Access Fund Awards $45,480 in Climbing Preservation Grants

by Tom Markiewicz on April 13, 2005

From the Access Fund:

The Access Fund awarded $45,480 in its first round of grant funding for 2005. Awarded three times annually, Climbing Preservation Grants provide financial assistance for local climber activism and protection of the climbing environment. The grants will be distributed for trail improvements, land acquisition, education and assistance for a newly formed local climber organization.

“The Access Fund is committed to preserving the climbing experience for present and future generations,” said Shawn Tierney, Access and Acquisitions Director. “We’re proud to fund these important initiatives on behalf of our members and the entire climbing community.”

The Access Fund awarded the following grants:

Jamestown, Alabama

The Southeastern Climbers Coalition received a grant to help pay for the purchase of the Jamestown climbing area. The crag, which was on land privately owned, has been closed since the early 1990s. Many of the best climbing areas in Alabama are closed due to private landowner issues.

Sam’s Throne, Arkansas

The Forest Service received a grant to purchase an installation of a CXT vault toilet at Sam’s Throne. The Forest Service is in the process of upgrading the area to include a primitive campground and additional day use parking area with informational kiosk.

French’s Dome, Oregon

The Forest Service received a grant to help pay for a slope stabilization and belay platform construction project at a popular climbing destination near Mt. Hood. Heavy use at this site has resulted in erosion and vegetation loss at the base of the rock and outlying areas. The project will involve the construction of rock retaining walls, a trail on the northeast side of the formation that will direct use, and revegetation in areas that are no longer in the travel zone.

Friends of East Mountain, Massachusetts

The Friends of East Mountain received a grant for a trail kiosk and site map for climbing areas and trails at Great Barrington.

Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Field Institute received a grant for the Crestone Needle Restoration Project. The goal of the project is to preserve Crestone Needle (14,197′) by constructing a sustainable summit route, and restoring badly damaged and heavily eroded areas along the route’s perimeter.

Rodeo Wall, Wyoming

The Forest Service received a grant for trail maintenance and base area improvements at this popular climbing area in the Snake River Canyon south of Jackson. The improvements will mitigate erosion problems and unintentional expansion of the trail.

Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council, Nevada

The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council. LVCLC received a start-up and organizational grant is dedicated to ensuring climbing access, encouraging stewardship of the environment, and cultivating a sense of community in a world-class climbing destination. Red Rock Canyon faces ever more threatening issues from encroaching development, increased land use, and access challenges as a result of issues imposed by the federal government.

Blackline Buttress, Montana

The Forest Service for the Blackline Buttress received a grant for trail rehabilitation and a construction project. The targeted trail is 1.5-2 miles long, with roughly 800 feet of elevation gain. The trail needs drainage work, downhill retaining walls, and retreading. The grant will be used for materials, an informational bulletin board, and trail marker signs.

Blackleaf Canyon, Montana

The Teton River Watershed Group received a grant for educational outreach for the Blackleaf Canyon climbing area. Working with the Forest Service, the climbing community is interested in proactively addressing emerging issues at this increasingly popular area. Parking, human waste, grizzly bear food order regulations, and access trails have been identified as key areas of concern.

Dome and Elephant Buttress, Colorado

The Silver Lake Ditch Company received a grant for restoration work at the Dome and Elephant Buttresses. Work will focus on ditch restoration and mitigating erosion caused by foot traffic at this heavily used site near Boulder.

Madrone Wall, Oregon

The Madrone Wall Preservation Committee received a grant for ongoing public outreach work in the effort to protect Madrone Wall. The group is working to reopen the site to public access and lobbying to get the site permanently protected as a park or open space property. Madrone Wall has been closed since 1997.

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