We’ve all been asking ourselves what the Trump administration will mean for climbers and outdoor enthusiasts since the harrowing November election. Within just the last month, we’ve seen the potential damage to access America’s public lands and the response was overwhelming. Our cries are not to be ignored; our undertaking is not inconsequential. What we say, write, and do today MATTERS tomorrow.
A few weeks ago, I was surging with sadness and rage one evening about the state of our country and current events. I text messaged Katie Boué, one of the most daring and inspirational outdoor advocates we have on our front line. I asked her for advice because I wasn’t sure where to start (and maybe you aren’t, either.)
Her response was inarguably simple: “Talk about it.”
So, here goes:
A huge percentage of climbing areas in the west are on public lands, and if state governments seize them, we risk public access and ownership of the places we love to visit and climb. If you haven’t already signed the Outdoor Alliance petition yet, share it with your friends and family. Sign and share, and show policymakers that their voters support our public lands. You can also make a donation to OI here.
Other places where donations are warmly welcomed are The Access Fund and Protect Our Winters. Since the 1990’s, The Access Fund has worked hard to ensure climbing access to areas throughout the country and have led the charge in being stewards in these special places. POW is a non-profit organization made up of professional athletes and industry brands that acknowledge climate change, the impact that it will have on the outdoor industry, and work towards positive climate action.
To be honest, there are so many groups that can use your support (The ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and The American Alpine Club, to name a few.) Pick one, share the word, talk about it, stay updated and educated. Keep talking. Use this link to contact your elected officials. March, if and when you are able bodied. March for women’s rights, climate change, and immigration orders. Because as climbers, we have a personal stake in losing access to public lands but as humans, there is much more at stake.
People ask how I can have endless optimism in times like these, but the moment I let go of believing that things will get better is the very same moment that they won’t.
Everybody who reads this has an enormous amount of power. We all have within us the ability to speak up and to share our voices and images and words with those who can hear them. And we will be heard. More importantly, we have the power of connection, which is something that the Trump administrative does not understand. They underestimate the power of finding like-minded people and bringing them together—for the protection of our lands, for the power of equality, for the love of climbing. That is the magic.
We are awake and we will not be programmed or silenced into complacency.