On July 20th, 2021, the BACC joined a call organized by the Outdoor Alliance with staff members from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. Also present at the meeting were representatives from the Access Fund, SF Urban Riders, the California Mountain Biking Coalition, Peak Design, and members of the Outdoor Alliance. About half of those present live, work and/or recreate in Speaker Pelosi’s home district (CA District 12, San Francisco).
Though short, the call was action packed, with a particular focus on reiterating the benefits to outdoor recreationalists of:
- House bill HR-803; the “Protecting America’s Wilderness and Public Lands Act”
- President Biden’s so-called “30×30 plan”
- Increased investment in the US Forest Service, which has (in recent years) been unable to keep up with their backlog of projects, let alone initiate new ones, due to long-term, chronic underfunding
- An intentional and conscious focus on ensuring that justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) principles permeate all aspects of public land management at the Federal level
Closer to home, the issue of climate change and specifically how it has dramatically worsened California’s late summer/fall wildfire seasons over the last 3-5 years was highlighted, and the discussion ranged across direct threats (evacuations, loss of life and/or property, etc.) and indirect threats (inability to safely recreate outdoors when air quality is bad due to wildfire smoke, even though the source of that smoke may be many miles away).
We encourage members of the Bay Area climbing community to contact their Federal representatives, both in the House and the Senate, and reiterate the importance of the above initiatives and issues to the climbing community.