When it comes to the Trump Administration and protecting wilderness areas, there hasn’t exactly been a solid track record established. However, earlier this month a trend was broken when the President signed into a law a public lands bill that protects Wilderness climbing. It’s the first time in history that such a bill has ever been signed. The signing took place in the Oval Office among a bipartisan group of lawmakers.
The bill was spearheaded by the organization Access Fund. They finally achieved the historic accomplishment of getting Wilderness climbing protections signed into federal law. The legislation obviously has plenty of details, but one of the highlights is that now the Access Fund will be able to place and maintain permanent fixed anchors in the areas under protection.
In total, the new legislation is actually made up of over 100 separate bills. Several members of the House and 50 senators and includes the expansion of several national parks. There are also plans in place to create five new national monuments across the country. Other details of the legislation include new wilderness areas, including 600 miles of scenic river, as well as almost 2 million acres of new conservation and recreation areas.
One of the more notable portions of the bill was a new public lands package that was named after a man named John D. Dingell Jr. The John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was created to honor the memory of a lifelong conservationist and former National Park Service employee and at the time of his death at 92 years old, he was the longest serving Congressman.
The new law has plenty of protections that will benefit the climbing community. One of the biggest wins was the renewal of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which protects many of the favorite climbing areas around the country. There are plenty of other beloved climbing areas in states from Washington to Colorado that are also covered by the new law.
Access Fund commented on the momentous occasion and thanked the climbing community for supporting the public lands package. Collectively, advocates sent in almost 10,000 letters to Congress to help get the law passed.