Last week I spent three days working in Southeast Utah and the Four Corners region with colleagues from the National Trust and partner organizations on our Ancestral Places of Southeast Utah campaign. Here’s the campaign overview from the Trust’s Saving Places website:
Ancestral Places of Southeast Utah include archaeological sites, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, and trails that tell stories of diverse people over the course of 12,000 years of human history. The area — mostly federal land managed by the Bureau of Land Management — lacks adequate legal protection and funding to protect its archaeological treasures. In collaboration with tribes and other local, state, and national partners, the National Trust is engaging in research, outreach, and advocacy to protect these iconic cultural sites and landscapes for future generations to appreciate.
In two full days of hiking, I was able to see a handful of the thousands of sites in this beautiful landscape. With Josh Ewing and Vaughan Hadenfeldt — the leadership of the Friends of Cedar Mesa — we visited cliff dwellings, saw petroglyphs, stood amazed at the views from Comb Ridge, and hiked to hidden springs. And always we discussed the challenges of protecting these special places.
Here are a few photos from the hundreds I took along the way.
On Friday we hiked in Montezuma Canyon with BLM Archaeologist Don Simonis, seeing a variety of fascinating ancestral sites.
My photographs don’t do justice to this unique landscape, but suffice it to say that this is a place worth fighting for. Thanks to Josh, Vaughan, Don and their teams – along with Amy and Tom from our staff – for allowing me the chance to glimpse a small piece of the wonderfulness of this country and its peoples.
More to come…