A memorable, historic 2010… and what 2011 holds.
From the bottom of our volunteer-driven hearts, we thank you for your moral, muscle, and money-based support in 2010. It enabled us to do so much, despite the challenge of global recession, major changes afoot in the Park, and smaller donations coming into FOJT. Here is a short (not complete) list of what FOJT was able to get done in 2010, on a tiny budget and board crew advocating for climbers:
* We put into effect our new MOU (memo of understanding) with the NPS, the first of it’s kind in the country between an LCO (local climbing organization) and the National Park Service. We had to deliver more reporting, more transparency, more counsel and more accountability to the NPS but received an official nod as an important consultative voice in shaping park policy. Also our relationship with the various elements of the Park (Resource Management, Wildlife Biologist, Park Superintendent, Chief Ranger, etc…) was solidified through this new agreement.
* We put over 100 volunteers on the ground with officially sanctioned projects that positively contributed to the removal of social trails, the beautification of key park areas that had been heavily impacted by all user groups. The work that was done by FOJT vols will be seen and felt for years to come!
* We funded Climbers Coffee for another year, and helped double the weekly events that the NPS (Thanks Bernadette!) hosts during the climbing season. This facilitates an open, direct dialogue with climbers who use the Park and the land management agency in charge of it. Sat and Sun mornings at the Hidden Valley signboard… show up, drink up and show our strength!
* Movie Nights – we hosted 3 Movie Nights in town, providing entertainment, popcorn, swag and a chance to hear about recent developments relative to climbing in the Park. Bridwell, Beckey, Gordon, and others have been spotted at this FOJT original event!
* Initiated our e-newsletter through Constant Contact – delivered 3 newsletters chock full of relevant content for those interested in climbing in Josh.
* Initiated our social media platform, primarily on facebook and also LinkedIn (together over 600 supporters and counting). We hereby promise not to SPAM you or make you dig for relevant climbing info (no trolling threads on philosophy or politics!).
* Provided (for the 4th year in a row) the emergency call-in central system for JOSAR, the Joshua Tree Search & Rescue group. This group had two major rescues (and a dozen other) that made national news in 2010, and we’re proud to be their partner.
* Participated in meetings with NPS on development of the General Management Plan for JTNP. This process will culminate in a new General Plan for the Park, and also a revised CMP (Climbing Management Plan) too. This is critical for climbers to be involved in, lest we be forgotten in all the user group scrambling for attention.
* Hosted a tour with the NPS leadership detailing heavily impacted areas of the park. This is the first face-to-face meeting that had the Superintendent, Chief Ranger, Resources Division and SAR liaison in person with representatives of Access Fund and FOJT touring the Park and focusing efforts on impact mitigation and future threats.
* Threw one big ol’ party at Climb Smart 2010, evolving it to an event that can grow and be more inclusive as THE kickoff event for Joshua Tree climbers and the athletes, brands and locals who contribute so much to the benefit of the sport.
* Updated our website to a WordPress format for easier updating and more interactive features. Thanks to Jack for so many years of hardcore web support, we can now do it ourselves with minimal counsel from the IT experts.
2011, you ask? well much is in store in 2011… the NPS GMP rework gets into full swing and the voice of climbers will be most important in the development phase of the GMP. We will continue to support JOSAR and their quest for a permanent housing solution in the Park for gear and the vehicle. Our goal to put 200 volunteers on the ground for park enhancement and preservation will be stiff… but we can do it, with your help. Spread the word, jump on board, and contribute to the situation we now enjoy with your time, your dime, and your skills. Joshua Tree is a special place for all climbers, so let’s Keep those inquiries and suggestions coming in the New Year, and climb smart!