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Hunterdon County Bouldering

Hunterdon County Bouldering
Adopt A Crag
The Resource
Highlands Mountain Keeper
Highlands Coalition
Governmental Affairs
Action Tool(s)
Highlands Climbing


Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) is a wildflower in the Orchid Family. CYPRIPEDIUM plants are protected as a NJ ENDANGERED PLANT SPECIES.

They are endangered because "foolish" people collect them.

Do not boulder in or near these flowers.


Do Not Disturb
"climb within the climb"

I. Hunterdon County issues

folks have been a bouldering on site for a good many years. in the fall of 2004 access nj was approached by climbers about the site being closed. access nj entered into discussions w/ the hunterdon county (HC) park folks who were set but willing to discuss the issue. yes climbing is not allowed but we can discuss the issues. in late November and into the first part of december the HC freeholders (elected officials who set policy and make laws) came out w/ the following statement.

a. rock climbing, bouldering and rappelling are illegal in HC HC cidentified four reasons why bouldering is illegal.

1. liability - we pointed out the state of nj had addressed the issue via a wavier. hc freeholders came back and said they are against the legalization of climbing in nj state parks and that the wavier system is not appropriate for the state and county.

2. climbers will cause damage and are only out in the woods partying - we pointed out not true as the boulders are along a well established trail and we are bouldering and nothing more and that likewise climbers are fine stewards of fragile woodlands.

3. climbers will bring invasive species to the woodland - we counter and other users of the park do not ?

4. hc pointed out it's a local issue only - we said ok, and had only local climbers contact the park system. then it turns out the land is actually state of nj green acres lands that is managed by the county thus it is a state and regional issue.

II. We as Access NJ is doing the following.

1. Contacting as many climbers in-state and out of state to point out that if one county in NJ makes rock climbing illegal (the County is even unwilling to provide a administrative code or statue that makes the activity illegal) that the ripple effect could be substantive. we are asking climbers to send e-mails and letters to the HC freeholders stating you are opposed to such bans.

2. we have spoken to the media and have been interviewed for the issue.

3. we are putting together background papers for the HC freedholders.

4. we have contacted legal folks in the county and asked for help in addressing the issue.

5. we are preparing to give a presentation before the board of freeholders on the issue to ask that climbing be legalized.

6. we are working on the id all sites in the county to put together a climbing resource inventory and conducting rare plant surveys.

7. other actions are being worked

III. What we would like you all to do.

1. send along an e-mail to the folks listed to show that climbers are not fringe people, that climbers are found throughout the usa. that climbers are responsible on access issues.

2. that you can spread de word to others in your group and the usa to also send e-mails to the freeholders saying that people favor the legalization of climbing.

3. that climbers are responsible.

4. along these lines.

let access nj know of your concerns and issues

Tactics & Strategy

fac to face meetings w/ elected and hunterdon county officials to ask them to assist in amending the hunterdon county code to allow rock climbing or other passive recreation activities on County Owned and Managed lands. Keep pressure (direct, indirect) on Hunterdon County Track your actions in the enclosed action matrix. The action matrix can be used to track your individual actions that you do to assist getting climbing legal in Hunterdon County, NJ.

Citizen Action Matrix


In order to confront and question authority over amending the NJAC to allow rock climbing and other passive receation on State owned and managed lands you may find the information on this page of assistence. 
Direct Actions:  letter writing, telephone calls, e-mails, face to face  etc....
Indirect actions:  Trenton Bouldering, meetings, web site, etc...
"Guerilla Tactics":   'gandhi' style personal passive actions, internet apps. passive legislative actions, poster campaigns,   illegal activites frowned upon and not part of Access NJ actions.

Reference material:
1)  Any books by Saul Alinsky or John McKnight
2)  Sierra Club Grass Root Activism Manual
3)  Access Fund - Local Climbing Organizations