HISTORY OF THE NATURAL ARCH AND BRIDGE SOCIETY
See also: Newspaper article about the current NABS President, Larry Beck
The Natural Arch and Bridge Society came into being primarily through the efforts of two founding members who initially approached the task separately and later combined their efforts. Jay H. Wilbur, an arch enthusiast and aerospace engineer who was at the time residing in Colorado Springs, CO, sent out a letter of interest on January 20, 1988, to a list of people he had received from Ed McCarrick, a ranger at Arches National Park. In his letter, Jay expressed his long-time interest in natural arches and in forming an association of fellow arch enthusiasts. He requested information from the recipients regarding the extent of their interest and a referral to others who might be interested in such an organization.
Another letter of interest was independently sent out on March 15, 1988 by Danny Horowitz, a geologist and arch enthusiast who was residing in Houston, TX. In his letter, Danny discussed his desire to form “a society of natural arch and bridge lovers” and volunteered to get such an organization started. Danny had received a list of interested parties from arch researcher Robert H. Vreeland. The list was compiled from people who had written to Vreeland in response to a series of books that Vreeland had self-published called Nature's Bridges and Arches.
One of the founding members of NABS, John Burns, had been corresponding with Vreeland since 1980. He received the following in a letter from Vreeland in December, 1987: “Three of my book customers have suggested the formation of a loose association of natural arch and bridge lovers. In their suggestion all three mentioned a regular newsletter in which experiences are shared, new arches announced, and road conditions updated. New information could be distributed in the newsletters. Problem areas could be discussed, etc. Would you give me persmission to give your name and address to one of them? The reason I brought this up is because I will soon be 71 years old — too old to be hiking alone in the boondocks. Although I am presently working on Volumes 4, 17, and 23, Volume 19 may be the last book I publish. An organization could keep my work going.”
It was serendipitous that these two individuals (Jay and Danny) had the same idea of forming the Natural Arch and Bridge Society at the same time! Both letters are included here as Exhibit 1 and Exhibit 2 [PDF files]. A photo of Danny and Jay taken at an early NABS convention is on the right.
Jay sent out a follow-up letter on March 20, 1988, informing his contacts that the response to his initial letter had been enthusiastically supportive of forming an organization. He estimated that the initial membership might reach 40 people spread around the country. Because of this good response, Jay volunteered to publish the first issue of a newsletter and requested articles be submitted on various arch-related topics. This follow-up letter by Jay is Exhibit 3 [PDF].
On April 18, 1988, Danny sent out his follow-up letter which mentioned that Jay had received his first letter so they had decided to merge their lists and pool their efforts in forming the new organization. He mentioned Jay's experience as a technical editor and that Jay had volunteered to publish the first newsletter that August. He also listed the names of seven people who had planned summer arch-hunting vacations so new members could team up with them. These individuals were Bob Vreeland, Harold Honsbehn, John Burns, Nicholus Terzakis, Terry Cain, John Weiler, and Danny Horowitz.
Danny also said that he and Jay would absorb costs during the start-up phase, but that dues might be necessary later on. The poll of prospective members revealed general agreement that the purpose of the society would be to maintain a membership list, to print an occasional newsletter, to assist Bob Vreeland with his publications, to arrange field trips, and to lobby for the protection of arches. Some individuals expressed a willingness to help set up a computer fact file on arches. Some suggested having a convention and Danny thought this was a good idea, possibly in Moab, Utah, in 1990. This letter is Exhibit 4 [PDF].
Jay Wilbur published the first issue of SPAN in August 1988. It became our regular newsletter, and Jay continued in the role of editor and publisher for the next six years. The first four issues, available here as PDF files, chronicle the early days of the Society.
SPAN Volume 1 Number 1, August 1988 [PDF 2.1 MB]. The inaugural issue, which Jay described as a “labor of love,” included an article by Danny Horowitz about his vision for development of the society, stating specific goals and objectives and suggesting that there be a general convention in 1990 to adopt bylaws and form a non-profit organization. A list of about 30 potential names for the society, which had been received in response to a questionnaire in Danny's earlier letter, was presented along with a request for readers to vote for their favorites. In addition, Bob Vreeland provided a list of arch-hunting challenges — arches he had heard about but not yet been able to find. Ed McCarrick and Dale Stevens discussed their new book, The Arches of Arches National Park, and Robert Moore described the pleasure of discovering a new arch. Nicholus Terzakis provided some updates to the information in some of Bob Vreeland's arch books. Finally, Jay Wilbur shared information on the recent discovery and measurements of Snake Bridge in New Mexico, then listed as the 9th longest known natural span in the world.
The next communication came in the form of a letter from Danny Horowitz in January 1989. He described a meeting held in Austin with Danny, Jay Wilbur, Bob Keniston, and John Burns, to initiate the process of incorporating the non-profit organization. He announced the winning name for the organization — the Natural Arch and Bridge Society (NABS). This letter is Exhibit 5 [PDF].
Interestingly, Danny’s letter also announced a plan to conduct a NABS field trip to difficult-to-reach Clara Bernheimer Natural Bridge. This was not actually accomplished until November 1992, when four NABS Directors (Diane Bingham, Bob Moore, Jay Wilbur, and David Brandt-Erichsen) reached the arch via a new route (photo on right shows them at the plaque at the base of the arch). Thirty-one NABS members followed suit in May 1993.
SPAN Volume 1 Number 2, April 1989 [PDF 2.7 MB]. The second issue of SPAN announced the official incorporation of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society as a non-profit organization in the state of Colorado, and asked for feedback about a proposed first NABS Convention in 1990. It also advised that the first Executive Committee had been formed consisting of President Danny Horowitz (Houston, TX), Secretary/Treasurer Jay Wilbur (Colorado Springs, CO), and Directors Terry Cain (Lincoln, NE), Robert Moore (Phoenix, AZ), and Joseph Rockey (Highwood, IL). Jay Wilbur provided an editorial about the need for a word that referred to the study of natural arches and bridges, and suggested gephyrology (pronounced “jeff-er-ology”) after the Greek root gephyra (meaning “bridge” or “earthen dam”), but the idea never seemed to catch on, even within NABS. And — oh, yes — the issue contained a lot of information-swapping about natural arches.
SPAN Volume 1 Number 3, July 1989 [PDF 2.2 MB]. The third issue of SPAN mentioned that the Executive Committee had met for the first time, via teleconference, and approved membership dues at $5.00 per year. The Committee also decided to hold the first NABS Convention and General Membership Meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado on the first weekend in May 1990. A field trip into Rattlesnake Canyon was scheduled to be led by NABS member Bob Sherrill, with additional field trips in the Grand Junction and Moab areas to be coordinated by Bob Keniston. The issue also contained a detailed article by Bob Vreeland about the history of Clara Bernheimer Natural Bridge.
At about this same time, Jay designed an inexpensive but nicely informative tri-fold brochure that could be mailed out to prospective members, handed out at meetings, or placed in information centers. This brochure is Exhibit 6 [2 MB PDF]. We don't have any statistics on how many members this brochure brought in, but we do know that it brought in at least one particularly active member: David Brandt-Erichsen.
David Brandt-Erichsen had fallen in love with Utah's canyon country and later developed a focus on arches from F. A. Barnes’ 1987 book Canyon Country Arches and Bridges. In 1991 he led a group of hikers from the Southern Arizona Hiking Club for a week in the Moab area, where they viewed 65 arches and “bagged” (i.e. got inside or on top of) 35 of them, and he never had more fun in his life. He ran across the NABS brochure in the Moab Visitor Center. NABS fit him like a glove, and he later became SPAN editor for seven years, webmaster of the NABS website for even longer, and organizer of several NABS outings. He would always say: “An arch as a goal at the end of a hike is the frosting on a very good cake, and looking for arches always takes you to beautiful places you might never have thought to go to otherwise.”
SPAN Volume 2 Number 1, October 1989 [PDF 2.7 MB]. The fourth issue of SPAN outlined the agenda for the May 1990 Convention in Grand Junction and announced that NABS was planning to form an arch documentation Standards and Definitions Working Group during the convention. And — oh, yes — the issue also had several articles about natural arches.
First Convention — one of many wonderful times
The first NABS Convention began in Grand Junction, CO, on Saturday May 5, 1990, lasted five days and was a smashing success, with just shy of half the membership attending. The group's trip into Rattlesnake Canyon on Saturday was mentioned on the front page of the Sunday edition of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (the article itself was on the front page of the paper's B Section — with a nice color photo). NABS President Danny Horowitz was quoted as saying “Some people enjoy coins. Our fascination gravitates toward natural arches. And hey, it gets you off your duff and out into nature.” This article is Exhibit 7 [PDF]. Additional coverage included a story on the Denver Channel 9 Sunday evening newscast.
The Executive Committee met via teleconference in September 1990, selecting Grand Junction, Colorado again for the 1991 Convention and St. George, Utah for the 1992 Convention. The Society has sponsored from one to three conventions/rallies/trips each year ever since (see list below).
The highlights of these many “arch gatherings” have been reported in SPAN throughout the years. One highlight paticularly stands out from the May 1994 Canyonlands Convention, during a trip to Angel Arch (this was before 4WD access to the arch was closed off). While at the arch, NABS member Norm Self proposed to Linda Friedrich (photo at left). She said yes. (We have more to say about Norm below).
Some Major Losses
In December 1991 NABS member Ed McCarrick, who was very active in our Standards and Definitions Working Group, was diagnosed with lung cancer and retired from the group. He had been a seasonal ranger with Arches National Park and had helped document over 1800 arches there. In February 1992, NABS joined with Arches National Park to honor Ed at a ceremony in the visitor center. NABS member Diane Bingham designed a beautiful commemorative plaque with a bas-relief of Ed that was placed on display in the visitor center. Ed subsequently passed away in March, 1992.
In May, 1992 at the NABS convention in St. George, Utah, a commemorative plaque was presented to Robert Vreeland by the NABS Executive Committee in appreciation of his lifelong pioneering contributions to the study of arches throughout the world. Vreeland eventually passed away in May, 2005 (see July 2005 SPAN article). Vreeland Arch, named after Bob, is located in the remote Hunt's Mesa area of Monument Valley.
Also during the St. George convention, founding President Danny Horowitz announced that he would not run for the office again, but that he would stay active in NABS as chairperson of the Standards and Definitions Working Group. Eventually, Danny became ill with cancer and passed away in August 2002. The NABS Executive Committee voted to petition the USGS Board of Geographic Names to name the arch listed in the Vreeland catalog as number 17-24 (located in southern New Mexico) as Horowitz Arch. The BGN eventually listed the arch's official name as simply “Natural Bridge” but with a variant name of “Horowitz Arch.” This was implemented in the official Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), so the only meaningful name associated with the arch is “Horowitz Arch.” More information about Danny Horowitz can be found in Jay Wilbur’s article about Danny in the October, 2002 issue of SPAN.
In 1994 NABS President Diane Bingham had the idea of a Natural Arch and Bridge Day, so she contacted Utah Governor Micheal Leavitt and got a favorable response to the idea. In 1995 NABS President Dale Stevens brought the idea to fruition by drafting a declaration and getting Governor Leavitt's commitment to designate the anniversary of the discovery of Rainbow Bridge as a day to recognize the important contribution arches have made to the history of Utah. Support was also obtained from the staffs of Arches National Park and Natural Bridges National Monument. The following year the governor signed the declaration making August 14, 1996, Natural Arch and Bridge Day in Utah. The photo on right shows Governor Leavitt signing the declaration while then-NABS President Jay Wilbur (left) looks on. NABS member Dick Wunder was also in attendance. A copy of the declaration is Exhibit 8 [PDF]. On the same day, Natural Bridges National Monument opened a new display room providing information on how natural bridges form, with NABS listed as a contributing partner in developing the new displays.
Jay Wilbur Honored
During the NABS 25th Anniversary in 2013, the Executive Committee honored Jay Wilbur by awarding him a Lifetime Membership in NABS and also by presenting him with a nice plaque to mark the occasion. This is only the second Lifetime Membership ever awarded by NABS, the first being to arch pioneer Robert Vreeland. Over the years Jay has been the backbone of the organization, serving as founder, President, Vice-president, Span Editor, Span Publisher and rally organizer. He also formed the Standards and Definitions Working Group and wrote up the results of their work; he produced the Geographical Information System (GIS) section of the NABS web site; and he served as NABS liaison with the United States Geological Survey.
The plaque was presented to Jay (left) at Crow Canyon Arch, New Mexico, by NABS President Larry Beck. Exhibit 9 provides a readable view of the plaque.
Our newsletter, SPAN — like everything else in the Society — has always been a 100% volunteer effort on a shoestring budget. Our first editor, Jay Wilbur (the most knowledgeable of our several editors), used Microsoft Word and a copy machine. Our second editor, David Brandt-Erichsen, used WordPerfect and a copy machine. This took us up to the end of 2001.
Then along came Norm Self, who managed a print shop in El Centro, California. Norm had been a NABS member since 1991 and felt that he had gotten so much out of NABS that he wanted to give something back. One thing he wanted to give was better-quality reproduction for SPAN, especially the photos. So he offered to do the layout using professional publishing software (QuarkXPress) as well as get us super-cut-rate high-quality offset printing. This freed up the next editors (first Tom Van Bebber and later Donnie Neiswinger) to do only the editing without needing to do the layout and mailing too as had been the case for the first two editors. Norm became our official SPAN Publisher, and as a result the physical quality of SPAN took a great leap forward beginning in 2002.
The physical quality of SPAN took another leap forward in 2010 when Jay Wilbur re-assumed the editing role. Norm’s layout skills (at which he had never been professional) had gradually improved, and Jay and Norm together developed a spiffy magazine-style layout with full-bleed covers. The layouts were produced in color for electronic distribution to the membership, but were still printed in black-and-white, as color printing was beyond the reach of Society finances.
The “final” leap forward in SPAN quality occurred in July 2012, when the first full-color print issue of SPAN (illustrated above left) was reproduced using an online color digital printing service and mailed to the members, and at less cost than our previous system. It was a dream come true for the small group of dedicated volunteers that made it happen. Norm subsequently re-formatted all the back issues from 2002 in full color and these are now available on the web.
Norm passed away in April 2015 at the age of 80 after making 54 quarterly issues of SPAN over the course of 13.5 years. He is greatly missed as a wonderful friend and colleague. Exhibit 10 is an image of a three-foot-wide tribute photo/plaque awarded to Norm by NABS, featuring Craig Shelley’s panoramic photo of Stevens Arch, which was Norm’s favorite arch hike.
Besides the aforementioned Robert H. Vreeland, some members who have made major contributions to NABS are known for their publishing activities outside of NABS.
- Fran Barnes (1922-2003) gave up a career in the aerospace industry and moved to Moab, Utah, to devote his time to exploring and writing about the canyon country he had grown to love. He wrote hundreds of magazine articles and numerous books including the beautiful Utah Geographic Series book Utah Canyon Country. His popular Canyon Country book and map series was established in 1977. After 14 of these he started self-publishing under the label Canyon Country Publications, the first of which (#15 in the series) was Canyon Country Arches and Bridges, which spawned a number of arch enthusiasts. He eventually produced 66 titles in the series.
- Dale Stevens (1936-1995) was Professor of Geography at Brigham Young University from 1966 until his untimely death from a motorcycle accident in 1995, while he was also serving as President of NABS. Dale was the author of numerous books and scientific articles, including books on The Arches of Arches National Park and the climate of Utah. He served as President of the Utah Geographic Society from 1988 to 1991 and Chairman of the BYU Geography Department from 1988 to 1994. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society beginning in 1991. Dale played an important role within NABS to help establish ties between serious arch hobbyists and the academic community.
- Stan Jones (1918-2007) explored the Lake Powell region for 40 years, earning him the nickname “Mr. Lake Powell.” For many years he published annual maps of the changing shoreline of Lake Powell, as well as numerous books on the region, including Stan Jones' Ramblings by Boat and Boot in Lake Powell Country. Stan served for four years as a Director of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society and volunteered to lead a special week-long tour of the arches of Lake Powell for NABS members in October of 1992. We have a special Stan Jones Gallery of his natural arch photos on this website.
- Chris Moore (1964-2011) was an arch hunter extraordinaire who has probably cataloged more arches than any other human being. He grew up in Moorehead, KY, moved to the Moab area at age 21, and worked for the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service for most of his life. Chris published a 19-volume series of xeroxed Arch Hunter Books which included, among many other things, catalogs of 456 arches in the Moab area (outside Arches National Park) plus 441 more in the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park, plus 284 arches in southern Idaho and 444 arches in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada. Working with Dale Stevens and Ed McCarrick, he personally documented the majority of the over 2,000 cataloged arches within Arches National Park. He also published 44 issues of the xeroxed Journal of Natural Arch Discoveries between 1992 and 2003, each issue containing about 50 arches reported by NABS members and others. He also published a few professionally-printed guidebooks to arches around the Moab area that sold in local bookstores and by mail. Both the Journal and all of Chris' books are out of print but are available in PDF format to NABS members. Chris eventually turned Arch Hunter Books into a book distribution business for various guidebooks to canyon country and surrounding areas. He never made a lot of money at this but was always very generous in offering deep discounts for NABS members. He was equally generous with his time — he guided many NABS outings and when a NABS member visited he would usually offer to take them to any arch they wanted to see. He had an excellent memory and could always find his way back to the most obscure arch, but he never carried a GPS because, he said, “I have one built-in.”
- Tom Van Bebber served on the NABS Board for ten years including six as President and six as SPAN editor. He worked as a Petroleum and Mineral Landman, negotiating mineral rights and access issues. He also produced desert educational information and videos under the pseudonym Stone Canyon. “In 1992 when I first got onto the Internet, I was surfing around and found some great arch photos. It made me want to go to them, so that's what I started doing. I was thrilled when I found NABS on the Internet, and joined right up.” Frustrated that NABS had never succeeded in creating an electronic arch database, he went ahead and did it himself! The result is the World Arch Database with over 6,000 arches, by far the largest single source of information in existence about natural arches. Tom also arranged for some NABS publicity: Two magazine articles (both titled “The Arch Hunters”) in National Geographic Adventure magazine (March 2008 — see inset photo of Tom from this article) and in Toyota 4WD Magazine (September-October, 2008), as well as two TV shows. In 2004, NABS (Tom, Cindy Bell, and Ray Millar) was featured on a segment of a show called Across America on the HD Network, and in 2002 NABS was also featured in a 5-minute segment on the National Geographic Channel program National Geographic Today.
NABS is based in the United States but is international in scope and we would very much like to expand our international participation. Although we have relatively few members outside the U.S., some of them are very active:
- Guilain Debossens lives in Vetraz-Monthoux, France, and is an avid canyoneer, arch hunter, and lover of nature’s wonders, especially in the Sahara Desert area of Africa and the Colorado Plateau area of the United States. He has cataloged more arches outside the U.S. than any other person — more than 1500 arches! He has cataloged over 550 natural arches in France and led the 10-day NABS France Convention in 1999. He has also cataloged over 850 arches in Algeria, the majority of them in Tassili National Park. He led the 14-day NABS trip to Tassili National Park in 2006 and is also creating the world's first catalog of natural arches in Algeria’s Ahaggar National Park. He served on the NABS Board for four years, being the only member outside the U.S. so far to have served on the Board. Guilain has his own arch website at www.archmillennium.net.
- Ray Millar lives in Staffordshire, England, and has visited arches in more countries than any other person we know of and hence is the biggest contributor to the online NABS International Gallery. He also led the highly successful October 2010 Natural Arch and Bridge Society China Expedition “in search of the world's largest natural bridges and arches.” He first started visiting the U.S. in 1979, picking out places on the map that might be interesting. In 1982 his travels brought him to Arches National Park, where he followed the dictum “If you can't see it from the car park, don't bother.” But it started to get him hooked and by the time he returned to Moab in 1986 he wanted to visit and photograph any arch that he saw a photo of or heard about. On a later visit to Arches National Park he wanted information about a particular arch and the rangers couldn't help him, so he consulted the book The Arches of Arches National Park in the Visitor's Center. Tucked inside the book was a flyer about NABS, so he joined, came to the first convention in 1990, and has attended most of them since. Ray has never liked hiking but his motivation to get to arches has gradually turned him into a seasoned desert hiker, making numerous arduous treks for those hard-to-get-to arches. But he still won't hike anywhere unless there is an arch! Ray has his own arch website called Arches UK at www.archesuk.com which includes some 1,000 photos from 45 countries.
- Gunter Welz lives in a small town at the northern edge of the Black Forest of Germany. Gunter has made major contributions to our knowledge of arches: He was the first to report to NABS a measurement (conforming to NABS standards) of an arch outside the U.S. that has a span of over 200 feet — Aloba Arch in Chad — and he was the first to report to NABS a measurement that confirmed Fairy Bridge in China as the longest known span in the world. Gunter has also been a major contributor to our knowledge of arches in the Ennedi region of Chad. Gunter has his own arch website at www.archhunter.de.
In 2013 we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. Will NABS last another 25 years? Throughout the years it seems like every person who takes on the job of SPAN editor has the same fear: running out of material. However, it hasn't happened, and there is as yet no end in sight. There seem to always be new arches to report and new aspects of the subject to examine. And there are always new NABS members who want to find out about arches and visit them, and so far we haven't run out of people volunteering to help them do that. This is probably because the whole thing is so darned much fun.
The principal authors of the NABS History page, Larry Beck and David Brandt-Erichsen, would like to thank all the individuals who contributed information and data during the research efforts in documenting the history of the Natural Arch and Bridge Society, especially Richard (Dick) Wunder, Nicholus (Nick) Terzakis, Jay Wilbur, and John Burns.
- 1989-1990 Danny Horowitz, President; Jay Wilbur, Secretary/Treasurer; Terry Cain, Robert Moore, and Joseph Rockey, Directors
- 1991-1992 Danny Horowitz, President; Jay Wilbur, Secretary/Treasurer; Robert Moore, Joseph Rockey, and Dale Stevens, Directors
- 1993-1994 Diane Bingham, President; Jay Wilbur, Secretary/Treasurer; David Brandt-Erichsen, Robert Moore, and Dale Stevens, Directors
- 1995-1996 Dale Stevens, President (1995), Jay Wilbur, President (1996); David Brandt-Erichsen, Secretary/Treasurer; Stan Jones, Robert Moore, and Danny Horowitz (1996), Directors
- 1997-1998 Jay Wilbur, President; David Brandt-Erichsen, Secretary/Treasurer; Danny Horowitz, Stan Jones, and Robert Moore, Directors
- 1999-2000 Robert Moore, President; David Brandt-Erichsen, Secretary/Treasurer; Kenneth Barker, Evelyn Johnson, and Charles A. (Alex) Ranney, Directors
- 2001-2002 Robert Moore, President; David Kennedy, Secretary/Treasurer; Virginia Allen, Kenneth Barker, and Tom Van-Bebber, Directors
- 2003-2004 Robert Moore, President; David Kennedy, Secretary/Treasurer; Virginia Allen, David Brandt-Erichsen, and Tom Van-Bebber, Directors
- 2005-2006 Tom Van Bebber, President; David Kennedy, Secretary/Treasurer; David Brandt-Erichsen, Guilain Debossens, and Jay Wilbur, Vice-Presidents
- 2007-2008 Tom Van Bebber, President; David Kennedy, Secretary/Treasurer; David Brandt-Erichsen, Guilain Debossens, and Jay Wilbur, Vice-Presidents
- 2009-2010 Tom Van Bebber, President; David Kennedy, Secretary/Treasurer; Larry Beck, Craig Shelley, and Jay Wilbur, Vice-Presidents
- 2011-2012 Larry Beck, President; Julie Jones, Secretary/Treasurer; Craig Shelley, Henry Wede, and Jay Wilbur, Vice-Presidents
- 2013-2014 Larry Beck, President; Julie Jones, Secretary/Treasurer; Dave Kennedy, Craig Shelley, and Henry Wede, Vice-Presidents
- 2015-2016 Larry Beck, President; Julie Jones, Secretary/Treasurer; Dave Kennedy, Craig Shelley, and Henry Wede, Vice-Presidents
- 1989-1994 SPAN Editor and Publisher: Jay Wilbur
- 1995-2001 SPAN Editor and Publisher: David Brandt-Erichsen
- 2002-2007 SPAN Editor: Tom Van-Bebber; SPAN Publisher: Norm Self; NABS Webmaster: David Brandt-Erichsen
- 2007-2009 SPAN Editor: Donnie Neiswinger; SPAN Publisher: Norm Self; NABS Webmaster: David Brandt-Erichsen
- 2010-2012 SPAN Editor: Jay Wilbur; SPAN Publisher: Norm Self; NABS Webmaster: David Brandt-Erichsen
- 2013-present: SPAN Editor: Dave Kennedy; SPAN Publisher: Norm Self; NABS Webmaster: David Brandt-Erichsen
- 1990 Grand Junction, CO and Moab, UT (May, 5 days): Bob Sherrill, Terry Cain, Bob Keniston
- 1991 Grand Junction, CO and Moab, UT (May, 6 days): Ber Knight, Joe Rockey, Jay Wilbur
- 1992 St. George, UT and Valley of Fire, NV (May, 7 days): Jay Wilbur, Bob Moore
1992 Lake Powell, UT (October, 7 days): Stan Jones, David Brandt-Erichsen
- 1993 Kofa Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
1993 Monument Valley, AZ (May, 7 days): Diane Bingham
1993 Escalante (October, 10 days): David Brandt-Erichsen, Bill Wolverton
- 1994 Kofa Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
1994 Canyonlands NP, UT (April-May, 8 days): Chris Moore
- 1995 Kofa Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
1995 Desolation Canyon, UT (May-June, 6 days): Adrift Adventures of Moab
- 1996 Laughlin, NV & Bullhead City, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
1996 Kentucky and Tennessee (October, 7 days): David Brandt-Erichsen
- 1997 Eagletail Mountains, AZ (Feruary, 3 days): Bob Moore
1997 San Rafael Swell, UT (April-May, 8 days): Chris Moore
- 1998 Imperial Valley, CA (February, 3 days): Norm Self, Quentin Burke
1998 Grand Staircase and Escalante NM, UT (April, 7 days): Chris Moore, David Brandt-Erichsen
- 1999 Lake Havasu, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
1999 Sedona, AZ (May, 4 days): Bob Moore
1999 France (September, 10 days): Guilain Debossens
- 2000 Eagletail Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
2000 Moab, UT (May, 8 days): Virginia Allen
2000 Moab, UT (October, 3 days): Virginia Allen
- 2001 Superstition Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
2001 Aztec area, NM & Cove area, AZ (May, 8 days): Bob Moore
2001 Moab, UT (October, 5 days): Virginia Allen
- 2002 Kofa Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
2002 California coast (May, 8 days): Ted Dahlmann, Nick Terzakis
2002 Moab area, UT (October, 8 days): Chris Moore
- 2003 Idaho (May, 9 days): Dick Wunder, Chris Moore
2003 Ozarks: Missouri & Arkansas (October, 8 days): John Burns
- 2004 Eagletail Mountains, AZ (February, 3 days): Bob Moore
2004 Moab area, UT (May, 8 days): Virginia Allen, David Brandt-Erichsen
- 2005 Monument Valley, AZ (May, 8 days): Paul Neiman
2005 Kentucky and Tennessee (October, 8 days): Victor Fife, Larry Peterson
- 2006 Tassili NP, Algeria (February-March, 14 days): Guilain Debossens
2006 Grand Junction, CO (May, 9 days): Tom Van Bebber, Dave Kennedy, Craig Shelley
- 2007 Escalante-Grand Staircase NM, UT (October, 7 days): Dave Kennedy, Jens Munthe
- 2008 Aztec 100 Arch Rally, New Mexico (May, 8 days): Larry Beck
2008 Ohio (October, 8 days): Henry Wede
- 2009 Needles Area, Canyonlands NP (May, 9 days): Tom Van Bebber, Dave Kennedy
2009 Moab area, UT (October, 8 days): Dave Kennedy
- 2010 San Rafael Swell, UT (May, 8 days): Dave Kennedy
2010 Bryce Canyon NP, UT (October, 3 days): Ted Dahlmann
2010 China (October, 15 days): Ray Millar
- 2011 Capitol Reef NP, UT (May, 8 days): Tom Van Bebber
2011 Las Vegas area, Nevada (October, 8 days): Larry Beck
- 2012 New Mexico, Blanco area (May, 8 days): Larry Beck
2012 New Mexico (October, 5 days): Larry Beck
- 2013 Natural Bridges National Monument and Vicinity, UT (May, 9 days): Larry Beck 2013 Northern California (September, 8 days): Dave Kennedy
- 2014 Grand Junction, CO, & Moab, UT (April-May, 8 days): Dave Kennedy
2014 Moab, UT (October, 8 days): Dave Kennedy
“Happy arch hunting, and may all your rainbows turn to stone!” — Danny Horowitz