On September 22, 2018, Public Lands Day was celebrated at Petrified Forest with a well-organized volunteer project. Led by park staff, five stretches of remnant barbed wire were removed from the park by teams of park volunteers and Friends members.
The worksites were northeast of the Blue Mesa overlook in the vast grasslands. Wide open country, but within sight and earshot of the Burlington North railroad and not far from the Puerco River. The fence was once used in the grazing operation of the Paulsell Ranch and is now not needed for the park. It is also a hazard to wildlife, such as pronghorn.
The work consisted of removing the barbed wire from posts and staves. It was bundled together off to the side while leaving the posts in place. An Arizona Game & Fish Department Crew used a trailer with a gas engine hooked up to a spool that rolled up the barbed wire we had removed for easy transport out of the area.
After working until mid-afternoon, the 25 volunteers were treated to special backcountry stops to inspect fossils and petroglyphs normally not seen by park visitors.