Climb The Hill is an annual advocacy event hosted by the Access Fund and the American Alpine Club to educate Congressional representatives, policymakers, and top land management administrators on the importance of public lands, outdoor recreation, and improved climbing management. For the first time, the issue of facilitated access was part of the playbook for Climb The Hill. This can be attributed to work done by Coalition for Outdoor Access (COA) and other organizations to bring commercial permitting and facilitated access onto the national political radar. Capitalizing on this momentum, a team of six access advocates from the AMGA and COA met with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and Senate staffers to advocate for improvements to the permitting system and seek support for bills introduced by legislators in Congress. Current bills include the Recreation Not Red Tape Act and the Public Lands Recreational Opportunities Improvement Act.
Here are comments from the event:
“To be a part of the national conversation at this level is inspiring. It is clear there has been significant progress. There is also great potential. We may think we are a small community, but we are not – the outdoor industry is massive and rapidly growing. We have gained political influence as our numbers and economic significance have increased. With this comes power and a responsibility to create change.”
-Lindsay Fixmer, Rock Guide and Climb The Hill team member
“Climb the Hill is just the beginning of AMGA’s advocacy efforts and as an organization the AMGA is committed to following through. The institutional knowledge gained through advocacy informs the need to continue with a strong and consistent message. The changes AMGA is seeking will require time to take effect and it makes sense to follow through for the future of the guiding profession.”
-Geoff Unger, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide and AMGA Advocacy Committee Chairperson