Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

BENM Archaeological Survey Week

May 20, 2022 - May 25, 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 teaming with Forest Service archaeologists for a weeklong training and survey of cultural resources in Chippean Canyon. We will record Basket Maker III sites and monitor potentially looted sites. This project will incorporate strenuous backcountry travel. Our work will focus on:

  • Surveying known and unknown resources;
  • Documenting resource relationships to existing travel and camping infrastructure;
  • Additional tasks as assigned and led by archaeologists

Our Objective: To survey cultural resources to inform future decisions regarding travel and camping in the region.

A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers.

  • Friday, May 20th: Day 1 + Orientation + Hike in
  • Saturday, May 21st: Day 2
  • Sunday, May 22nd: Day 3
  • Monday, May 23rd: Day 4
  • Tuesday, May 24th: Day 5
  • Wednesday, May 25th: Day 6 + Hike out

Project Rating 

Level 3 – 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 are responsible for all of their meals during the backcountry project.

Backcountry camping locations will be shared with registered volunteers.

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.



May 20, 2022
May 25, 2022
Event Category:


Stewardship Program
(435) 259-9151
View Organizer Website