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Ray WheelerRay Wheeler


1115 Mead Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Telephone: (801) 355-6236

Email:  [email protected]


Between college semesters and after earning a BA in English literature at the University of Missouri, Columbia (1974), Ray trained for a career as a freelance journalist by working as a busboy in Grand Canyon Village, a cab driver in Washington, D.C., a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, and a commercial river guide in California, Utah, Oregon, and Idaho.


Expedition Adventure Travel:


1971:  400 mile exploration of backcountry trails in the Grand Canyon

1975:  Circumnavigation of Northern Lake Michigan by open canoe

1976-1983  Commercial river guide, California, Oregon, Idaho, Utah

1983-1990: Three to five months per year exploring, photographing, and mapping roadless areas on the Colorado Plateau.

1991: Three-month, 700-mile sea kayak voyage following the path of the Exxon Valdez oil spill from Prince William Sound across the open coast of the Gulf of Alaska and around the tip of the Kenai Penninsula to Homer.

1992-1994: Three-stage, 600-mile backpack across the core wildlands of the Colorado Plateau, from Westwater Canyon, Colorado, to Zion National Park, Utah.

1996-1997: Expedition sea kayaking, Isla de La Guardia, Mexico, and Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia.

2013:  Six week sea kayak and backpack exploration of various islands in the Aegean sea including Milos, Kimolos, Paros, Naxos, Santorini, and the southern coast of Crete, plus kayak touring in the canals of Venice.

Reporter-at-large, Colorado Plateau Province:

1983: "Whitewater Odyssey", Canyon Times, Vol 3, Issues 2-3.

1984: "The War over Wilderness", Utah Holiday,Vol XIII, No 8.

1985: "Utah Hearings Misfire" High Country News, Vol. 27, No. 24.

1985: "Last Stand for the Colorado Plateau," High Country News, Vol. #17, Nos. 19-20.

1989: co-author, Reopening the Western Frontier. Island Press, 1989.

1990: "Two Weeks to Wander", Sierra, Vol 75, No 1.

1990: co-author, Wilderness at the Edge. The Utah Wilderness Coalition. Salt Lake City, Utah

1991: "Mapping the Wilderness", Cadence, October 1991.

1996: co-author, Who Would Drive a Stake into the Heart of this Incomparable Land?, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Salt Lake City, UT.

1997: A Modest Proposal to Protect for future Generations, Unaltered by Man, the Forests, Meadows, and Streams of Boulder Mountain. Colorado Plateau Institute, Salt Lake City, UT.

            The Colorado Plateau Region
            The Grand Plan

2006: The Aquarius Plateau-- Grand Canyon Trust “Advocate”, summer 2006, see story beginning page 8

2009: Best of Show Part 1:  The Show, the City, the Industry, and the Faith

          Best of Show, Part 2:  Awards

2010:  Blueprint Jordan River: Commercial Centers or Open Space?

Contributor to: American Heritage, Audubon, Defenders, High Country News, Sierra, Wilderness.


1975: Team member, EPA-funded expedition circumnavigating northern lake Michigan by open canoe to "document the quality of life" on the lake’s islands. (Project Documerica.)

1976-1977: Rephotography—two field seasons locating and matching the panoramas of William H. Holmes on the north rim of the Grand Canyon and in southern Utah

1983: Photodocumentary kayak expedition, riding the spring 1983 flood crest from Provo Lake down the Jordan River and up the eastern shoreline of the Great Salt Lake to record the affects of riverbank flooding and lakeshore dike-innundation.

1996: Photo Editor, Who Would Drive a Stake into the Heart of this Incomparable Land?, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Salt Lake City, UT.

1999: Photo Editor, Land Use History of the Colorado Plateau web site


1985-1990: Roadless area inventory and wilderness proposal design team,Utah Wilderness Coalition’s 5.1 million acre (today 9.4 million acre) Utah BLM wilderness proposal.

1987:  Principle architect, first version of America’s Redrock Wilderness Bill (today H.R. 1925, S. 799)

1990-1994: Board Member, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

1995-1998: Cofounder and Steering Committee Chair, Wild Utah Forest Campaign, originator and first project manager of statewide Forest Service roadless area survey

2007: Founder, Publisher, Managing Editor, Earth Restoration Network

2007: Founder, Jordan River Restoration Project

2007, 2010:  Publisher, The Renewable Deal for the United States of America, editions 1 and 2

2009:  Co-founder, Jordan River Restoration Network

2012:  Board member, Association for the Tree of Life

2013:  Advisory Committee, Mormon Environmental Stewardship Alliance

2015:   Campaign Coordinator, Nature in the City urban riparian restoration master plan