March is Access Fund Month at Touchstone Climbing!
We’re excited to be working with the Access Fund to raise a whole boatload of money and a whole… bunch of awareness about climbing conservation and access issues facing our beloved climbing areas.
Touchstone has been a platinum donor to the Access Fund for many years, and this year we’ve decided to do something a little different.
“Fundraising within the gym for organizations like the Access Fund allows us to raise our member’s awareness about climbing-related issues, even those who don’t yet climb outdoors, but are inspired by those who do,” said Berkeley Ironworks Manager Lyn Barraza. “By not only donating money directly, as Touchstone Climbing has done in the past with little fanfare, but getting our members involved, members learn that these organizations exist and why it’s important to get involved.”
Please take a moment to join or donate a few bucks to the Access Fund. We will double your donation – raising money and awareness for our favorite outdoor areas.Donate Here
Here are some projects that the Access Fund has been involved with in the past years in California. It’s easy to see where your support will be going!
The Access Fund has Allied Climbers of San Diego:
In 2012 Access Fund was proud to welcome longtime local affiliate organization, Allied Climbers of San Diego, to the Joint Membership Program. The program continues to expand financial and administrative support for ACSD by providing full membership administrative services, and giving climbers the ability join and donate to both their local climbing organization and Access Fund at the same time, with a single donation.
The Access Fund entered into a management agreement with Climbing Resource Advocates for Greater Sacramento (CRAGS), California State Parks, and the US Bureau of Reclamation, lifting a 10-year climbing ban and outlining responsibilities for the local climbing community to manage parking, trails, and access to the climbing areas in Auburn Quarry outside Sacramento, CA.
Bay Area Climbers Coalition:
Access Fund supported local climbers in the formation of the Bay Area Climbers Coalition (BACC). In 2014, the newly formed organization were given leadership at Adopt a Crag events at both Summit Rock & Indian Rock by the Conservation Team. The CT, working with local volunteers and BACC members, cleaned up these local, urban climbing areas and helped create a healthier & more pleasant visitor experience.
Buttermilk Boulders Toilet:
In 2014, the AF signed a MOU with the Inyo National Forest to ensure the seasonal maintenance, by volunteers, of the newly installed vault toilet in the Buttermilk Boulders in Bishop, CA. This MOU provided the USFS with committed volunteer management & services to limit their obligations on an already stretched thin district.
The Access Fund provided a small grant and a $75,000 AFLCC loan to the Wilderness Land Trust for the acquisition of 1,257 acres of land adjacent to Castle Crags State Park and Federal Wilderness. The purchase protects access to approximately 20 wilderness climbing routes as well as ice climbing, backcountry skiing, and winter mountaineering. The property will be eventually transferred to Shasta Trinity National Forest via the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Castle Rock State Park:
Castle Rocks State Park management is collaborating with local climbers to steward the park, develop information for a climbing kiosk and to compile a climbing resource inventory. The development of a climbing management plan remains an uncertain goal at this time.
The Access Fund is actively working with Truckee Donner Land Trust and the local climbing community to protect critical climbing areas in the Donner Summit area. Access Fund is providing land protection and risk management support towards the acquisition project, which is currently under negotiation. Stay tuned for more details.
In 2010, Access Fund secured a permanent conservation and recreation easement for Jailhouse Rock outside Sonora in exchange for an Access Fund Land Conservation Campaign (AFLCC) loan to the landowner. The local climbing community helped fundraise for parking and trailhead improvements and long-term stewardship. In 2011, the Conservation Team worked with ranchers and climbers to complete parking area improvements, close the old trail, and install signage.
In 2012 & 2014, the Conservation Team worked with the Climbing Resource Advocates of Greater Sacramento (CRAGS) & USFS to complete crucial improvements to the trail along the base of Lover’s Leap, near “The Groove” climb. This trail sees some of the highest traffic at this popular climbing destination as it provides both approaches and walk-off access for many of the area climbs. The CT, CRAGS & USFS lead volunteers on a series of rock stair & retaining wall structures.
Pinnacles National Park:
The CT assisted National Parks staff and dedicated volunteers at the first & second ever Pinnacles Climber Appreciation Days in Pinnacles National Park. The CT provided leadership for climbing and hiker access projects throughout this historically relevant Park and provided the foundation for an event which will be hosted annually.
Access Fund worked with local climbers, raptor specialists, and Santa Clara County Parks to replace a year-long raptor closure with a seasonal raptor closure. The new closure requirements are better aligned with national best practices for raptor protection and local climbers can help keep Summit Rock open by volunteering and securing the appropriate, free permits to climb.
Tahquitz & Suicide:
In 2012 the Conservation Team worked with the USFS and volunteers to completely replace & restore the initial staircase on the Suicide Rocks approach trail. This approach trail immediately drops down from the parking area along a long staircase, intense run-off cause by the parking/roadway above was destroying the stability of the staircase. The CT lead an event to completely replace aging & rotting wood with last rock structures & retaining walls. In addition, Access Fund has supported Idyllwild Climbers Coalition in their local stewardship projects in recent years.
Yosemite Merced River Plan, Facelift and Climbing Steward Program:
Starting in 2006, The Access Fund provided the Yosemite Climbers Association with funding support for their annual Yosemite Facelift 4 different years. In addition, the AF provided some initial start-up funding for the Park’s Climbing Steward program, now successfully adding to climbing stewardship & education for their upcoming 4th season. At the 2013 & 2014 Facelift event, the Conservation Team assisted park staff & climbing stewards on climbing approach path construction at the base of El Capitan. The Access Fund provided extensive, detailed comments on the Merced River Plan. We successfully advocated for shuttle services from El Portal to Yosemite Valley, a larger El Portal Remote Parking area, more campsites at the Upper and Lower River Campgrounds, restoration of meadow and riparian habitat, and reduced traffic congestion in Yosemite Valley. The Plan is generally favorable to the interests of the climbing community.