For Immediate Release:
Contact: Joe Josephson
January 5, 2013 406.581.1716
FRIENDS OF HYALITE COMMITS GRANT TO SUPPORT HYALITE CANYON ROAD PLOWING
The Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival becomes major fundraising event for the Friends of Hyalite’s effort to maintain winter access to Hyalite.
Bozeman, MT: Following the 16th Annual Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival (BIF), December 5-9, 2012, Festival organizer Joe Josephson announced today that the event generated $10,000 to go directly toward future winter plowing Hyalite Canyon Roads #620 & #62. This compliments another $10,000 grant Friends of Hyalite secured in September 2012 from the Gallatin County Resource Advisory Council (RAC).
The board of directors for the Friends of Hyalite recently voted to commit the BIF grant from money raised during the five day festival which brings hundreds of climbers from across the country to Bozeman for ice climbing clinics in Hyalite, evening slide shows, gear raffles and new this year, the Ice Breaker Climbing Competition held on the Emerson Lawn, December 8th.
“For over 15 years the BIF has lost money or barely broke even and has always been organized through hundreds of volunteer hours,” said Josephson. “But several years ago when the Hyalite access was threatened through road closures, we reorganized the Festival to become a fundraiser for the Friends of Hyalite and the road plowing effort.” In 2012, the BIF plus a few modest private contributions donated $2,000 to the Gallatin National Forest to help pay for Hyalite plowing which costs on average $24,000 per season.
The extraordinary amount raised this year was through a personal appeal and dutch auction held by Josephson, a well-known guidebook author and festival Emcee, prior to the keynote presentation at the Emerson. “More than half of the money and all of the top donor amounts were from out of state,” said Josephson.
Hyalite offers the longest season of accessible ice climbs in America. Thus, many climbers from throughout the country want to see the road stay open so they can travel to Bozeman to enjoy the unique wilderness setting in Hyalite. “After flying in or having to drive many hundreds of miles to partake in their favorite winter recreation for weekend,” Josephson added, “these climbers do not take access to Hyalite Canyon for granted.”
Due to Forest Service budget shortages, and an overall tightening of belts across Gallatin County, the funding for Hyalite Road plowing is not secure nor guaranteed past the 2012/13 season. In the winter, over 6,000 cars a month enter Hyalite Canyon to access the unparalleled recreational opportunities found there.
Friends of Hyalite is organized as a Montana charitable public benefit corporation as described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)3 and is dedicated to helping keep Hyalite enjoyable by all. For more information or to contribute, please visit: www.hyalite .org