How does Search & Rescue work, anyway?

March 8, 2016 · Posted in Archives, Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on How does Search & Rescue work, anyway? 

Friends Of Joshua Tree supports JOSAR (the volunteer Search & Rescue in JTNP) very actively… but you might ask ‘What Does SAR do’? and ‘How do they do it’? Or maybe ‘How might I Get Involved’?

JOSAR performs a crucial function in and around the Park performing searches, evacuations, and treatment on site of lost and injured park-goers. It doesn’t matter if they are hikers, bird-watchers, backpackers, climbers, or campers. JOSAR is there for the entire community. Without this mission-critical service that works in close partnership with Park management, the vast majority of lost and injured park users would be in much worse condition (including losing their lives). We have a lot to be grateful for in Joshua Tree’s JOSAR group; they train hard every month, and have achieved a level of respect and notoriety in the region, setting a high bar for the mountain and urban rescue groups that operate in San Bernardino County, Imperial County, and Riverside County.

Here is an interesting article from Outside Magazine on how SAR works in a general sense using examples from other National Parks.

and this shot, from Joshua Tree National Park taken by JOSAR member, of JOSAR members training. Guess where?

benchmark studios photo

benchmark studios photo


FOJT donates Ford F-350 Utility truck to NPS for Search & Rescue team

June 4, 2011 · Posted in Climber Alert, General, News · Comments Off on FOJT donates Ford F-350 Utility truck to NPS for Search & Rescue team 

FOJT, JOSAR and JTNP Superintendent Mark Butler w/staff accepting Ford F-350 Truck donation

Friends Of Joshua Tree, through several years of horse-trading and donation wrangling, has handed over the keys and pink slip to a sweet SAR vehicle to Joshua Tree National Park. The official press release will be coming out soon but you web-peepers and FOJT supporters get the news first! THANK YOU for your support in person, in cash, in gear and in spirit… it all makes a big difference and enables us to make a difference on behalf of the climbing community, and in service to not only climbers but all user groups of the park.
Climbers doing good!

A memorable, historic 2010… and what 2011 holds.

January 2, 2011 · Posted in Archives, Call To Action, Climber Alert, Events, General, News · Comments Off on 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!

Climb Smart 2010 opens new ground for the future

November 6, 2010 · Posted in Events, General · Comments Off on Climb Smart 2010 opens new ground for the future 

Well we could talk about it till the Bighorn come home, but some pics can tell the story better…. see slideshow below!

But suffice to say that the kickoff event for the 2010-11 climbing season in Josh was tons of fun, learning, gear giving and giving back to the Park in numerous ways. If you missed this year’s event, we are already planning for 2011, so get involved and help represent climbing in the Park by volunteering or otherwise supporting FOJT. Nuff Said, onto the pics… 

So there is a little taste… but if you have pics from the event, register in our gallery and post away!  This event is for all climbers after all, just like the Park, so take ownership get engaged and have some fun showing everyone your Fote Hog skills.

FOJT BODimg_24571

Climb Smart 2010 open for Registrants!

September 8, 2010 · Posted in Climber Alert, Events, General, News · 3 Comments 

OCT. 22-24 FOJT with sponsors Black Diamond, Adventure 16, Sterling Ropes, Evolve Sports , Nomad Ventures and Uprising and kick off the climbing season in Joshua Tree right with skills clinics, pro athlete presentations, swag giveaways, costume contests, a new festival format and much more!
(Use the password ‘joshua‘ to get in if you’re not a ‘bot!)

CS10 Clinic Schedule

There simply isn’t a better excuse to come to JTree, give back to the Park and build lifelong relationships with other climbers of all skill levels. Did we mention swag?

First 50 registrants to camp with us get limited campsites at the festival grounds, directly next to the Sportsman’s Club in Joshua Tree. Don’t miss this annual gathering that supports FOJT, Joshua Tree Search & Rescue and other key climbing advocacy groups. <

Speak Up… JTNPS is listening.

May 26, 2010 · Posted in Climber Alert, General, News · Comments Off on Speak Up… JTNPS is listening. 

You can wait to react, or be part of the shaping process of your Park. The General Management Plan process has officially begun, but it’s a long process and your thoughts on what can enhance the Joshua Tree experience are welcome: see this invite from Park Superintendent Curt Sauer. Let the Park know your thoughts on the next 20 yrs of JTNP and how climbing and climbers will help. We can share some ideas here, if you aren’t sure you want to send yours quite yet… this site is a blog format, so use the comments section to vet some thoughts.

If you are ready to send in your ideas, comments and suggestions right now, click here and have at it. It’s fun, and can help steer policy in your Parks!

Most importantly, stay involved with the process and get excited about another 20 years of natural magic in Josh.


Climb Smart 2009 hits JT Oct. 23-25, Save The Date

May 21, 2009 · Posted in General · Comments Off on Climb Smart 2009 hits JT Oct. 23-25, Save The Date 
Meet up in the AM at Climb Smart

Meet up in the AM at Climb Smart

The kickoff to the Josh climbing season and the largest gathering of climbers in Joshua Tree, Climb Smart is the community gathering that combines education with stewardship, connectivity and inspiration to climbers from all over the world.  Of course it’s a swagfest too. Stay tuned (subscribe to RSS or check back often, or join our facebook group here)

Climb Smart 2009
October 23 – 25, 2009
Indian Cove group campground and Joshua Tree Community Center
Joshua Tree, CA


Dean Fidelman Movie Night January 17, 2009

January 1, 2009 · Posted in Events · Comments Off on Dean Fidelman Movie Night January 17, 2009 


Dean Fidelman has agreed to do a show called; Stone Masters, Stone Monkies and Stone Nudes. An adult rated show, it will include images of climbers pushing the limits both on and off the Rock! 7pm on Saturday @ Park Rock Cafe (6554 Park Blvd), next door to Nomads. $10 / fee includes popcorn, soda and raffle ticket.


This event supports advocacy in the Park for climbers, and the Joshua Tree Search & Rescue group.  But mostly it’s fun, there’s popcorn and drinks,  and you can score raffle swag too.