The MISSION of Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is to honor the past and safeguard the future of Grand Staircase--Escalante National Monument through science, conservation, and education. 

Why is it important?

The unspoiled natural area of Grand Staircase in Utah remains a frontier, a quality that greatly enhances the land’s value for scientific study and presents unique opportunities for geologists, paleontologists, archaeologists, historians, and biologists.

The nearly two million acres were designated as a national monument on September 18, 1996, by President Bill Clinton. Grand Staircase is administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and in 2000, became the first unit of BLM’s National Landscape Conservation System. Since time immemorial, Native American people have inhabited, crossed, lived on, and been stewards of the lands that make up what we now know as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The Hopi, Zuni, Dine/Navajo, San Juan Southern Paiute, Kaibab Paiute, Ute, Ute Mountain Ute, Jemez Pueblo, and Acoma nations have deep connections to the Grand Staircase region. The Monument is home to countless Native American cultural sites, western pioneer history, and the greatest diversity of dinosaur fossils found anywhere on Earth.

How do they do it?

The core focus of GSEP is to promote science, conservation, and education on the Monument. To increase public awareness and understanding of the Monument. To provide viable resources to support the Monument’s scientific, interpretive and educational programs. Lastly, to expand their membership so they may represent a diverse constituency that supports the Grand Staircase. 

They achieve their mission through programs in Science, Conservation and Education. Their science-based initiatives include working with conservation partners to conduct climate change research, developing a holistic science and monitoring plan for the Monument, and conducting advocacy work and media campaigns aimed at raising awareness and inspiring action to protect the monument and surrounding native lands.

GSEP’s work on the ground with conservation organizations, government agencies, and volunteers to repair and restore the Escalante River watershed, as well as prevent and mitigate damage at cultural and ecological sites. An important component of their educational work, both virtual and in-person, is deepening their collective understanding of Indigenous communities’ connections to the landscape and expanding a critical awareness of historical and contemporary forces shaping Indigenous access to ancestral lands.

How you can #TravelKindly: 
  • Choose Grand Staircase Escalante Partners as your local charity when you book with Kind Traveler.
  • Kind Travelers are encouraged to stop by the office in Escalante to learn more about the organization to join any discussion or listen to guest speakers that may be in attendance. 
  • Volunteer to take part in one of the clean-up or graffiti removal projects put on by GSENM.
  • A full list of opportunities and schedules can be found here.
  • Pick up some swag from the GSEP Shop to proudly show your support.

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