History

Joshua Tree National Park (formed as a Monument in 1936, and designated National Park status in 1994) has long enjoyed a reputation as a world-class climbing mecca. For many decades climbers from around the world have come to experience its steep cracks, exposed slabs, and huge granite domes.

As rock climbing became more popular, land management agencies and climbers sometimes found themselves at odds when it came to various policies and practices in the Park. Friends Of Joshua Tree was formed to help the Park understand the climbing community’s concerns and priorities, as well as help climbers be a stronger partner in protecting the sensitive ecosystems that thrive in and around Joshua Tree National Monument/Park.

This dedication that first formed Friends of Joshua Tree continues to this day; FOJT works with the climbing community at the national level (With Access Fund) and locally with other local climbing organizations to better steward our public lands. FOJT has an MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with the Park, one of very few climbing organizations officially recognized by the National Park Service as an important partner organization. 

Our Mission

Friends of Joshua Tree is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. Friends of Joshua Tree advocates, communicates, and encourages ethical and environmentally sound climbing practices, and works to shape park policy on climbing and climbing-related issues. Toward that end, Friends of Joshua Tree acts as the liaison between the climbing community and the National Park service.

Our Goals

The Friends of Joshua Tree works to keep the rock in Joshua Tree National Park open to climbers. We recognize this depends on the cooperation of rock climbers and land managers. Our goals are to educate all Josh climbers to recognize and to limit the impacts of their climbing practices on the environment, and to partner with the park service to create a climbing management plan that best represents climbers’ interests.

Our Board of Directors 2017

  • John Lauretig- Executive Director
  • Kier Stiteler
  • Tim Richards
  • Byron Cook
  • Miriam Taylor
  • Chris Morrisette
  • Phil Spinelli, Treasurer/Secretary
  • David Pylman, Director Emeritus
  • Kenji Haroutunian, President Emeritus

Financial Reports

2017 Financial Statement (pdf)

The Friends of Joshua Tree is proud to publish our financial report for the last fiscal year. We were able to donate almost $25,000 to programs that benefit climbers. Our Administrative costs were less than 1%, and our overhead expenses were only about 2%.

For this coming year, we will continue sponsoring Climbers Coffee, H.A.R.P., JOSAR, and will provide additional funds for the Climbing Steward program.

Your input and suggestions are always welcomed!