Climbers, Backcountry Skiers, Paddlers, & Mountain Bikers on Capitol Hill
Outdoor Alliance Summit – Washington DC
December 12, 2014
A voice - that is what human-powered outdoor recreationalists have lacked when it comes to making policy for our public lands. As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office in Washington DC said this past week, “Where have you all been? ATVers and hunters have been at the table shaping policy; it’s about time you all came to the table”. The Salt Lake Climbers Alliance (SLCA) couldn’t agree more. That’s why we have banded together with the Outdoor Alliance (OA).
Outdoor Alliance protects and promotes the human-powered outdoor recreation experience by uniting the voices of thousands of paddlers, mountain bikers, climbers and skiers to conserve America’s public lands. At the helm of the alliance are our national recreation advocacy groups including the Access Fund, International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), Winter Wildlands, American Whitewater, and American Canoe Association. The local boots on the ground for the Utah Chapter of Outdoor Alliance are the SLCA, Mountain Trails Foundation, and Wasatch Backcountry Alliance (WBA).
Public lands for human-powered recreation are a finite resource in need of our protection. As the SLCA, we can’t do this alone. That’s why Outdoor Alliance brings multiple recreation groups together to protect and enhance opportunities on America’s public lands and waters.
The best way for us to influence policy in support of outdoor recreation opportunities is to engage our representatives and national agencies as a unified voice. This past week, 25 outdoor leaders from across the nation gathered in Washington DC to meet with our representatives and public land agencies in support of human-powered recreation. We spoke out against national public land issues such as state takeover of federal lands. We voiced our support for the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Modernization Act.
The Utah Chapter, including the SLCA and WBA, met with Representatives Stewart, Chaffetz, and Bishop to ask for their support of the recommendations that will come out of Mountain Accord. We will need Congress to support land designations and land swaps that will be proposed by Mountain Accord. We asked for continued funding of the Wasatch Legacy Project so that the Grit Mill and Climbing Trail Master Plan Project can continue. We asked for funding support for a long-term recreation plan at Joe’s Valley that will protect access to this international climbing destination. Our representatives responded that they will support these efforts and asked for Outdoor Alliance to stay engaged with them to create policy that the public supports for recreation planning.
The SLCA would like to thank the Outdoor Alliance for bringing us together in Washington DC so that our voice can be heard. We thank our Representatives and land agencies for allowing us time to meet with them. We look forward to future collaboration to protect the places we love to play.