Current and Recent Projects
We recently completed a first step in managing recreation impacts in the La Sal Mountains by signing legal route intersections, rehabilitating impacted areas and developing educational information for forest users. A website that provides travel maps and information about the La Sals as well as links to a downloadable brochure and project report can be found by clicking here (http://www.frontiernet.net/~lasalforest/LaSals.htm).
Other Projects & Services
|A quote from BLM Wildlife Biologist, Linda Seibert
"In the mid-1980's, the mountain biking industry pulled Moab
out of a slump caused by the collapse of the mining industry. Since
then, Moab and southeastern Utah have become a magnet for outdoor
recreationists and other tourists, with visitor use increasing every
year. The new tourism economy has provided many benefits for area
residents, but there is a downside to tourism. Public lands around
Moab contain outstanding scenic, biological, and archaeological resources.
These resources, which are the reason visitors come here, are in danger
of being destroyed by too much visitation.
Protective cryptobiotic soil crusts and vegetation are trampled, soil
has been lost to erosion, desert streams are polluted, archaeological
sites are being damaged, and wildlife habitat has been lost. Public
land agencies do not have enough staff or funding to deal with these
problems. Plateau Restoration stepped forward and offered to help
restore lands damaged by recreation use. The work done by Plateau
Restoration is critical. Perhaps equally as important, the volunteers
they supervise learn about the kind of damage recreationalists inadvertently
cause, and these volunteers become stewards of the public lands".
Plateau Restoration was founded in 1995 to assist public land managers
in their efforts to maintain a vital and healthy landscape. Volunteers
under our professional leadership have contributed tens of thousands of
hours to public lands. Our staff members have significant experience as
government employees in recreation and resource management on the Colorado
Plateau. Projects are planned with resource managers in advance and conducted
with our tools and equipment, leadership and follow-up, without requiring
direct agency supervision during project work. This allows agency staff
to complete other vital tasks while we complete these pre-planned projects.
Many of the projects we have conducted have been initiated by us and funded
largely by foundation grants that we have secured.
We can provide the following services:
- Facility construction and maintenance (trails, fencing, interpretive
- Landscape restoration (erosion control, re-vegetation, control of
- Volunteer project planning, grant-writing and leadership
- Monitoring and research
- Land management plans (recreation, weeds, etc.)
- Native plants (salvage, staging, seed collection)
- Staff training (interpretation)
I. Rehabilitating undesignated Off-Highway Vehicle routes:
We have been involved in numerous projects eliminating social trails on
BLM lands in southeastern Utah. Photos show an illegal OHV routes as we
were just getting started (left) and after our participants had re-contoured
the slope and disguised the route, and are working on establishing a barrier
to protect the restoration area (right). Students from the University
of Idaho contributed effort to this project, which was funded by the BLM,
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the University of Idaho and member
II. Revegetation of degraded recreational areas:
We have two large, multi-year revegetation projects on BLM lands in southeastern
Utah: at Mill Creek, Moab, and Sand Island Recreation Area, near Bluff,
Both of these sites have been long-term projects of ours.
Photos show the Mill Creek area in 1996 after closure of the area to vehicle
use and camping, as a weed-infested wasteland prior to our restoration
efforts (left). Currently (right) there is a healthy upland community
of native grasses and shrubs. Funding for the project has come from the
BLM, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Utah Division of Water Quality,
Utah Power, University of Idaho, and member contributions.
We are also currently involved in a long-term project at
the BLM Sand Island campground on the San Juan River, near Bluff, UT.
In 1997, the BLM performed various measures to stabilize the riverbank
at this popular river launch site. The construction resulted in removal
of a number of cottonwood trees and most of the upland vegetation within
a two-acre area adjacent to the boat ramp. The project has included installing
a fence around the two-acre site to protect it from cattle grazing, removing
weeds, installing a drip-irrigation system, designing an interpretive
trail system, planting with a variety of native trees and shrubs and installing
educational kiosks. The long-term goal for this project site is to have
an example native vegetation area with interpretive trail to educate visitors
about native habitats and invasive weeds. Photos show the project site
immediately after heavy equipment work and the same area in 2003 (right).
Support for this project has come from the BLM, Utah Division of Water
Quality, University of Montana, Mankato State University, International
Adventure Tours, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Canyonlands Field
Institute's Elderhostel and Graduate Student participants, and member
III. Invasive Species Control:
We have conducted a number of weed management projects involving Tamarisk,
Knapweed, and other exotic species. Projects involving manual removal
of Tamarisk, an invasive exotic species that threatens water sources have
been conducted at several spring sites in the Moab area and in Lower Courthouse
Wash, Arches National Park. Trees have been hand dug and cut below the
root crown to prevent re-sprouting. These efforts to reduce or eliminate
tamarisk adjacent to perennial water sources without the use of herbicides
have thus far been 100% successful.
In a community-based project in Castle Valley near Moab,
UT, we have been involved in manual removal of diffuse knapweed to minimize
the need for herbicide treatment, especially near surface water. A short-lived
invasive exotic perennial, we expect to have knapweed reduced to a level
that can be controlled by biological agents within a few years.
IV. Trail Repair:
We engage in other area improvement projects.