Early 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of the designation of the Wasatch’s Lone Peak Wilderness Area. In celebration, Save Our Canyons with help from the David Kelby Johnson Memorial Foundation launched an effort to promote volunteerism, educate and engage students, and improve stewardship within the designated wilderness areas in the Central Wasatch Mountains. Our Wasatch Wilderness Stewardship and Education Project resulted in Save Our Canyons trail crews maintaining wilderness characteristics in Wasatch Wilderness areas.

This program comes from the recognition that our local wilderness areas are being gradually degraded by overuse. Our project recognizes that many of those who love and visit the canyons lack a functional understanding of the critical importance of the Wasatch Mountain watershed and the sensitivity of this landscape to external pressures. As advocates who have worked to protect these mountains and canyons through policy measures for nearly four decades, Save Our Canyons recognizes our responsibility to actively care for this landscape by helping to maintain it and by educating those who use it. The purpose of this project is to educate new generations about the importance of wilderness designations and to give back to our wilderness areas by actively working to maintain them. Our trail work will include such activities as: trail maintenance, rehabilitating and restoring sensitive areas, packing out garbage, and dispersing unsanctioned hardened sites such as camps and campfires.

With 1,800 native plant and animal species in the Wasatch, most being found in designated wilderness areas, we take our responsibility of caring for these areas seriously. It is our goal that each year we focus on one wilderness area in the central Wasatch Mountain Range to maintain, restore, and create an education plan to educate the public. 

 

Next Wilderness Stewardship Project:

The next WSP volunteer day is on August 24th, we will be hiking the Red Pine Lake Trail to help the Salt Lake Rangers District reroute part of the Red Pine Lake Trail and perform trail maintenance and restoration. We will be meeting at the Little Cottonwood Park and Ride at 8:45am. Volunteers should wear pants, hiking boots or closed toe shoes with good tread, hat or sunglasses, enough water to last the day and a lunch. We will provide a snack and sunscreen. Contact our Education and Stewardship Coordinator, Luke at to sign up for this event!

Not to worry if you are unable to make the event on August 24th, we will be going out into Lone Peak Wilderness again on September 7th for our fourth WSP event of the year. 

Wilderness Education Plan

The Wasatch Wilderness Education Plan was formulated with the understanding that the Wasatch Mountains are a hub for outdoor recreation on a local, national and global level. We recognize that the many of those who enjoy these areas may not have a functional understanding of the mountains, their special environments, and designated wilderness areas and their importance. To address this, we have partnered with the United States Forest Service (USFS) to create the Wasatch Wilderness Education Plan. Our intention with this plan is to increase the knowledge and understanding of these areas, as well as to teach stewardship.

Every year we will focus on one designated wilderness area in the Central Wasatch Mountains and create an education plan for it. Additionally, we are going into the chosen area to identify aspects that need attention and are organizing volunteer days to address these problems. In 2018, we removed illegal fire pits, cleared water bars, and lopped brush from trails. 

In 2018, we focused on Twin Peaks Wilderness and in 2019, we plan to focus on Lone Peak Wilderness. This education plan includes designing, producing and distributing educational brochures, plant and animal identification cards, a website page, public displays, and presentations and talking points for Forest Rangers.

The information in this education plan includes what designated wilderness areas are, their names and locations in the Wasatch, different available trails, reasons to go to designated wilderness areas, commonly asked questions, general designated wilderness rules, specific wilderness rules, watershed rules, Seven Leave No Trace Principles, flora, fauna, invasive species and how user groups can properly use the area.

Our intention is to enhance the wilderness experience of users, and at the same time to educate them in how to maintain the areas through conservation and preservation.

Twin Peaks Wilderness