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Presenting Sponsor

Eclipse Festival

Discover San Juan County Excursions

Excursion A: Dugout Ranch/Newspaper Rock 
(Limited to 30 participants)

Dugout Ranch is an icon of the American West located  in the heart of the Colorado Plateau. The ranch is  interspersed along the biologically rich canyon bottoms  of Indian and North Cottonwood Creeks. These  canyons are walled by steep sandstone cliffs and talus  slopes that form the gateway to the Needles District of  Canyonlands National Park. The ranch was purchased  by The Nature Conservancy in 1997 and is still run by  Heidi Redd and her family.

Ancestral Puebloan rock art and dwellings are found  throughout the Dugout Ranch Canyonlands Project  area, the most well-known being Newspaper Rock.  Dugout Ranch encompasses 5,207 private acres, with  an additional 335,030 acres of adjacent public lands  in the form of grazing allotments associated with the  ranch managed by the Bureau of Land Management  and the U.S. Forest Service.

Today, the ranch and allotments, spanning more  than 340,000 acres of private and public lands, is the  foundation for the ground-breaking Canyonlands  Research Center which works to increase  understanding of the interactive effects of climate  change and land use, and provide decision-makers  with information to adapt to challenges such as  grazing, recreation impacts, and invasive species.  (source: The Nature Conservancy) 

During the visit to Dugout Ranch researchers from  the Canyonlands Research Center will speak on the  important research taking place as well as a history  of Dugout Ranch from Heidi Redd. Leaving Dugout  we will stop at Newspaper Rock, one of the largest  collections of petroglyphs in the country that features  hundreds of forms, including pictures resembling  humans, animals, tools, and more esoteric, abstract  items. The 200-square-foot rock site is a part of the  cliffs along the upper end of Indian Creek Canyon.

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