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Friends of Joshua Tree is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park. Friends of Joshua Tree advocates, communicates, and encourages ethical and environmentally sound climbing practices, and works to shape park policy on climbing and climbing-related issues. Toward that end, Friends of Joshua Tree acts as the liaison between the climbing community and the National Park service.
Joshua Tree National Park (formed as a Monument in 1936, and designated National Parkstatus in 1994) has long enjoyed a reputation as a world-class climbing mecca. For many decades climbers from around the world have come to experience its steep cracks, exposed slabs, and huge granite domes.
As rock climbing became more popular, it became apparent that a private, non-profit organization was needed to work with varying issues such as ecosystem preservation, wildlife preservation, and endangered species protection, and how those issues relate to climbers’ access. Simply put, the park and its climbers needed an activist group.
Local climbers responded to the challenge, organized, and in 1991 formed Friends of Joshua Tree to represent climbers’ interests in Joshua Tree National Park. This dedication that first formed Friends of Joshua Tree continues today.