SLCA Funds a Climbing Access Tech Position
The SLCA is excited to announce a new partnership with the Salt Lake Ranger District with the creation of a Climbing Access Tech position.
The goal of the Climbing Access Technician position is to support the planning process required under the National Environmental Protection Act for climbing resource improvements and maintenance at popular climbing areas in Big & Little Cottonwood Canyon as well as Lone Peak Cirque on FS land. Scope of work will include: mapping locations of popular climbing areas; current user created trails & parking; basic assessment of user impacts on the environment; prioritization of maintenance and improvement needs based on user impacts; and design and scope of work for sustainable access trails and staging areas.
The planning for climbing resource improvements and maintenance is best done by climbers for climbers. What better way than to work with the Forest Service with the creation of a position to accomplish this task in a meaningful and effective way to protect Wasatch climbing. This temporary position will last for 60 days to start August-September 2018 and will be filled by Lindsay Anderson.
Lindsay is an expert at designing and building climbing area infrastructure having worked for two years as an Access Fund Conservation Team Member stewarding climbing areas across the nation as well as one year as the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance Field Coordinator where her main focus is on climbing management planning for the 140-acre Gate Buttress parcel in Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah.
The Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest sees more visitors annually than all five of Utah’s “Mighty Five” National Parks combined. The Forest Service budget and bandwidth to steward outdoor recreation resources has not grown in proportion to the amount of use the Forest has received - which will only increase as climbing participation and population grows.
The Wasatch is home to ~5,000 climbing routes (MountainProject.com), some established as early as 1960, all located within under and hours’ drive from Salt Lake City, Utah. Many first time users of public lands are introduced to the outdoors because of quick access to the Forest from Salt Lake City and its’ outdoor recreation opportunities.
The outdoor environment where Utahns and visitors love to recreate is under immense stress leading to poor watershed health and user impacts are constantly on the rise. The time is yesterday to plan for sustainability of climbing recreation infrastructure in the Wasatch. The SLCA is pleased that the Salt Lake Ranger District recognized this need and have partnered on this position within the Forest Service to plan for and ultimately protect Wasatch climbing.