Springs - What we do (header)

What we do

Native Plants - what we do (images)

A volunteer pulls weeds in the Pando Clone

Pull weeds

We pull weeds so that native plants have the chance to reclaim their ground. Each year, we bag and remove fewer and fewer weeds — a sign that the balance is shifting in favor of native plants.

Volunteers fix a fence in Utah

Build and fix fences

Volunteers build and fix fences to keep cattle, deer, elk, and sheep out of certain areas. These so-called "reference areas" give overgrazed lands a chance to heal and help us track the recovery of native species.

Two volunteers plant willows in Utah on a volunteer trip

Plant native species

To help re-establish native species, volunteers plant willows, cottonwood saplings, and wildflowers. Native plants like these help stabilize streambanks and provide habitat for wildlife. 

Blake McCord

Weeds - Why weed on public lands?

Why do we weed public lands?

Good old-fashioned weeding helps scientists understand what healthy lands look like.

Learn why

Native species VP - map

Native plants - pando

Pando aspen grove, Utah

An 8-foot-tall fence surrounds 16 acres of the Pando aspen grove, keeping grazing animals from munching on new shoots. Notice the new aspen growth over time. Trust volunteers pull weeds inside the fenced area to help native plants recover after decades of overgrazing.


Pando aspen stand, 2014, with no young aspen trees in the understory


Pando aspen stand, 2019, with new aspen shoots in the understory

Marra Clay

Native Plants - Johnson Lakes (detail)

Johnson Lakes Canyon

Transforming overgrazed pastures into wildlife paradise.

Native Plants - Rick and Susie

Rick and Susie Knezevich, the owners of 800 acres of cattle-free land in southern Utah, have an admirable goal: leave the land better than they found it. Several years ago, they teamed up with the Trust, put their land in a conservation easement, and have been working with our volunteers to restore their property and study its recovery.

Surrounded by Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Johnson Lakes Canyon is a laboratory for restoration experiments and projects. It also serves as a lesson in the recovery that is possible when cattle are kept off the land.  

What the recovery looks like

Native cottonwoods and willows are thriving, biological soil crusts cover entire hillsides, red-tailed hawks nest, and water birds drop by during their travels. Trust volunteers have been helping remove invasive species in Johnson Lakes Canyon since 2014. We also bring scientists out for bioblitzes to document the plant and animal life gradually coming back to the property. Take a look at what we've found ›

Johnson Lakes Canyon native species

Jonathan Barth
Andrey Zharkikh
Jonathan Barth
Andrey Zharkikh
Jonathan Barth
Jonathan Barth
Andrey Zharkikh
Andrey Zharkikh

Resources and Reports

Resources and Reports

Volunteer - newsletter sign-up

Sign up for volunteer updates

Learn about Native Plants


Some good old-fashioned weed removal helps scientists understand what healthy forests look like.

Read More

Aspen trees in a fenced portion of Pando, the world's largest aspen clone, are reaching for the sky. Learn about the effort.

Read More

If the map you're looking for doesn't exist, collect the data and make it yourself.

Read More
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