Step Up for Grand Staircase

For our 2022 year-end campaign, we are centering on joy. We know one thing for sure: play and partnership are essential elements to our work. We all share a love for our Monument, our local communities, our state of Utah, our country, and our world.

Why We Step Up for Grand Staircase

Starkly Pristine Watershed

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...

Beyond Boundaries

When Davina Smith was asked to join the Board of Directors for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, it was an easy decision to say “yes”. Starting at Bears Ears, Tribes have finally been an integral part of the conversation about how to save these sacred landscapes,...

A Part of the Greater Ecosystem

As a local landowner, business owner, and rancher, Brandie Hardman could never look at her land the same way again after taking a permaculture class. She was able to notice the benefits of beaver returning to the land, and has mimicked their return by creating wetland...

The Leading Edge

A visitor to southern Utah since his teenage years, Garett Rose keeps being drawn back to the area. Here—and in Grand Staircase-Escalante in particular—he is struck by the ever-present immediacy of geologic time. It is written into the physical landscape and provides...

Lessons from the Grand Staircase

"I decided to respond to your invite and share my views or experiences related to the landscape, which I love to visit and would even love to make my home. Hiking through areas of the Grand Staircase means seeing and feeling the openness of a rugged landscape. Just by...

Preservation of Discovery

"Discovering great places is at the heart of why CoolWorks exists. But beyond discovering and spending time working among the natural treasures of our country, we hope that the people who use our site will become conservationists, to appreciate how fragile natural...

Small Town Connections

Bob King first fell in love with Grand Staircase through his travels, and happened to be guided by Montana Horchler – a local of Escalante – on a tour in the Pacific Northwest. When he asked where the best place would be to donate to help protect Grand Staircase,...

Giving Back to Grand Staircase

"As I have settled into my position with Partners and life in Escalante, a question has risen in my mind: Why am I here? The past eight months, that question has been largely subconscious, below the surface, answered satisfactorily by the anxiousness and adrenaline of...

Adapting to Global Change

"Rapid global change is impacting every corner of the planet, including the Colorado Plateau. I’ve spent most of my career working on and thinking about the Colorado Plateau, my heart’s home, and I have come to feel that we need to find radically new ways of...

A Place of Learning

Craig “Sage” Sorenson has lived in Escalante since before the Monument was designated by President Clinton in 1996. He has seen the transformation of the small Utah town from an economically-struggling community to a thriving stop-over for travelers visiting the...

Share your story!

This year, we’re excited to share the diverse reasons people from the State of Utah, the Four Corners region and all over the country care deeply about Grand Staircase. For all these reasons and more, we are coming together to #stepupforgrandstaircase.

We are asking you to join us by sharing your story about why Grand Staircase is so important to you, and how you #stepupforgrandstaircase! Please email your story to We can’t wait to learn more about your relationship with the Monument and celebrate you and all the stewards who work to respect and protect the Monument’s ecology, geology, biodiversity, and sacred cultural sites.

Passionate about our mission and want to share your knowledge, experience, and ideas about how to protect Grand Staircase? Join our Board!

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is seeking dedicated individuals with rich and diverse experiences who love the Grand Staircase and want to serve on our Board. If you or someone you know is interested, please review the Board of Directors’ Roles and Responsibilities, then submit your letter of interest by email to

New apparel for the new yearlimited edition!

We’re teaming up with Bonfire, a service that helps us create striking new designs for custom clothing. Each sale will support Grand Staircase Escalante Partners. By purchasing any one of the t-shirts, long-sleeves, or hoodies, you help us “Step Up” to ensure that the Monument is a resilient landscape rich in biodiversity—with protections for critical habitat, water sources, and sacred cultural sites.

We have extended our campaign (again)! This specific, one-of-a-kind design is still available to purchase and strut your stuff with your commitment to Step Up for Grand Staircase. Our goal is to fundraise $2,000 by selling 200 items!

Other Ways to Support Us

Follow the link below to learn more about other ways to support Partners and contribute to our year-end campaign!

2022 Highlights

Advocacy for Grand Staircase

“There are few wild places left in the world that provide a refuge for wildlife, rare and endangered plants, centuries-old biological crust, still flowing natural springs, intact geological records, and Indigenous cultural sites dating back thousands of years. Grand Staircase is one of those places. It is up to all of us to advocate for its protection, preservation, and ability to adapt to climate change and endure for future generations.” Sarah Bauman, Executive Director

  • Participated with a coalition to submit recommendations to the Bureau of Land Management aimed at protecting the objects of scientific and historic interest identified in the 2021 Monument Proclamation and ensuring adaptive management strategies needed for ecosystem health and landscape resiliency
  • Conducted outreach to Tribes and Pueblos to support eight Tribal Listening sessions designed to increase meaningful conversation and input from Indigenous peoples into how the Monument’s land, water, and cultural resources are managed
  • Worked with the Escalante River Watershed Partnership, Southern Utah University, conservation partners, tribal representatives, and land managers to cohost the Ways of Knowing and Protecting the Land and Water Resources of the Grand Staircase-Escalante Region symposium

Conservation of Grand Staircase

“The partnerships and projects we begin today will reinforce the resilience of this complex landscape to climate change and support its critical link for species migrations and habitat connectivity in the Southwest.” Kevin Berend, Conservation Programs Manager

  • 1,454 acres of riparian habitat retreated for Russian olive and 26 sites monitored for regrowth
  • Initiated collaboration with NASA researchers on remote sensing of the Paria River watershed
  • Partnered with Tribes and private land owners to develop habitat resiliency and erosion control projects

acres of riparian habitat retreated for Russian olive

Stewardship in Grand Staircase

The Stewardship Program is unique in the way that it supports the Monument through hands-on projects that serve to both take care of the landscape and create a community of stewards who are linked by a love for the land and a desire to give back.” Kaitlin Martin, Stewardship Programs Manager

  • 17 volunteer events with volunteers removing thousands of pounds off trash and charcoal off the Monument, remediating hundreds of instances of scratched-in graffiti, removing thousands of invasive goat head seedlings, raking out several miles of non-permitted vehicle tracks in Wilderness Study Areas and sensitive soil communities, and cleaning up hundreds of dispersed camping sites across the Monument
  • 16 Trail Ambassador events with ambassadors interacting with more than 1,000 visitors at trailheads and along hiking trails, as well as handing out hundreds of wag bags, dog poop bags, trash bags, ziploc bags, and maps while educating visitors on ways they can reduce their impact
  • 131 volunteers donating 1,107 hours over twelve months to restore and protect the health and integrity of sensitive natural resources throughout the Monument

Volunteer Hours


Community Engagement

Community engagement is so important to protecting the landscape because communal celebrations of knowledge stretch us, and ask of us our deep, sincere attention; they lead us directly to engaging and thinking more about our impacts, and what we can do—by ourselves and with others—to give back what is continually given to us.” Marvin Contreras, Communications and Events Coordinator

  • 21 events held at our Escalante headquarters featuring musicians, speakers, authors, scientists, and humanities scholars, including Hopi musician Ed Kabotie and the Yoties with Sage Bond, writer and natural history field instructor Craig Childs, archaeologist R.E. Burrillo, and visual artist Tim Musso
  • 10 Roving Talks for the Escalante Canyons Art Festival focused on geology, archeology, beavers, visiting with respect, humanities in the wild, and more
  • Hosting live demonstrations, galleries, presentations, and music headliner Sihasin, a Diné punk band who describe “music as protest, a way to spread ideas, and bring people together is an old tradition here in the USofA. While it peaked in the 60’s, there continue to be bands that use music to reach people and to affect change.
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