SUWA Kicks Off 2017 Field Season with Ten Mile Canyon Service Project

May 22nd, 2017 Written by suwa

SUWA’s field volunteers set things in motion on Sunday, May 21st, with the season’s first work trip. In collaboration with the Moab BLM, our crew set out for a side drainage into Ten Mile Canyon for the purpose of establishing habitat protections in sensitive bighorn sheep breeding grounds.

Moab BLM staff supervised a buck and rail fencing project to better establish habitat boundaries and provide direction for recreation enthusiasts in the backcountry. Our work aimed to address a pinch point in the slickrock that has served as an illegal entry point for motorized use within a lush, riparian canyon feeding into Ten Mile Canyon proper.

Through a morning of cool breeze and cloud cover, our crew built and installed two points of buck and rail fencing, established barriers in additional areas with downed juniper wood, and cleared hardened tracks in the sand adjacent to fields of living soil crust. In the afternoon, the crew hiked the unnamed canyon – past pothole pools full of swimming tadpoles, edged with wildflowers and groves of young cottonwood trees – to the lower wash opening onto Ten Mile Canyon. With rakes in hand, our volunteers worked to rehabilitate existing surface disturbance and damage. By evening, as the crew gathered for dinner, a series of light rain storms moved slowly across the canyons, providing relief from the heat and dramatic views in the fading daylight.

Thank you to our volunteers for your support and hard work this past weekend! The protections we put in place today strike a balance for tomorrow’s wild lands and wildlife.

Our next trip is Saturday, June 10th at Roberts Bottom on the banks of the Dolores River. We are recruiting! Contact to register. For more details visit