Last month, our stewards attended an Access Fund stewardship training workshop in Yosemite to learn how to better build relationships with land managers, how to implement long-term resource protection plans, how to assess the condition of climbing areas, and trail construction skills and techniques.
Below are some key takeaways that our stewards had from the workshop. There are some great insights here for everyone, particularly in our relationship with land managers and on forming the long-term goals of the BACC:
- “As climbing stewards, understanding the regulatory regime our land managers operate under is paramount. In places where multiple different land managers come into play for a single climbing destination (City of Rocks in Idaho being a great example), stewardship becomes substantially more difficult due to differences in management restrictions, priorities, and style.” – Peter
- “The Wilderness Act is a unique piece of legislation, both philosophically and in its written form, and requires federal land managers to delicately juggle the benefits of human access to wilderness vs the impact of that access over extended periods of time. Climbers present a unique challenge to the protectors of the act, given the sport’s traditionally anarchistic culture, and the sheer difficulty of getting to many of the wild places where we recreate.” – Peter
- “I now have a better understanding of the Wilderness Act and greater understanding of the challenges faced by the NPS. For the most part they really do understand the climbing culture and are not our enemy.” – Kyle
- “Use of wilderness by all user groups will only increase over time, our job as stewards is not limited to trail work and isolated events, it is a thorough investment in education and engagement of the public to endorse and promote practices that will leave the least impact. It is modeling that positive behavior in all our endeavors.” – Charles
- “We spent time learning about the unique use patterns that make climbers different from other user groups, and how we can mitigate these effects…We have to both work to reverse the negative impacts we have made in our local climbing areas and work to educate the community at large about best practices for low impact climbing in all forms.” – Edward
- “I have a gained better understanding on how to approach land managers and to plan out a strategy for long-term management of our local crags. We need to look at changing our focus from our short term Adopt-a-Crags to a long-term management agreement with the land managers.” – Kyle
Special thanks to Guayaki and Clif Bar for the support!