Local Organizations

When a local climbing access issue occurs, the best line of defense is almost always the local climbers who are familiar with the area and the issues. That is why a critical piece of the Access PanAm’s work is encouraging, organizing, and supporting local climbers to join together into local climbing access organizations.

A Local Access Organization (LAO) is an organization, association, or access committee working primarily or exclusively to keep climbing areas open, conserve the climbing environment, and promote responsible climbing at the local or regional level. LAOs should educate climbers on the environmental ethics, climbing issues, local regulations and closures, etc. It is the liaison between the climbing community and the land managers and owners for the crags within their region, hence, representing climbers' interests on both public and private land.

Getting organized displays a level of professionalism and a commitment that resonates strongly with land managers, politicians and other decision makers. Bottom line, when it comes to access, decision makers give more weight to a group's request than varied pleas by individuals.

LAOs act as a channel for extending climbing advocacy and stewardship work and are the Access PanAm’s arm to:

  • Rally climbers together into local, national, and international letter-writing campaigns.
  • Inform and educate climbers on the local impact of policies.
  • Promote and support stewardship efforts and events.
  • Create effective climbing management strategies.
  • Improve climbers’ advocacy skills, including getting organized and working with industry players to improve the image of our sport.

Click here to see an Access Fund document about starting a LAO in the US. Even if your LAO is not in the US, this document has excellent tips.