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Protect America’s Rock Climbing Act is Historic

Politicians have introduced a bill to protect access to rock climbing areas on federal land

Utah and Colorado politicians want to protect access to famous rock climbing areas. Utah Rep. John Curtis says that climbing and outdoor recreation is an “ever-growing industry.”

Curtis and Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colorado, co-introduced the bipartisan Protect America’s Rock Climbing Act, which would “reiterate Congress’ intent for climbing to be an activity allowable and compatible with wilderness designations.”

The Access Fund helped with writing the proposed legislation. Executive director Chris Winter said they are “thrilled” to participate in the bill. “The Protect America’s Rock Climbing Act is part of Access Fund’s two-pronged strategy to protect Wilderness climbing. In addition to this legislative fix, we are also working to push back on misguided management plans that would compromise climbers’ ability to safely and sustainably explore Wilderness areas.”

Curtis said, “Ensuring access to these lands is vital not just for our economy but also to ensure the millions of Americans who enjoy rock climbing can fully explore our nation’s national treasures.” The bill notes that public notice and comment are taken before any “significant action” tied to access. Neguse added, “By requiring additional agency guidance on climbing management, we are taking steps to protect our climbers and the spaces in which they recreate.