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Westwater Canyon Service Project

September 14, 2019 - September 15, 2019

The Land

The Westwater Canyon WSA spans the Westwater Canyon portion of the Colorado River with the eastern two-thirds of these protected lands located in the Dolores Triangle. Major tributary canyons on the east side of the river include Little Dolores, Marble, and Star canyons. A short box canyon, Little Hole, and a rincon (Big Hole) are the main features northwest of the river corridor. Up on the highlands, pinyon-juniper woodlands cover over half of the WSA, with the remaining cover consisting of sagebrush and blackbrush. The canyon itself features unique geologic features including black, pre-Cambrian rock, the oldest exposed rock in Utah, which forms Westwater’s inner canyon.

Local land management is facing increased impacts from river camping encroaching into the Westwater Canyon WSA. This travel results in damage to local ecologies, as well as significant disturbance to the wilderness quality and characteristics.


The Work

Our crew will take to the river to rehabilitate and reclaim stretches of WSA river bank impacted by non-permitted camping. We will naturalize and restore the visual landscape using a variety of techniques including vertical mulching and surface remediation. In addition, we will remove the remaining stumps of tamarisk trees (the invasive salt cedar) killed in the course of vegetation removal work in recent years. Applicants to this project will be vetted and interviewed in August. 6-8 spaces are available.

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

  • install naturalized barriers to impacted lands;
  • vertical mulching and track/tread raking;
  • manual reclamation (with hand tools) of visually disturbed surface

Our Objective: To remediate the existing impacts of non-permitted camping and prevent subsequent impacts to the Westwater Canyon WSA.

A comprehensive itinerary will be provided to registered volunteers. 

  • Friday, Sept 13th: Camp near put-in (optional)
  • Saturday, Sept 14th: Day 1. Meet at put-in & float to Sunday worksite.
  • Sunday, Sept 15th: Day 2. Workday and take out.

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.

*River experience is preferred. All applicants will be interviewed prior to being assigned a place on this project.

Camping & Meals

Volunteers will camp at an assigned river campground during the project. Specific location will be indicated in the Welcome Letter provided to registered volunteers.

A meal schedule is TBD.

*Please Note: We are required to carry out all [human & other] waste for this project. Appropriate facilities will be provided.

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.

Apply Now



September 14, 2019
September 15, 2019
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