AAC’s Recreational Permitting Mission

Photo: Scott Thompson

Photo: Scott Thompson

The American Alpine Club recognizes how challenging it is for our members to obtain outfitter-guide permits for our National Forests. We’ve heard from climbers who are guides, belong to a regional mountain club and those who work for non-profits that teach climbing that the permitting system is overly complicated and can be a barrier to accessing our commonly-owned public lands.

The AAC is partnering with The Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education, The Wilderness Society, The American Mountain Guide Association and the U.S. Forest Service to simplify and streamline the recreational permitting process on USFS lands. 

Our goal is to assemble a cadre of climbers willing to engage with the Forest Service to improve the permitting system. We’d like you to join our team.

We will teach you about developments in the U.S. Forest Service’s permitting system—specifically the June 2016 guidance on recreational permitting— and the cultural changes underway within the agency. You will develop relationships with your regional Forest Service staff, understand how changes are being implemented and you will have the opportunity to share information with peers seeking access to our National Forests.

Sounds good right? If so, we ask you to carefully consider whether you can make the necessary commitments:

  1. Participate in a webinar training on the June 2016 guidance (April 2017).
  2. Set up a meeting with your local forest (April 2017).
  3. Meet with your local forest and write a short trip report to Maria Povec, AAC’s Policy Director (May-June 2017).
  4. Participate in a group discussion (by conference call) with our team about your experiences engaging with the forests (July-August 2017).
  5. Where appropriate, have follow up meetings with the target forest (remainder of 2017).

As former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Our national forests and grasslands have provided inspiration and peace to millions of Americans.” Let’s work together to ensure that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy our national forests, learn how to climb outdoors and to explore the vertical frontier safely.

If you’re interested in joining the project, please sign up through our Google Form. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact project lead Maria Povec: [email protected]