Lee Hayes was one of the corpsmembers assigned to Southwest Conservation Corps’ Rapid Monitoring Team in the summer of 2022, tasked with monitoring for regrowth of Russian olive and other vegetation after removal. The Escalante River Watershed was one of four watersheds monitored by Southwest Conservation Corps, and Lee was struck by how starkly pristine and intact the Escalante watershed is in comparison to the others. While out in the field, Lee marveled at the mystery of the landscape where the distance to his destination was measured vertically and the view was often so beautiful it was almost cartoon-like. According to Lee, Grand Staircase-Escalante “was the cherry on top of the whole season.”

– Lee Hayes, Southwest Conservation Corps member

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