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Bears Ears Service Weekend II

July 28, 2018 - July 29, 2018

The Land

When President Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Bears Ears National Monument on December 28th, 2016, he granted a new layer of protection 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, including House on Fire and Moon House ruins.

While this historic proclamation now stands in jeopardy, we the people can take action to protect our public lands from the ground up, while honoring and calling attention to the broader need for top-down action. Join us in Bears Ears National Monument and take a hands-on approach to conservation.

The Work

We are returning to Elk Ridge for a second consecutive year to continue our work establishing elk exclosure fencing with the Manti-La Sal Forest Service. This multi-year project aims to promote the regeneration of healthy aspen forests through the management and mitigation of elk and other ungulate browsing on Elk Ridge. Vertical posts will be mechanically installed prior to our arrival. Our work will focus on conveying materials, hanging, installing and securing fence netting.

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

  • installing post and netting fence;
  • loading and carrying needed materials and tools to site;
  • minimal impact hiking (1-2 miles)

Our Objective: To establish and sustain conditions conducive to ecological regeneration in the aspen tree colonies of Elk Ridge.

A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers.

  • Friday, July 27th: Optional early arrival to camp on Friday evening.
  • Saturday, July 28th: Day 1 of Project. We will gather at 8:30am and depart for our worksite at 9:00am. We will work until 4:00pm, then travel back to camp.
  • Sunday, July 29th: We will gather at 8:30am after breakfast. We will work until 3:30pm.

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 at the Gooseberry Meadow on Elk Ridge. A nearby cabin provides amenities, including: flush toilet and an indoor kitchen.

SUWA provides (1) dinner, (1) breakfast, and snacks during the project. Volunteers are responsible for all additional meals 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 completed 2018 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 28, 2018
July 29, 2018
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