CLIMB THE HILL Public ADVOCATE TOOLKIT

Pro climbers and outdoor advocates alike are attempting a different kind of summit, full of cruxes and challenges along the way, as they climb Capitol Hill next week. They need your help. We are all co-owners of our public lands, and right now those lands are facing unprecedented attacks.

You can support the efforts of Alex Honnold, Sasha DiGiulian, Tommy Caldwell, Margo Hayes, and a host of other athletes while they are climbing Capitol Hill to speak up for America’s climbing landscapes. All climbers need to help protect climbing areas and our public lands.

Below are descriptions of four important issues we'll be taking action on. Read up on them and keep an eye on this page for more action alerts! 


The recreation not red-tape act

Outfitters, guides, and non-profit organizations play an important role in providing educational programs and inspiring experiences on public lands. These businesses and organizations help people get outside, develop an appreciation for wild places, and care for our nation’s public lands, forests, parks, and rivers. These facilitated experiences also make a meaningful contribution to the recreation economy through revenue generation and job creation.

Federal land management agencies value facilitated recreation opportunities. However, they operate under an outdated and complex recreation permitting system that makes it difficult for outfitters and guides to obtain permits, discouraging the guiding industry.

Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) and Congressman Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) Recreation Not Red-Tape Act (RNR) simplifies and streamlines outfitter and guide permitting, among other things. This bill has bipartisan support and advances permitting improvements such as: a consistent permitting process, an online permit application system, and a single permit for trips that cross jurisdictional boundaries.    

Get Involved:

  • The AAC and Access Fund have been working hard with partners at Outdoor Alliance to keep this bill moving, and we’re excited about the steps forward. Sign up for action alerts to receive the latest updates on the bill.

  • Check out this update from the House Committee on Natural Resources to learn more.


the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)                

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is one of our nation’s most successful conservation tools, but—without action from Congress—this popular, bipartisan program will expire in September. The LWCF was created in 1965 with $900 million authorized per year for the acquisition of land and water to protect natural treasures, with an emphasis on recreation. Funds can be used to acquire federal land, as well as land for state or local governments through the State Matching Grants program. LWCF funds have been used to purchase or improve well over a dozen climbing areas, and the program has proven to be a critical way to improve our public lands system.

Get Involved:

  • Take a look at this great primer on LWCF from the Outdoor Industry Association.

  • Learn what your state stands to lose if LWCF isn’t funded with this tool from the Land Water Conservation Fund Coalition.

  • Help spread the word. We are working to increase the general public’s awareness of the importance of this Fund as it faces expiration in October 2018. On social media, use #LWCF, and tell your friends why it matters to you.


Antiquities Act      

The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives the President the executive authority to proclaim a national monument in order to protect special natural, historical, scientific, and cultural areas. It is a conservation tool that has been used by Republican and Democratic presidents to create nearly 150 national monuments, including crown jewels like Indian Creek in Utah, the Needles in California, and Devils Tower in Wyoming. A number of other climbing areas, such as Joshua Tree and the Tetons, were first designated as national monuments and later made national parks. The Antiquities Act does not explicitly name recreation as a cause for protection. However, outdoor recreation is critical in giving people a way to experience these special places.       

Get Involved:


Balanced Energy Development                    

In late June 2017, President Trump announced his interest in establishing America’s energy dominance. Through executive orders, President Trump has the Department of Interior (DOI) focused on removing “burdens” to energy development on our public lands. In addition to rolling back environmental regulations, the administration is fast-tracking permit processes for energy resource exploration and development, expanding offshore drilling operations, and reducing land protections (e.g., national monuments) to facilitate more extensive energy resource exploitation.

Federal law mandates that all accepted land uses, including conservation and recreation, be considered equally to energy development during management planning. We are concerned that climbing areas and other recreation sites will not be thoughtfully and appropriately considered during land management decision-making.

Get Involved:

  • Learn more about what the current administration’s quest for energy dominance will mean for climbing on public lands.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!