Climber brushing rock clean on climbing wall | Access Fund

Access Fund

Giving climbers a seat at the table to decide how public lands are protected and used

Since 1991, the Access Fund has protected public lands, restored climbing areas impacted by use, bought threatened land, and educated climbers and land managers alike about responsible stewardship and risk mitigation. In the last year alone, the Access Fund helped preserve access to over 225 climbing areas and made over 23,000 feet of access trail sustainable.

“The core mission is keeping climbing areas open, on both public and private lands,” says Executive Director Chris Winter. “The growth of the sport means areas are facing threats in terms of sustainability and conservation. When climbers get engaged—even in little ways, like writing letters or going to Adopt-a-Crag events—they take ownership.” 

Access Fund’s Work

The Access Funds core programs are supported by a five-prong approach:

  • Climbing Policy and Advocacy representatives spend hundreds of hours a year with legislators, state agencies, tribal governments, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management officials to make sure climbers’ interests are reflected in public land planning. 
  • Land Acquisition and Protection helps local climbing communities obtain loans, grants, and visibility to swiftly purchase and protect threatened climbing areas.
  • Stewardship and Conservation is supported by stewardship plans and cleanup efforts like Adopt-A-Crag that rally community volunteers to fight back against litter, trail erosion, and invasive species removal. 
  • Risk Management and Landowner Support teams work with private and public landowners to build tools and strategies to mitigate risk and keep access open for climbers.
  • Climber Education programs help the community understand and expand its role in reducing the social and environmental impacts of climbing. 

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