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Apr 9, 2003, 9:19 AM
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Access Fund's eVertical Times #30 (April)
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AF E-News #30
April 2003
The Access Fund
your climbing future

1. DEC Management Plan for the Adirondacks
2. Access Fund Awards $17,000 in Climbing Preservation Grants
3. Mystery Towers For Sale, Utah
4. City of Boulder Agrees to Fixed Hardware Pilot Program in the Flatirons, CO
5. Featured Corporate Partner -- REI
6. Vertical Times Newsletter Online

1. Action Alert - Comment Period Ends April 11
DEC Management Plan for the Adirondacks May Ban Fixed Anchors at Dix and Giant
Mountain Wilderness Areas, NY
The Department of Environmental Conservation has released draft management plans for
the Dix and Giant Mountain Wilderness Areas for public review and comment. The plan
addresses major issues such as trials, group size limits at climbing areas, camping,
campfires, and parking area concerns along route 73. SPECIAL CONCERNS SURROUND THE

In describing present conditions and management actions, the plan states: "The
Adirondack region remains one of the few areas in the country where the placement of
fixed climbing anchors (bolts) is not common-place. The reputation of the region is
one where bolts and pitons are the exception rather than the rule. Bolts, permanent
pitons and other fixed anchors are prohibited as non-conforming uses under the
APSLMP and implied in Department regulation 6 NYCRR 190.8 (g) ("No person shall
deface, remove, destroy, or otherwise injure in any manner whatsoever any...rock,
fossil or mineral...") Erection of bolts, pitons or other fixed climbing anchors by
the public is illegal and nonconforming under the APSLMP and will be monitored."
(Section 4 - Proposed Management Actions, pp. 65)

You can view the plan on DEC's website at:

Please take a moment to comment on the plan, and urge DEC to work with the local
climbing community to develop a reasonable and informed plan - one that allows the
use of fixed anchors. The Access Fund believes that fixed anchors are a significant
tool for resource management: they can be strategically placed to minimize climbing
impacts to fragile soils, vegetation, and wildlife in Wilderness. This function is
sacrificed if any use of fixed anchors is prohibited. (For our complete position
statement, see

You can comment in writing, or by email.
Comments should be addressed to:

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Kristofer Alberga, Senior Forester
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233

All comments must be received at the Ray Brook regional office by April 11, 2003 to
ensure their consideration in developing the final Unit Management Plan.

2. Access Fund Awards $17,000 in Climbing Preservation Grants to Support Climber
Activism, Conservation, and Education
The Access Fund awarded $17,000 in its first round of grant funding for 2003.
Awarded three times annually, Climbing Preservation Grants offer financial
assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment.
The grants will provide trail improvements, education, and campground maintenance

"The Access Fund is committed to preserving the climbing experience for present and
future generations," said Shawn Tierney, access and acquisitions director. "To put
this commitment into action, we allocate approximately 15% of our annual budget to
grants, and for 2003 we have budgeted $120,000. We're proud to fund these important
initiatives on behalf of our members and the entire climbing community."

The following grants have been awarded:

Rocky Mountain Field Institute Trails and Education Projects, Utah
The Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) received $4,500 for trail building and
erosion control work on the Bridger Jack trial. While considerable progress has
been made in recent years, the mitigation of impacts to the fragile desert landscape
continues to be a critical need in Indian Creek Canyon. RMFI received generous
Access Fund support for Indian Creek projects for the past 5 years.

Square Ledge Trail Project, New Hampshire
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) was granted $4,000 for trail reconstruction work
at Square Ledge, a popular and heavily used climbing site in the White Mountain
National Forest. Square Ledge stands above the AMC's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center,
which receives 200,000 visitors annually. Over 12,000 hikers and climbers use the
Square Ledge trail, and overuse of this area has caused extensive erosion and safety

BLM Bouldering Management Project Bishop, California
The Bureau of Land Management Bishop field office received $5,000 to help with
campground maintenance and resource protection on the Volcanic Tablelands. This
area includes the Happy and Sad Boulders and the Pleasant Valley Campground. The
Access Fund provided a $9,750 grant to the BLM in 2002, which was directed towards a
number of projects, including: campground management, education, outreach and
cultural resource surveys. Funds directed towards these projects will reduce
impacts on the Tablelands while supporting climbing access.

Flatirons Climbing Council Start-Up Grant, Colorado
The Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC), a grassroots climber's organization was
awarded $2500. The group will represent climbers' interests in the Flatirons, and
will work closely with the City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department
to address stewardship and climbing management issues.

Le Petit Verdon Trail and Restoration Work, Arizona
The grassroots climbers group, the Northern Arizona Climbers Coalition, was granted
$1000 to organize and carry out trail and restoration efforts at Le Petit Verdon
(aka "The Pit,") a popular and heavily used climbing area near Flagstaff.

3. Mystery Towers For Sale, Utah
SITLA (Utah State Institutional Trust Lands Administration) is taking bids on a
state parcel that contains the dramatic Mystery Towers near the Fisher Towers. While
the Titan and other main Fisher Towers would not be affected by this sale, the
Mystery Towers (Gothic Nightmare, The Citadel and Doric Column) could be sold to a
private party, thus restricting access. The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has made a bid
on the property and needs the support of the climbing community to help ensure
continued access. The best way to ensure that existing trust lands in this area are
protected and climbing access maintained is to support TNC efforts. Act now to help
preserve climbing access to the mystery towers!

Please write letters of support urging SITLA to award the sale of the Onion Hill
parcel to The Nature Conservancy. Make sure to note the following points:
- State your interest in the area, and note the outstanding climbing opportunities
at the Mystery Towers.
- Urge SITLA to award the sale of the Onion Hill parcel to TNC for conservation
values and to protect public access to this natural treasure.
- Maintaining access to public lands in Utah will preserve its tourist economy.

WRITE: (Deadline April 18, 2003)
Kim Christy, Assistant Director -- Surface
SITLA, 675 East 500 S., Suite 500
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
Tel: 801-538-5100
Fax: 801-355-0922

For more information, call Access Fund Policy Director Jason Keith at 435-259-0693
or email

4. City of Boulder Agrees to Fixed Hardware Pilot Program in the Flatirons, CO
The City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks Department (OSMP), in a
"Memorandum of Understanding" signed on February 6, 2003, agreed to a "pilot"
program for the placement of new fixed anchors in the Flatirons. The pilot program,
developed by the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) establishes a permit process that
allows the climbing community to comment on proposed routes that require fixed gear,
and is similar to the fixed hardware review process in Eldorado Canyon. The pilot
program will be in effect for two years at Dinosaur Mountain then evaluated for its

The FCC will administer the permit process through its Fixed Hardware Review
Committee (FHRC), and will serve in an advisory capacity only. OSMP will make the
final determination as to whether new routes that require bolts are allowed. The
permit process operates under the guiding principle that actions, which affect all
climbers, should not be taken without input and consensus from the community.

The Flatirons Climbing Council is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization formed as a
collaborative effort between the Access Fund, American Alpine Club, Colorado
Mountain Club and the Action Committee for Eldorado to protect and preserve the
diverse climbing resources of the Flatirons.

5. Featured Corporate Partner -- REI
"REI is a proud and long-time supporter of the Access Fund because of the balanced,
strategic and collaborative approach they take," said Dennis Madsen, REI president
and chief executive officer. "Combining stewardship and conservation programs along
with their efforts to promote climbing prove beneficial for all of us who enjoy
outdoor recreation."

REI supports the work of the Access Fund in a tradition unparalleled in the outdoor
recreation community. REI demonstrates its long-standing history of commitment,
partnership and dedication to the Access Fund in countless ways. For example, REI
has assisted in the establishment of our National Network of Regional Coordinators,
has supported several constituency building and technology projects, and has
participated in the formation of climbing policy and the defense of climbing
freedoms at the national level. The Access Fund's ongoing relationship with REI
ensures the sustainability of our programs and supports the Access Fund's policy and
education programs. The Access Fund is greatly appreciative and proud of REI's
decade-long partnership. Visit them online at

6. Vertical Times Newsletter Online
The Vertical Times newsletter, the Access Fund's bimonthly publication, provides
up-to-date news on policy, area reports, events, action alerts, grants, and more. It
is a benefit to members and non-members alike (if you are not a member, please join
at, indeed it is a benefit
to the entire climbing community. By offering this unique publication
electronically, the Access Fund will decrease printing and mailing costs to allocate
more funds in protecting YOUR CLIMBING FUTURE. If you choose to take part in this
effort, and cease shipment of the Vertical Times to your home, please email your
name/address to with "Remove Vertical Times" as the subject.

Presently, over 300 members have requested not to receive their print copy of
Vertical Times (a savings to the Access Fund of $900 per year to be utilized in

To view issues of Vertical Times, including the April edition, visit

1. The Access Fund office in Boulder is the only source of outgoing messages to the
2. The AF will not sell or give away email addresses of E-News subscribers.
3. AF E-News is an announcement-only e-mail list; therefore, you cannot reply to any
of the list members.
4. All e-mail addresses will remain confidential with every mail sent.


Apr 9, 2003, 9:46 AM
Post #2 of 2 (1514 views)

Registered: Feb 21, 2003
Posts: 345

Access Fund's eVertical Times #30 (April) [In reply to]
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I like stickers. Does AF give you a sticker when you join? I mean a T-shirt is great... but I can't put it in the window of my car letting all the leeches at the crag know I'm a member ;-)

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