HomeSITLA Team Earns Governor’s Award for Excellence

SITLA Team Earns Governor’s Award for Excellence

Congratulations to the SITLA Cave Towers Stewardship Team of Joel Boomgarden and Adam Robison, under the leadership of Kenneth Wintch, which received the 2016 Governor’s Award for Excellence in the category of Outstanding Public Service. This team coordinated a significant public/private volunteer stewardship project to protect Cave Towers, which is located on school trust lands and is one of the most important and visited archaeological sites on Cedar Mesa in San Juan County. The SITLA team collaborated with the Friends of Cedar Mesa to protect spectacular Cave Towers, built by the Ancestral Puebloan people, likely between A.D. 1000-1300. This dramatic site includes towers, kivas, and other structures. Because of its accessibility, Cave Towers is one of the most visited archaeological sites on Cedar Mesa and has seen cultural and natural resource damage. SITLA developed a resource plan to allow continued public access, identify camping areas, and provide information to educate visitors about the importance of protecting this site. To implement this plan, SITLA collaborated with Friends of Cedar Mesa volunteers to install 500 feet of buck-and-rail fencing to delineate parking and camping areas. They also installed two informational and interpretive kiosks, installed metal fire rings to support responsible camping, and cleared 200 pounds of charcoal, broken glass, and trash within the archaeological site boundaries. Friends of Cedar Mesa named the Cave Towers project among its 2015 top 10 memorable moments and commended SITLA for its commitment to proactive stewardship.

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