History - Header
Amy Martin

Our story - mission

Our story - mission
Ellen Morris Bishop


The mission of the Grand Canyon Trust is to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau — its spectacular landscapes, flowing rivers, clean air, diversity of plants and animals, and areas of beauty and solitude.


We work toward creating a region where generations of people and all of nature can thrive in harmony. Our vision for the Colorado Plateau 100 years from now has three key facets:

  • The region is still characterized by vast open spaces with restored, healthy natural areas and habitat for all native plants and animals.
  • Human communities enjoy a sustaining relationship with the natural environment.
  • People who live and visit here are willing, enthusiastic stewards of the region’s natural resources and beauty.

Our story - Join us

Do you share our dream for the Colorado Plateau?
Amy Martin

Our story - how we got started (intro)

How we got started: an idea born on the banks of the Colorado River

The Grand Canyon Trust traces its roots to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, where the Colorado River and love of place runs deep. Here’s our story.

Our story - how we got started

In the early 80s, legendary river runner and wilderness advocate Martin Litton took several environmentalists downstream. One evening, sitting in the sand around a campfire undoubtedly recounting flips, jokes, and other river lore, the conversation turned toward the need to create an organization with the express goal of protecting the Grand Canyon. Long-time conservationist Huey Johnson proposed a name: the Grand Canyon Trust.

Over the next few years, those fireside chats turned into action. And in 1985, Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt and several others officially registered the Grand Canyon Trust as a non-profit organization dedicated to defending the natural integrity of the Grand Canyon.

But the Trust realized early on that issues don’t stop at the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. So in 1987, we expanded the scope of our work to encompass the entire Colorado Plateau — the Four Corners region of Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, of which the Grand Canyon stands as the centerpiece.

More about our history ›

Our story - who we are today

Our story - who we are today
Blake McCord

Who we are today

Over the years we’ve grown from a one man show to a staff of more than 30, working on issues ranging from grazing, to forest restoration, to uranium mining. We have a membership of more than 3,000 people who love the Grand Canyon and the Colorado Plateau, and an active volunteer base of more than 400 people who help us with on-the-ground restoration work, data collection, monitoring and more.

Get involved

Get Involved

Our story - volunteer, support work, take action



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