2009: Upper West

In May, 2009 CRAG-VT completed the subdivision and purchase of Upper West Bolton cliff! Over the the course of two years, CRAGVT board members and volunteers worked very hard to establish permanent protections for this beautiful and historic place. The acquisition protects a total of 18 acres and includes the rock faces, hilltop summit, hiking trails, and a boulder field.

CRAG-VT had originally envisioned moving this property into public hands through a boundary adjustment that would place the cliff and surrounding land into an adjacent town-owned conservation area. After several meetings with the Town of Bolton’s select board, the town declined to accept the acreage citing liability concerns and the fact that Vermont state law is somewhat subject to interpretation on rock climbing liability for town-owned properties. With transfer to the town of Bolton no longer an option, CRAG-VT renegotiated with the land owners and was able to secure a subdivision and purchase agreement. This property became the third held by CRAG-VT in our mission to protect Vermont’s climbing resources and natural environment.

Because CRAG-VT has always kept our properties open to non-motorized recreational pursuits of all kinds, we are currently working with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) to donate a conservation easement that will guarantee public access, climbing, and preservation of the cliff’s natural environment permanently. This easement will ensure that the VLT will defend these rights on the land forever, regardless of who owns it. We have received additional funding from the Bolton Conservation Commission to help secure this easement.

We could not have accomplished this without hard work, donations, and funding from many sources. Those who contributed are far too many to thank in this short letter, but a number deserve special recognition. From myself, the CRAG-VT board, and every climber and hiker who will enjoy this special place for generations to come, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to: The Conservation Alliance, The Access Fund, and the Bolton Conservation Commission for their generous grants and guidance; to our corporate sponsors including The Outdoor Gear Exchange, ClimbHigh, EMS, and Petra Cliffs for their support in this project and many others over the years; to the landowners, Mike Ringuette and Ken and Nancy Remsen, for recognizing the importance of conserving this land forever; to the many great companies who donated prizes for our events including Julbo, Point 6, La Sportiva, Evolv, Kombi, and many others; and finally to Pam Moreau at Murphy Sullivan Kronk for her expert legal advice.

And finally, I would personally like to thank to the CRAG-VT board, our volunteers, and the local climbers who helped in this effort. Nowhere in the world is there better community than here in Vermont; I feel honored to be a part of it. Thank you.

Click Here for more information on climbing at Upper West Bolton.

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