Celebrating 2012′s Biggest Wins
by Leigh Goldberg, Conservation & Advocacy Director
The AAC has spent 110 years protecting the places we climb. Thanks to our members, we have done remarkable work on behalf of the climbing community, and I wanted to celebrate some of our most noteworthy achievements in conservation and advocacy. The AAC just received a Golden Piton Award from Climbing Magazine for bringing climbers together as a Community Developer. I believe a lot of the work our members did to conserve climbing areas, improve infrastructure at local crags, and advocate for initiatives climbers care about were a huge contribution to winning this award. All this great work is only possible with members like you. Thank you for being an important part of our tribe and sustaining our extraordinary conservation legacy. Check out this year’s top 10 achievements:
1. $25,000 in upgrades awarded to 7 local climbing communities through our Cornerstone Conservation Grant program.
2. $15,000 committed to 4 human waste management solutions in Vantage, WA, Red River Gorge, KY, Rumney Rocks, NH, and Joe’s Valley, UT.
3. Our top 7 local events brought together 350 volunteers who contributed 1800 hours to conserving our favorite climbing areas.
4. Almost $10,000 awarded to 27 grant recipients and 1 climbing expedition for research aimed to expand understanding of geographic, environmental, and social change in Arctic and alpine regions.
5. During President Obama’s visit to Golden, CO we partnered with Colorado Mountain Club to urge him to protect outdoor recreation, a $646 billion industry.
6. Planted nearly 200 new desert plants near Intersection Rock in J-Tree at the Spring Cling Cleanup, where AAC Southwest Section teamed up with Friends of Joshua Tree and the youth team from Threshold Climbing Gym to improve the area.
7. Between the AAC Research Grant and the Live Your Dream Grant, AAC members made noteworthy contributions to glacier study and climate change research. AAC Research Grant recipient Seth Campbell turned his $500 grant from the AAC into a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to fund his glacier research expedition in the Central Alaska Range. Live Your Dream Grant recipient Hari Mix collected microbe sample from 23,000 ft., the highest altitude collection of its type.
8. Helped pass legislation in NH that protects landowners from liability associated with climbing. The Northeast region was an advocacy champ last year, and worked closely with the Access Fund to make this happen.
9. 70 volunteers devoted 400 volunteer hours to a weekend of stewardship activities during Jim Donini’s 4th annual Indian Creek Trail Days.
10. Hired a new Conservation and Advocacy Director to guide national policy and advocacy while prioritizing and supporting the needs of local sections and chapters. Right away, she met with officials at Yosemite National Park, Grand Teton National Park, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Bishop, CA to advocate for climbing protection and critical infrastructure like camping and toilet facilities.
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