Access Fund announces its 2003 awards

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October 24, 2003, Boulder, CO – At the October Access Fund board meeting, the following awards were given to volunteers who have devoted countless hours to preserving climbing access in America. Whether digging trails, attending meetings or rallying support, they were helping to keep climbing areas open and conserve the climbing environment during the past year. The Access Fund extends its highest praise to the following recipients:Sharp End Award — For leadership and activism in preserving climbing access and the climbing environment. Individual:Jeff Sargeant (Connecticut) for his support of stewardship and his service on the board of the Ragged Mountain Foundation. Businesses:Petzl (Utah) for supporting outreach and educational programs during the “Roc Trip” events, backing the Castleton Tower initiative land acquisition, working on Utah Wilderness issues, and its financial support of the Access Fund brochure series. • REI (Washington) for financial, volunteer and management support of Adopt-A-Crag and the Access Fund Grassroots Program. Also for assisting national policy initiatives such as lobbying work in Washington D.C., climbing management plan development and for co-signing a letter to the U.S. Forest Service regarding fixed anchors. Land Manager of the Year: Given to a professional resource manager who has demonstrated a progressive approach to public land management and has been committed to preserving climbing opportunities. — Gary Hartley, (West Virginia) Chief Ranger at the New River Gorge for his outreach and cooperative negotiations in creating a balanced Climbing Management Plan. Regional Coordinator of the Year: For leadership and activism in preserving climbing access and the climbing environment and specifically for volunteer work as an Access Fund representative — Frank Harvey (Tennessee).The Bebie Leadership Award: Presented to America’s outstanding activists for the cause of preserving climbing access and the climbing environment. — Kurt Smith and Elaina Arenz Smith (“The Road”).Menocal Lifetime Achievement Award: Periodically given to individuals who have demonstrated remarkable commitment to the cause of preserving climbing access and the climbing environment and contributed substantially to the Access Fund over many years.Paul Minault (California) for his 14+ years of service to the climbing community as a great leader and strong advocate for climbers. Marion Hutchinson (Okalahoma) for his 12+ years of service to the climbing community as a great leader and strong advocate for climbers. Board Service Award: To exiting members of the Access Fund Board of Directors for their distinguished service — Andy Fitz (1997-2003), Chris McNamara (2000-2003) and Shannon Stuart-Smith (2000-2003).Michael Kennedy Award: For outstanding leadership and commitment to our mission as Access Fund Board Member — Andy Fitz (Washington) for work on the State of Washington Recreation Use Statue, stewardship at Frenchman's Coulee and Little Si and his commitment of time, expertise and leadership.