On Monday Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, signed Director’s Order #41, which has significant implications for how climbers can enjoy recreating in Wilderness areas of the National Park System.
Director’s Order #41 marks the first time a land management agency has given national direction that climbing is a legitimate activity in Wilderness, and that fixed anchors necessary for climbing are also allowed. The order permits for the authorization of new bolts by zone, not just case-by-case permits for individual routes/bolts. Also under the order, interim fixed anchor permits may be granted prior to the establishment of dedicated climbing management plans.
For several decades, the AAC has been involved in the negotiations for this language in collaboration with the Access Fund. This latest action by NPS comes on the heels of the AAC’s April joint advocacy trip with the Access Fund to Washington, D.C. In early April, the AAC and AF policy team spent two days with top NPS officials negotiating the final language of DO#41.
We hope the precedent set by the National Park Service will also be adopted by other agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.