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Zion National Park Completes Management Plan For Virgin River And Its Tributaries In Park

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A management plan for the Virgin River and its tributaries in Zion National Park has been completed. Kurt Repanshek photo.

Zion National Park has completed a plan to guide management actions and visitor use on the Virgin River and its tributaries.

The plan was necessary as sections of the river in 2009 were added to the National Wild and Scenic River System. The Wild and Scenic River designation includes segments of the Virgin River, La Verkin Creek, Taylor Creek, and North Creek (including some tributaries) in Zion National Park and adjacent Bureau of Land Management wilderness.

The completed plan will provide a framework to guide future resource management and visitor use.

The plan provides protection for 144 miles of designated wild and scenic rivers within Zion National Park. The management and monitoring strategies found in the plan are designed to protect and enhance the rivers’ free-flowing condition, water quality, and other values that qualify these river segments for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic River System.

The management plan identifies:

* The kinds and amounts of visitor use that each river segment can accommodate while ensuring protection of river values;

* The types and levels of development allowed in each river corridor;

* Indicators that will be monitored to track changes caused by human activity;

* Adaptive management strategies to implement as changes occur;

* Actions to preserve the rivers free flowing condition; and

* Actions to protect and enhance water quality, ecological processes, scenic values, recreational opportunities, and fish and wildlife.

To read the details of the management plan, go to this page.


Roger Siglin1 seems to have summed this up pretty nicely:

"It seems this discussion has raised the issue of the value of preserving native species. Since it is a question of values it is not very susceptible to reason."

And ec has provided a good answer to his questions when he said, "Rainbows, Browns & Cutthroats have been successfully introduced in hundreds of rivers and streams."  Since that's the case, there are ample opportunities elsewhere for those who like to fish for them. There's no compelling reason (except in the mind of die-hard trout fishermen :-) that every stream in every park has to offer that opportunity, especially if it comes at the expense of another species.

And... that last sentence reflects another value judgment - that national parks should not be expected to be the same as everyplace else.


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