Best Practices

This page contains examples of good climbing management practices, including how managers can work effectively with non-profits and organizations representing climbers.  

New River Gorge, West Virginia
The National Park Services' New River Gorge National River Climbing Management Plan and Environmental Assessment is one of the most comprehensive climbing management plans in use.  The plan focuses on environmental impacts and  addresses fixed anchors.  The plan proposed bi-annual public meetings to assess new route proposals and bolt replacement.

Eldorado Canyon and Flatirons, Colorado
Eldorado Canyon and Flatirons are sophisticated examples of a non-profit working with state and local land managers to maintain and manage a climbing area. The Action Committee for Eldorado represents climbers' interests in Eldorado Canyon State Park and supports conserving natural resources and promoting responsible recreational use and land management. The Fixed Hardware Review Committee run by ACE manages new route proposals, new hardware, and hardware replacement. The Flatirons Climbing Council represents the interests of climbers and works closely with land managers to manage all things related to climbing, including bolts, raptor closures and environmental impacts.  The Fixed Hardware Review Committee is run by the Flatiron Climbing Council and manages new hardware, hardware replacement, and hardware condition reporting.


Rumney, New Hampshire
The Rumney Rocks Management Plan Rumney Rocks - Climbing Management Plan 2015 is a USDA Forest Service climbing management plan. The Rumney plan details hardware requirements and proposes an annual meeting to address climbing management issues 
that the climbing community identifies, such as hardware condition and specifications.  The Forest Service and Rumney's local climbing organization have a MOU.

Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho 
The state of Idaho has issued a Castle Rocks Climbing Management Plan. The plan is meant to protect resources while providing access to climbers.  This plan is an example of programmatic permitting of route development. The land manager is committed to an annual review of hardware standards in order to determine if industry standards dictate changes (improvements) to the fixed anchor management policy.

Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources issued a climbing management policy and guidelines paper for Pennsylvania state land. There, the State requires prior approval to place or replace climbing hardware. They also provide very general requirements for hardware specifications.
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Katie Goodwin,
Feb 8, 2016, 2:53 PM
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