Two further thoughts on Julie's question about "curation."
(1) BITD, almost all climbers came to the activity through a progression of other outdoor pursuits. In other words, climbers were all outdoorsman (there doesn't seem to be an appropriate gender-neutral term for this; I am not excluding women climbers here) first and then climbers. This meant that, in general, climbers were attuned to and appreciative of the outdoor environment and inclined to protect it when impacts manifested themselves. The Sierra Club, for example, was started by climbers.
Nowadays, the many new paths to climbing that do not involve any kind of outdoor connection have changed the nature of the climbing population significantly.
(2) Thinking about the specifics of climber concern for the environment in the Gunks, it is clear in retrospect the John Stannard was a colossal influence, really a paradigm shift. I think the general climbing population was ready for to hear what he had to say because of the conditions mentioned in Item 1, but the fact is that no one really thought in terms of concrete action until Stannard took it upon himself to try to awake the environmental sensibilities climbers shared.
Stannard's first actions were simple: he rose early and picked up garbage. He didn't say anything to anyone about it, and there was no internet bully pulpit available. He just did it. People noticed, and soon there was a bunch of people doing the same thing. Stannard's quiet integrity had more force than all the combined hot air the rest of us have expended on the internet since then. He did the right thing. People saw is was the right thing. And they chose to do it too.
No doubt, Stannard's position as the leading Eastern climber of the day helped, and comments he has made suggest that he understood that. He used his fifteen minutes of fame, not to burnish his image or establish some legacy in the annals of climbing, not to enhance his income or support his climbing, but rather to help people realize their own better instincts, to the benefit of the crags he loved.
Many people know that Stannard moved on to try to halt the the piton destruction of cracks in the Gunks and, in the process, became one of the preeminent national figures in the move to clean climbing. Once again, in his favor---in the Nation's favor---was the fact that most climbers were then outdoorsman and so primed to hear a message of conservation. But Stannard did something unique: he published and distributed for free a newsletter, The Eastern Trade, promoting discussion and the idea and desirability of clean climbing. I recall that this cost him a few thousand dollars, which he absorbed as part of the price of protecting a resource he saw as both precious and threatened. In an astonishlingy short time, and rather ahead of the rest of the country, East coast climbers mothballed their pitons and hammers and set sail for the adventures of the modern era.
Soon, these events will be forty years ago. The majority of those who were around then have moved on to other things, including an afterlife if there is one, and the remaining few witnesses who are still climbing are, with luck, on their last decade. The influence of Stannard's vision has surely been diluted, first because neither his contemporaries or those who came later had anything like his ability to project unquestionable integrity and a profound concern for the climbing environment---sadly, we dropped the baton when he left, and secondly, because the audience of climbers is nowhere near as receptive to the messages he so successfully promoted years ago.
I am not suggesting that all has been lost; I used the term "diluted" advisedly. Climbing has entire new genres that didn't exist forty years ago, and with such a diverse population the kind of unanimity achievable in Stannard's time is probably permanently out of reach, and may perhaps no longer be desirable. The old farts may be on their last lap, but there are plenty of young climbers who still believe in Chouinard's original vision: that on every climb, climbers are entitled to experience, as much as possible, the thrills, challenges---and yes, the risks---of discovery that drew the first ascenders to the sport and to the route they established.
Long live the spirt of Stannard!