n April 26th, President Trump issued an Executive Order asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a 45-day review of the Bears Ears National Monument. Then on May 11th, the Interior announced a very short 15-day turnaround for public comments about Bears Ears. We now have until May 26th to save the Bears Ears National Monument, a designation that honors Tribes and protects a significant cultural landscape.
This is critical: we are asking you to comment today about what Bears Ears means to you, the American public, and Tribes. Please use our online form to deliver a personalized message to the Administration and the Department of the Interior showing them your support for the monument and your disappoint with any change to its boundaries. The monument is already 550,000 acres smaller than the Tribes’ proposal, and the landscape cannot afford any decrease in protections.
Submit your personalized comments through our form asking for Bears Ears to be honored & protected as is and we will deliver them to the Department of Interior to ensure your voice is heard.
Kudos to the 20+ volunteers and BLM staff that helped construct and finish 1,200 feet of fencing to protect a Great House on Cedar Mesa!
How better to respect and protect than with hard work?Thank you to our volunteers who put in over 300 service hours over five work days to install this buck-and-rail fencing. The Ancestral Puebloan Great House was being damaged by cattle and off-road vehicles travelling unknowingly across the site.
We owe special thanks to the BLM staff who made this long-term project a success.
Stay tuned via our newsletter, blog and Facebook for others ways to be involved in on-the-ground stewardship work in the Bears Ears National Monument.
Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM) is a conservation organization in Bluff, Utah founded in 2010. FCM envisions a future where the public lands in San Juan County – with all their natural, cultural and recreational values – are protected and respected. To achieve this goal, we work to educate visitors about respectful recreation, monitor cultural sites, effect change through research and service projects, improve land management policies, and engage citizens in advocacy. In 2016, FCM entered into a 5-year Financial Assistance Agreement with the Utah Bureau of Land Management to develop and expand a statewide site steward program to increase the number of citizen stewards who are regularly volunteering in cultural resource monitoring activities throughout Utah. FCM recently concluded the “Information Gathering and Analysis” stage of the program.
About the Position
Friends of Cedar Mesa is looking for a three-quarter to full-time Utah Site Steward Coordinator who will have the overall responsibility of developing a modernized and standardized statewide site steward program for cultural sites on BLM-managed lands in Utah. The three-quarter time position would spend their time developing manuals, training programs and an electronic monitoring app for site stewards, and then sharing these tools with different Utah BLM field offices. The full-time position would have the additional responsibility of developing and expanding cultural site monitoring programs and trainings with the USFS, NPS and SITLA in San Juan County.
The Coordinator will spend up to 10% of his/her time traveling to relevant meetings and trainings in the Four Corners. This is a four-year position to carry out of the goals of the Assistance Agreement. S/he will report to the Assistant Director.
- Develop standardized site steward manuals for three types of site steward programs that will be implemented in BLM Field Offices across the state of Utah.
- Begin the training planning process which includes developing a training program and a training manual for site steward coordinators.
- Work with FCM staff to fundraise for, plan and develop an electronic monitoring app.
- Organize training and implementation of online monitoring form and electronic monitoring app.
- Conduct annual evaluation of statewide program and solicit feedback from partner agencies.
- Work with BLM Program Officer to facilitate dialogue between BLM Field Office archaeologists, regional site steward coordinators and Utah Site Steward Coordinator.
- Expand monitoring efforts to partners including other land management agencies, youth groups, academic institutions and other organizations.
- Help field offices grow number of statewide site steward volunteers annually.
- Building partnerships with the BLM, Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS) and Utah State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) to advance volunteer & monitoring opportunities in San Juan County (Full-time position only)
- Travel to site steward trainings and events.
- Work with Visit with Respect Program Manager on overlapping programming
- Help with administrative tasks as needed.
The Utah Site Steward Coordinator will be thoroughly committed to BLM’s and FCM’s mission and her/his professional development. All candidates should have proven program development experience and strong writing skills. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:
Bachelor’s degree in archaeology, anthropology, natural resource management or related degree and experience working with diverse groups of volunteers.
Strong verbal and written communication experience, especially with curriculum or manual development, with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures.
Heightened awareness and cultural sensitivity regarding Native American connections to cultural resources.
A self-motivated work ethic that is adaptive, innovative, and quick to find solutions; the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with diverse groups of people is essential. Candidate must be highly organized with the ability to plan for the bigger, long-term picture.
5 or more years of professional experience in archaeological programming, volunteer programming, or site steward programming, a track record of effectively developing training; experience working with or for government land management agencies is a plus.
Preference will be given to candidates willing to live or relocate to within 45 minutes of Bluff, UT, a tiny town with limited amenities and the best backyard in the world.
A high level of competency in Microsoft Office; knowledge of the Adobe Cloud Suite a plus.
$30,000 to $40,000 plus basic health care insurance depending on experience and whether the candidate is full-time.
Please send resume, cover letter and writing sample to Amanda@cedarmesafriends.org. In your cover letter, please indicate whether you are interested in the three-quarter time or full-time position.
Float the San Juan with Friends of Cedar Mesa
Raft in the Bears Ears National Monument with FCM Staff & experts in archaeology
June 11-13, 2017
Friends of Cedar Mesa and Wild Rivers Expeditions are teaming up with premiere experts in archaeology to bring our first ever “Friends Float the San Juan” river trip. This two night/three day guided rafting trip down the Upper San Juan River will feature archaeology hikes and talks as your float this particularly rich river corridor of Ancestral Puebloan and protohistoric occupation. The San Juan’s upper canyon is an outdoor museum of archaeology with many opportunities to see ancient dwellings, rock art panels, and hand & toe hold routes.
This is the perfect time of year to float the Upper San Juan when the refreshing flows balance out the warm summer temps. The trip is all-inclusive of meals, guides, and equipment.
This is a fundraising trip to help support the good stewardship work Friends of Cedar Mesa accomplishes.
Guests are asked to arrive Saturday, June 10th at 5:30 pm for a BBQ and mandatory orientation at 7 pm where you will be given a waterproof bag and box to use for the trip. The trip launches from Sand Island on Sunday, June 11 for two nights and three days on the river, with a late day return to Bluff on June 13th. Please note that dogs are not allowed on the trip.
Cost – $890
Register for the float
Sign up today, as spots are limited and this is expected to be a popular trip.
A river adventure awaits
- Guided archaeology hikes with Wild Rivers Expeditions
- Rock art interpretative talks
- Animated conversation under the dark skies of Bears Ears National Monument
- Delicious riverside dining with new friends
- All amenities and gear are taken care of
- A chance to connect with FCM staff about the organization’s vision and upcoming projects.
***Update: the Department of Interior is accepting public comments about protecting Bears Ears through May 26th. Click here to take action and have your voice heard!***
Today, President Trump signed an executive order instructing Ryan Zinke, the new Secretary of the Interior, to perform a review of all monuments larger than 100,000 acres created since 1996. This would include our new Bears Ears National Monument, as well as the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
Importantly, the order gives Secretary Zinke just 45 days to review the status of 1.35 million acres of southeastern Utah’s most scenic and culturally rich lands — a place sacred to many Native American tribes.
Below is a statement from FCM Executive Director Josh Ewing regarding the Executive Order:
“The tone of today’s announcement by President Trump and the exceedingly short 45-day review window concern me. This very well could be a sham review with a pre-determined outcome.
“A legitimate, fact-based review of the Bears Ears Monument will show that any reduction or change from the current designation will place in jeopardy valuable archaeological resources, incredible scenery, and world-class recreation. Former Secretary Sally Jewell spent extensive time studying this issue over several years, spending multiple days on the ground herself, meeting with elected officials and locals on all sides of the issue, meaningfully engaging with five sovereign Native American tribal governments, and hosting a fair and balanced public meeting in Bluff with more than 1,500 people.
“If that kind of effort is taken in this review — most importantly meeting sovereign Native American Tribes and spending real time on the ground with local experts — I’m confident the result will confirm the international importance of the Bears Ears Cultural landscape, which holds more sites than at any other US National Park or National Monument.
“On the other hand, if a review is short hand for only listening to a few political opponents of the monument — ignoring tribes, archaeologists and local supporters — then it’s a waste of the American taxpayer’s dollar that can only result in lawsuits and the land being further damaged due to inaction by those who claim to care about this remarkable place.”
Service Project to stabilize historic cabin in Recapture Wash – May 2017
In celebration of Utah Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month
You’re invited to participate in an exciting historic cabin restoration project with Friends of Cedar Mesa, SITLA and Woods Canyon Archaeological Consultants. The Shumway Cabin site is part of an early 20th-century ranch established in 1911 or 1912 by the Peter and Mary Shumway family of Blanding, Utah. Unfortunately, Recapture Wash and other environmental factors have been eroding the foundation and integrity of this cabin.
In March, a large, dead cottonwood tree was removed that overhung the cabin, threatening the structure’s demise if it fell. The delicate job was carried out by Thomas Wigginton of TM Premiere Services out of Monticello.
For this multi-day service project, we will be stabilizing this pioneer structure of great historical significance. The dates of the service project are:
- Monday, May 8th – Thursday, May 11th
- Thursday, May 18th – Saturday, May 20th
We’ll plan to start around 8:30 AM each day and work till about 5pm. We’re hoping for 6-8 volunteers per day. The cabin site can only be assessed with a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle. This will be fun but hard work…at times physically demanding. We’ll be cleaning up fallen blocks, re-stacking them, hauling water and mortar, mixing the mortar, and doing basic masonry work under the supervision of archaeologists.
If you are interested in volunteering, please pick the days you are available here. Friends of Cedar Mesa will email specific volunteer event details the week before the project.
Service project to protect Cedar Mesa Great House
Part of Utah Archaeology Month – Friday, May 5th, 2017
Join Friends of Cedar Mesa and the BLM to help protect an ancient Puebloan great house on Cedar Mesa that is being damaged by cattle and off-road vehicles. We will be doing the final of three buck & rail fence installations on Friday, May 5th in honor of Utah Archaeology Month. This is a physically demanding project involving walking on uneven surfaces and carrying heavy items.
We will meet in Bluff at 9 am on Friday. Event details will be emailed the week of the event.
To sign up, register below. This event is expected to fill up quickly!
Friends of Cedar Mesa is seeking a full-time Volunteer & Monitoring Coordinator to organize and expand volunteer projects and cultural site monitoring on public lands in San Juan County, including the new Bears Ears National Monument. S/he will spend about 30% of their time organizing volunteer & service projects, another 30% developing and expanding cultural site monitoring programs, 20% on communications and 20% of their time on administrative tasks.
**Please note that part-time candidates will also be considered.
FCM works closely with land management agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service, Park Service and Utah State Institutional Trust Lands Administration. In particular, FCM has entered into a partnership through an Assistance Agreement with the BLM’s Monticello Field Office. A portion of the Coordinators work will help carry out the goals of the Assistance Agreement to increase education and stewardship in the Cedar Mesa region and will help Friends of Cedar Mesa match BLM funds with volunteer hours.
The Coordinator will be based out of Bluff or a nearby community and will report to the Assistant Director. Primary responsibilities include:
- Grow the number of volunteer service projects on BLM-managed and other public lands in San Juan County, including single and multi-day events during all four seasons.
- Coordinate closely with land management agency representatives on specific on-the-ground service project needs with a specific focus on Cedar Mesa, the Comb Ridge and other areas of the Bears Ears National Monument.
- Recruit new and maintain existing relationships with FCM volunteers.
- Build/continue partnerships with the BLM, Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS) and Utah State Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) to advance volunteer & monitoring opportunities in San Juan County.
- Develop and expand cultural site monitoring programs and trainings with the USFS, NPS and SITLA in San Juan County.
- Coordinate with and assist Utah Statewide Site Steward Coordinator in developing training materials and programs for use in San Juan County.
- Coordinate periodically with the Visit with Respect Program Manager and assist her/him with volunteer management.
- Work with staff to develop and publish FCM electronic communications via social media, the FCM website, email and other media.
- Manage and maintain volunteer database.
- Work with staff to organize annual Celebrate Cedar Mesa event every spring.
- Assist other staff members in organizing program events.
- Oversee data management of volunteers and monitors.
- Help with administrative tasks as needed.
The Coordinator will be thoroughly committed to FCM’s mission and her/his professional development. All candidates should have proven conservation, stewardship, and organizing experience. Concrete demonstrable experience and other qualifications include:
Bachelor’s degree in natural resource management or applicable field and experience working with diverse groups in an outdoor setting.
Strong verbal communication experience, especially in public speaking, with the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures; strong awareness and cultural sensitivity regarding Native American connections to cultural resources.
Refined written communication skills including ability to sensitively communicate organizational mission, needs, and updates.
An action-oriented work ethic; the ability to work both independently and collaboratively with diverse groups of people is essential.
Must have ability to wear “multiple hats” working in a small non-profit and pitch in where needed.
Must have valid U.S. drivers’ license.
Must live or being willing to relocate to within 45 minutes of Bluff, UT, a tiny town in the middle of nowhere with limited amenities and the best backyard in the world.
2 or more years of experience in a volunteer coordination or conservation field; knowledge of Four Corners archaeology, track record of effectively developing volunteer programming and organizing volunteer events; knowledge in program budget management; experience working with or for government land management agencies is a plus.
Preference is given to candidates with experience using social media platforms including Facebook, Mailchimp, WordPress, Twitter, and others. A high level of competency in Microsoft Office products with knowledge of the Adobe Cloud Suite a plus, an aptitude for learning computer database systems.
Competent hiking skills and the ability to be outdoors in all seasons; skills or willingness to learn 4-wheel driving.
$30-33K/year plus basic health care insurance.
***Please note that part-time candidates will also be considered.
Please send a resume, cover letter and writing sample to Amanda.
Position open until filled.
Friends of Cedar Mesa (FCM) is a conservation organization in Bluff, Utah. FCM envisions a future where the public lands in San Juan County – with all their natural, cultural and recreational values – are protected and respected. To achieve this goal, we work to educate visitors about respectful recreation, monitor cultural sites, effect change through research and service projects, improve land management policies, and engage citizens in advocacy.
Volunteers accomplished projects at Muley Point with NPS, and new Visit with Respect ambassadors are trained and ready to go.
April 22, Earth Day, dawned bright and sunny as a determined crew headed to Muley Point to assist National Park Service staff from Glen Canyon National Recreation Area with a host of projects. The following day another group of volunteers gathered in Bluff to train as Visit with Respect ambassadors. This hands-on work and visitor education training is paramount to FCM’s efforts to protect the sensitive cultural resources in this beloved area.
Muley Point projects included collecting trash from the parking lots and view points, naturalizing a pullout by an archaeological site, and GPS mapping 60 campsites or fire rings in the area. The baseline information collected will inform future management planning for the area. It wasn’t all work, though – when projects were completed, volunteers enjoyed their picnic lunches with a great view.
The following day, Friends of Cedar Mesa, in conjunction with the BLM, held the first Visit with Respect ambassador training. Fifteen volunteers participated and spent the afternoon practicing educational visitor interactions, learning the logistics of this new program, and training on safety considerations. They also received their new trail attire – shirts emblazoned with the Visit with Respect logo and the BLM’s “Respect and Protect” logo. The new ambassadors will spend their time at heavily visited priority sites in Bears Ears National Monument, providing a friendly presence on the trail and positive education for visitors.
We are offering our next training for Visit with Respect ambassadors on Saturday, September 9, 2017 in Bluff, UT. Please contact Erica if you are interested in learning more and joining the team.
By the end of the Earth Day weekend, our success can be highlighted through some numbers: 15 new ambassadors trained, 55 volunteer hours provided to NPS, 60 campsites or fire rings at Muley Point charted, many bags of trash collected, and one pullout naturalized. We knew we could “count on you!”
Now accepting submissions for 2018 Greater Cedar Mesa Calendar Contest
It’s that time of year again to go through your favorite prints of the greater Cedar Mesa area and pick out a few to share with FCM and other archaeology enthusiasts. FCM is now accepting photo submissions for our 2018 Greater Cedar Mesa Calendar. The calendar is a fun way for supporters to help FCM fundraise for our education, stewardship and advocacy work, and it is a way to show off the artistic talents of our Friends.
Submit your favorite photo or two of the greater Cedar Mesa area by May 15th for a chance to be featured in the forthcoming calendar. Winners will receive 10 free calendars. For now, you can send lower resolution files but we’ll need the full resolution version of the photo for printing (we’re talking a 9×12 inch image @ 360 dpi with multiple megapixels here). Preference will be given to photos showing diverse season (e.g. winter and fall). Keep in mind your photos should be landscape, not portrait, in dimensions. We also encourage you to submit photos that do not give too many revealing details about sensitive site locations. FCM does not publish site names or locations in the calendar.
- Check the sharpness and clarity of your image. Fuzzy image will be cut.
- Careful on your use of the Saturation Slider in PhotoShop or Lightroom.
- FCM reserves the right to color correct or resize the image to fit calendar needs.
- If we feel we need to CROP your image FCM will contact you for artistic approval.
We are now accepting submissions via email through May 15th, 2017.