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Cedar Mountain Wilderness Monitoring Excursion

June 12, 2020

The Land

The Cedar Mountain Wilderness is located in northwestern Utah. The vegetation on the upper elevations is dominated by junipers, hence the name. The Cedar Mountain Wilderness includes more than half of the 180,000 acres (730 km2) Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area, where feral horses have grazed since they were introduced in the late 19th century.  A survey conducted in December 1991 counted 444 horses, and parts of the herd can often be seen on the wilderness where their impacts on native vegetation communities are apparent and widespread.

Congress designated the Cedar Mountain Wilderness primarily in response to an effort by members of the Utah congressional delegation and governor to block rail access to a proposed high-level nuclear waste storage facility on the nearby Skull Valley Indian Reservation. The project was defeated in 2012 amid legal obstacles and substantial local opposition. Since its designation, the Cedar Mountain Wilderness continues to face impacts from off-raid vehicle travel – especially during fall hunting season – due to the profligate presence of roads effectively intersecting and dividing the wilderness parcels.

The Work

Over the past few years our Stewardship Program has worked with the BLM to ensure boundary and interior protections for wilderness in the Cedar Mountains. On this year’s monitoring excursion, we will travel across the range to monitor the status of our efforts, while simultaneously performing micro-restoration tasks to upkeep boundary integrity. This project is designed for SUWA’s trained Wilderness Stewards. 

Work tasks will vary by need, and are slated to include:

  • Extensive driving travel along the boundary and at targeted sites within the Cedar Mountain Wilderness
  • Logging and recording data to report on the status of wilderness boundary integrity
  • Occasional micro-restoration strategies (campsite clean-up; raking; vertical mulching; sign refreshing)

Our Objective: To monitor existing infrastructure designed to prevent illegal motorized travel into the Cedar Mountain Wilderness. To monitor the present condition of the wilderness.

A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers.

  • Friday, June 12th: Project Day + Optional Campout

Project Rating 

Level 2 – Our most common trip incorporates mid- to heavy-lifting, work in remote landscapes at varying elevations, an increased diversity of tool use, and an emphasis on physical fitness and hiking competency.

Camping & Meals

Volunteers will camp on site. Specific location will be indicated in the Welcome Letter provided to registered volunteers.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, SUWA is temporarily suspending its provision of food. Volunteers are responsible for all food and water during their stay.

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.



June 12, 2020
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