Climbers Speak up to Protect Climbing in Southeast Utah

Can you imagine the splitter cracks of Indian Creek, the stunning towers of Valley of the Gods, and the sandstone sculptures of Arch Canyon surrounded by oil rigs or off limits to climbers?

Right now, two initiatives are under consideration that may impact access to Indian Creek, Castle Valley, Fischer Towers, San Rafael Swell, Valley of the Gods, Comb Ridge, and countless remote climbing objectives both known and yet to be discovered.

  1. The Public Lands Initiative (PLI) outlines an extensive plan to manage state and federal lands in southeastern Utah. It threatens designated Wilderness, supports the transfer of federal land to the state, and for the majority of the lands in question it prioritizes resource extraction over both recreation and conservation.
  2. Unhappy with the PLI, an Inter-Tribal Coalition proposed the Bears Ears National Monument to the Obama administration, with a focus on preserving Native American traditional values. If the President proclaims Bears Ears National Monument, the climbing community needs to ensure that the proclamation acknowledges and protects the world-class climbing in the area along with the other important values in the Bears Ears region.

Together, the American Alpine Club and Access Fund rallied climbers everywhere to protect this area. Climbers shared their experiences in southeastern Utah so that as these initiatives are considered, it is clear that outdoor recreation is important and needs to be protected.

We received 1,135 thoughtful letters about the importance of protecting climbing southeast Utah. Eight AAC and AF staff read every single letter. We are thrilled with what came over the wire. Our team put together a report based on your letters that we shared with policymakers and partners in Washington, DC. The response we got in DC proves again that your voice matters and makes a difference.