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Bears Ears National Monument – Wilderness Stewardship Project

July 21, 2022 - July 24, 2022

The Land

With the designation of Bears Ears National Monument on December 28th, 2016, a new layer of protection was granted to some of the most spectacular places in southern Utah. There is Cedar Mesa, with its incredible canyons running toward the San Juan River. There is White Canyon to the west of Natural Bridges. There are the Bears Ears themselves and the high ponderosa forests of Elk Ridge. To the north there’s Beef Basin and Indian Creek. Nearly 100,000 archaeological and cultural sites were covered by the proclamation, with protections afforded to a historied landscape long-neglected and actively undermined by private interests.

The Work

We are returning to Elk Ridge for our sixth consecutive year working with the Manti-La Sal Forest Service on a series of natural resource protection projects. This year’s multi-day, multi-weekend program will focus on a series of work projects which aim to manage travel within and adjacent to designated wilderness. Work tasks will vary by need and are slated to include:

  • Installing signage
  • Building log & block infrastructure

Our Objective: To protect cultural and natural resources from the impacts of uninformed or willfully negligent travel and camping.

A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers.

  • Wednesday, July 20th: Optional early arrival/camping.
  • Thursday, July 21st: Day 1/Orientation
  • Friday, July 22nd: Day 2
  • Saturday, July 23rd: Day 3
  • Sunday, July 124th: Day 4/Completion

Project Rating 

Level 3 – Heavy lifting, high-elevation, remote travel, and extended durations away from common conveniences. Leave No Trace principles are essential during all of our trips but require the most thought and planning at Level 3. These trips may involve on-site training for technical skills and tool use. Excellent physical fitness is a must at this level.

Camping & Meals

Volunteers will camp on site at the Gooseberry Meadow on Elk Ridge. A nearby cabin provides select amenities. There is a pit toilet on site.

A dinner will be provided each night, Thursday through Saturday. Volunteers are responsible for all additional meals during the project.

Volunteer Responsibilities

Participants are responsible for their own food, water and camping gear as well as transportation to and from the project site(s). Volunteers should plan to be away from camp all day each of the work days. A recommended pack list will be sent along with the project Welcome Letter two weeks prior to the start date.


A Volunteer Agreement is required for this project. 

When we have received your form, you will receive a confirmation e-mail within 5 working days of submission. The confirmation e-mail will indicate whether you have been placed on the “project roster” or a “waiting list.”

Three weeks before the start of the trip, you will receive an RSVP to confirm your participation. Individuals on the Waitlist will be contacted if spaces open due to cancellation.

Two weeks before the project start date, registered and confirmed participants will receive a Welcome Letter, with a comprehensive itinerary, including: driving instructions, a Project Map (for mobile devices), a notification about carpools and/or caravans, and additional information in a Pre-Departure email.

If you have any questions at any point throughout the process, please don’t hesitate to contact our program coordinator: volunteer@suwa.org  or  (435) 259-9151.



July 21, 2022
July 24, 2022
Event Category:


Stewardship Program
(435) 259-9151
View Organizer Website