Landscape Stewardship Certificates of Appreciation - 2011

L to R: Sarah Schlanger, Associate Monument Manager, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument; Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) volunteers Sue and Don Fox; GSEP Executive Director Roger Cole; Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Manager Rene Berkhoudt, and PLF Utah State Representative Bill Lamb

THE PUBLIC LANDS FOUNDATION presents the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners with its 2011 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation. The Foundation grants this recognition to honor private citizens and organizations that work to advance and sustain community-based stewardship on landscapes that include, in whole or in part, public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is a non-profit organization that works solely with BLM’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to protect the majestic and unspoiled character of the Monument and to support conservation and sustainable uses of the Monument and adjacent public lands. GSEP has been instrumental in developing conservation programs that promote the Department of the Interior’s mission and the protection and management of Monument resources through partnerships involving the surrounding local communities, non-governmental organizations, and state and other federal agencies.

In Fiscal Year 2010, GSEP provided funding and/or labor in support of almost thirty BLM environmental education, interpretation, research, and volunteer programs and projects. One of these projects was a Native Plants Restoration Project at Kanab High School that included collecting seeds from native plants, germinating them in the school’s greenhouse and planting the seedlings back in the field. Eventually, the project involved sixty-seven students.

The Partners continued a Southern Utah Oral History Project that collected over 200 oral histories through interviews of people living near the Monument. They established an Archaeological Site Stewardship Program where 15 site stewards working under the direction of a GSEP coordinator and archaeologist. They were instrumental in the development of two road guides that encourage visitors to explore backcountry roads and better understand their geology.

The Partners hired college and high school interns, awarded science scholarships for research projects, hired the Utah Conservation Crew from Utah State University to remove invasive Russian olive trees along Escalante River, and provided about 60 volunteers that help the Monument with various conservation projects.

The Partners supported and promoted many other activities benefitting the Monument. They include a “Walks and Talks Lecture Series,” community events, a Science Center and Science Coordinator, development of the Escalante River Watershed Partnership, a digital research library, a Long Valley High School Restoration Project, hiring of a Communications Coordinator, co-hosting a research symposium in celebration of 10 years of coordinated research inside the Monument, and writing monthly news articles published in newspapers that serve five communities.

A principal value of GSEP is that it is a community-based organization that provides a strong connection between the Monument and local communities, supporting conservation projects and Monument management.

The Public Lands Foundation is pleased to present the Grand Staircase Escalante Partners with its 2011 Landscape Stewardship Certificate of Appreciation and this Citation for invaluable contributions to the stewardship of America’s public landscapes.

/s/ Henri Bisson

___________________________                                                         September 17, 2011

Henri Bisson, President