Discover the natural and cultural wonders of southeast Utah during the Celebrate Cedar Mesa event in Bluff, Utah, on March 4-6.
The fifth annual event organized by Friends of Cedar Mesa features three days of service projects, research presentations, discussion groups, tours, and educational films on archeology and natural sciences in the region.
Osprey Packs, of Cortez, is a main sponsor.
“It’s a weekend full of events,” said executive director Josh Ewing. “It draws in researchers and people who have an appreciation for the cultural and natural resources of Cedar Mesa.”
Every year the event grows, he said, with a record 200 attendees last year, a number they expect to exceed this year.
“We double the population of Bluff for a weekend,” Ewing said.
On Friday, participants can sign up for service projects, building fence, cleaning up trash, improving trails , and installing educational signs. Friday night, the film River of Sorrows will play.
Saturday is the main gathering with presentations, slideshows and research updates at the Bluff Community Center.
Some of the speakers include Lance Porter, District Manager Canyon Country District; Vaughn Hadenfeldt, of Friends of Cedar Mesa; and Billy Shott, Glen Canyon Acting Superintendent.
Photographer RE Burrillo will present “The Lens of History: Documenting Impacts to Archaeological Sites on Cedar Mesa.
There will be updates on a campaign to have Cedar Mesa designated as the Bears Ears national monument. A Native American panel will give their perspective on the proposal.
Author Greg Child will moderate a panel on responsible recreation. Panel participants include Deer Hill guides, Wild Rivers/4Corners Adventures, Access Fund, and Sam Mix of Osprey Packs.
“One of the campaigns we will be rolling out is Visiting with Respect, an important message to leave artifacts where they are so they can be enjoyed by the next generation,” Ewing said.
Kay Shumway will give a presentation on the historic Shumway Cabin in Recapture Canyon. Jonathan Till, of Edge of the Cedars museum, will discuss Chacoan Roads, their meaning and social tradition.
Other presentations include the Cedar Mesa Perishables Project, wild plants, history of Cedar Mesa History, and a study on structural wood sites.
Saturday night there will be a chili potluck dinner, and an after party at Rusticks Gallery with live music by Durango band Running Out of Road. Sunday includes free guided hikes and workshops.
For more information on registration and event locations visit http://www.friendsofcedarmesa.org/celebrate/