Reprinted from The Leader, Summer 2001, Vol. 16, No. 3
April 5, 2001, Boulder, CO
The Access Fund has appointed Sam Davidson to the position of executive director. He has worked extensively in the outdoor recreation field, including serving as a field instructor for NOLS. Davidson will lead the organization's staff and national network of volunteers in their work to keep US climbing areas open while promoting responsible use and management of climbing resources. He will assume the leadership role from Interim Executive Director Susy Levin.
A passionate climber with more than 20 years of experience in every facet of the sport, Davidson has worked for the Access Fund since 1990. As senior policy analyst for the past six years, he has spearheaded land use policy issues, challenged closures and negotiated with land managers, environmental groups and Congress. Davidson recently represented the organization in meetings of the US Forest Service's Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Fixed Anchors in Wilderness. There he was instrumental in improving awareness of climbing history ethics while forging agreements to protect climbers' interests. He also addressed the concerns of wilderness preservation groups.
Davidson graduated from Princeton University in 1983. He has climbed throughout North America and in Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. However, he says, "My favorite place to climb remains Yosemite Valley. It's where I learned to climb in 1975, and there is no place more inspirational." Davidson admits that his preference for areas like the Valley may be at least partly due to his woeful sport climbing abilities, which he blames on his size (6' 3", 200 lbs.). He will immediately relocate to Boulder from his home in Salinas, California.
About his new job, Davidson says, "Climbing access and the protection of the climbing environment is a cause worth fighting for, and the Access Fund will continue to lead this fight. Watch for us to increase our efforts to support grassroots advocacy, provide resource management solutions, improve climber education, and represent climbers effectively in the political arena." Davidson adds, "It is an honor to represent our membership, and I look forward to working with them, our corporate partners, and others within the climbing community and outdoor industry to keep climbing alive for ours' and future generations."
Sam Davidson took his NOLS instructor course in 1984.