should buy Skycap from the Hotel, and donate it to the Preserve, so we can climb there once again. You being a Gunks local, my favorite place by the way, I am sure that you rally to deny the donations the AF makes to the Preserve, right ??? :roll:


In reply to:
One Major problem is that most climbers don't want to handle the truth that it is THEIR OWN BEHAVIORS that cause the problems.


I agree with you here 100%... I have been witness to younger climbers not "knowing how to act" in many of our National Parks. These areas are visited by people other than climbers, and loud raukus behavior doesn't go over well with the general public.


hugepedro


Apr 30, 2003, 2:43 PM
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None of the numbers posted look at all out of line to me. In fact, I think they look very good. $68,000 for the Executive Director of a national organization such as that? I got news for you, that's WELL below market value for that type of position. If they had a position of comparable responsibility in a corporation (say middle management in a large organization, director level, reporting to a VP) they'd be getting at least twice that, and probably more like 3 or 4 times that.

What, their employer pays their travel expenses when they are on a business trip? Golly, so does mine, and in many cases more than the amounts quoted. Am I jealous that their job involves climbing? Maybe a little, but if I thought I could do a better job than them and could accept their below-market compensation, I would apply instead of whining about their sweet, climbing job.

What, they've invested some of their capital and received a return? Good for them! EVERY business or other financial entity invests their war chest capital. It's called responsible management. Like any other organization they have to maintain a certain amount of cash reserves in order to remain solvent through fluctuating financial conditions. It's normal business.

What, they have marketing and mailing expenses? The shame! Uh, "getting the word out" is part of the reason for their existence - they are primarily an "awareness enterprise", it is a key part of their core mission. No other single organization is doing as much on a national scale to raise the awareness of the issues that have been pointed out in this thread as threatening our climbing privileges.

They ONLY gave away $120K in grants? You do realize that grants are only a small part of what they do in the interest of climbers? One of those grants last year preserved one of my favorite climbing areas, by the way. Thanks to all you members who have donated!

Someone said something like "where is mine?"

Are you employed by the Access Fund? No? Then I guess you shouldn't expect to receive any of the NORMAL benefits and compensation that the EMPLOYEES of the Access Fund receive should you? I don't work for IBM, but I'm in the IT Consulting business and I want my share of compensation from IBM! Yeah, right.

You can pick any advocacy association and find instances where their methods were not successful. So I'm certain there are cases where the Access Fund has failed. But I'm also certain they've been successful in many, many cases.


rwaltermyer


Apr 30, 2003, 2:47 PM
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well...i think this is the classic conflict of stockholders vs. managers which is plaguing our capitalistic-corporate-American society.

I guess I could argue that for what we pay, the vertical times is pathetic. But then again, are we paying for a magazine subscription, nope. I hope its money well spent elsewhere.

Personally, I run into the same problem with my local organization: http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30238

If the AF hadn't chipped in to help them off their feet, I would have never contributed to the AF becuz I tend to hear so much about initatives in the West, (and everywhere BUT PA) that I'd spend my money and time with a local organization. Of course, the same problem remains.

randy


drkodos


Apr 30, 2003, 6:41 PM
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Apologies for the flaming, my bad.

But no sorrow for my stance.

I would love to buy the hotel. Will you help? Although, I'm not sure it's for sale....


I never said it was a conspiracy. My argument IS logical. here it is:



The Access Fund does nothing to really address the issue that cause Access problems.

Many of the people that donate are irresponsible users that help create access issues. Instead of being accountable, they instead send a check for some paltyry sum, and relieve themselves of actually having to do anything, let alone take a look at themselves in the mirror and try to change.

Where is the lack of logic......that is no flame. Just a statement of supportable fact.

You remain free to waste your money on a group that has no real reason for existing.....

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