Help Influence the Future of Joe’s Valley
By: Access Fund
The bouldering in Joe’s Valley, UT is considered some of the best in the world. The area’s high concentration of boulders, with an impressive array of both moderate and advanced climbs, and its easy access from nearby Salt Lake City make it a draw for climbers from around the world.
As Joe’s Valley has continued to rise in popularity, the increased climber traffic is putting a strain on the climbing environment, causing extensive erosion on approach trails and at the base of boulders, human waste concerns, campsite expansion, and roadside safety concerns.
The SLCA and the Access Fund have engaged the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the US Forest Service (USFS), taking critical steps to begin long term stewardship planning that addresses the increased climber traffic at Joe’s Valley. As a first step, the SLCA funded (with help from Access Fund and AAC) an area assessment to document the current condition of the resources in Joe’s Valley and identify areas of concern. It is clear that infrastructure improvements, management alternatives, and climber behavior changes are going to be essential to protect Joe’s Valley.
Now, as part of the public process, the BLM has requested feedback from the community, and would like climbers’ ideas about the future of Joe’s Valley. This is a unique opportunity for the climbing community to take an active role in determining what this climbing resource can look like well into the future.
It is critical that the climbing community take a responsible stance on protecting the resources at Joe’s Valley. There will be some changes to the current experience at Joe’s Valley that may be initially difficult to appreciate. However, these changes will ultimately protect climbing access well into the future, preserving this unique climbing landscape in a healthy, responsible, and sustainable way.
Please use the letter writing tool HERE to submit your comments to the BLM before March 1st. Here are some bullet points to guide you:
- I strongly support trail, facility and infrastructure improvements for the climbing resources of Joe’s Valley.
- I believe that structurally sound use areas (pad platforms) and approach paths for climbing areas will make Joe’s Valley a more sustainable and resilient climbing resource.
- More toilet facilities are needed to manage human waste and protect the local community’s water supply.
- I believe that the climbing community should be relied upon to steward the area and help educate climbers on a regular basis.
- More camping options are needed to meet the growing demand, and address environmental concerns.
- I believe that any fees collected should directly support the resources for which they are collected (i.e., camping fees must cover the cost of toilet and facility maintenance).
- Climbers travel from across the nation to visit Joe’s Valley and spend money when they visit the Joe’s Valley and Emery County area. Rock climbers provide beneficial economic opportunities for the local community.