WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management has released a series of interactive online maps designed to promote climbing and other recreational opportunities on BLM-managed public lands. Developed in cooperation with Access Fund and Mountain Project, the maps allow individuals to easily plan exciting climbing experiences at sites around the western United States.
"The Trump Administration is committed to expanding and promoting the untold number of recreational opportunities for Americans to enjoy on public lands," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. "We have some of the best rock climbing sites in the world, and I hope that this new map can help to further highlight these locations and encourage more outdoor enthusiasts to explore our great outdoors."
"The BLM is proud to share these maps and promote access to some of the world's best climbing areas," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior Casey Hammond, exercising the authority of the BLM Director. "We are committed to expanding recreational opportunities on public lands for all Americans, and these interactive maps provide a great tool for folks to further explore the great outdoors."
Now climbers can pull information about specific BLM-managed climbing areas through a centralized online tool while on the go. The maps, available at https://arcg.is/1SP18f, include useful site information such as photos, season of use, area characteristics, and difficulty levels. Visitors can also find a number of nearby attractions for each climbing site.
Since the map only shows climbing opportunities on BLM-managed property, sites like Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon are not included.
However, the one spot listed in the Northwest is the climbing area at Trout Creek, on BLM Prineville District -managed land 16 miles north of Madras.
"The BLM manages some of the most iconic climbing destinations in the United States," said Katie Goodwin, Policy Analyst at Access Fund. "This project has been part of an exciting collaborative effort between Access Fund, Mountain Project, and the BLM, and we look forward to our continued work to manage and promote America's cherished climbing destinations."
"BLM-managed climbing areas hold some of the country's best opportunities for people to learn about climbing and expand their skills," said Matt Wade, Advocacy and Policy Director at the American Mountain Guides Association. "The new interactive online maps just released by the BLM will help more Americans access these areas and visit responsibly."
BLM-managed public lands represent the largest acreage available for recreation in America. About 67 million visits are made annually to these public lands and waters, supporting more than 47,000 jobs nationwide and contributing almost $7 billion to the country's economy.
The BLM invites the public to visit one or more of the featured climbing destinations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The climbing area maps can be found at https://arcg.is/1SP18f.
Background on Great Outdoors Month
President George W. Bush initially proclaimed Great Outdoors Week in 2001 and 2002. In 2004, he issued June as Great Outdoors Month, and it has been proclaimed every year since. In 2017 and 2018, President Trump proclaimed the need to improve upon the management of public lands through public-private partnerships and the importance of expanding hunting and fishing rights at national wildlife refuges across the country. In accordance with this directive, the Department of the Interior has expanded hunting and fishing access, most recently proposing a 1.4 million acre expansion nationwide. To view this year's Great Outdoors Month proclamation from President Trump, click here.