Interior Issues Report on Drilling Near National Parks in Utah

A review of how the U.S. Bureau of Land Management handled energy leases near national parks in Utah shows some areas where the system broke down and carries recommendations for, at a minimum, review of previous leasing decisions. Some tracts, the report said, should be removed from leasing.
AttachmentSize
BLM_Utah77LeaseParcelReport.pdf349.5 KB

Clash of Viewpoints on Public Land Ownership and Protection Arrives in Congress in the Form of Red Rock Wilderness Legislation

Contrasting views on how public lands should be managed and enjoyed collided in a congressional committee hearing Thursday as distinct lines were drawn over whether more than 9 million acres of red-rock landscape in Utah's outback should be protected as official wilderness or left open for off-road vehicles, mountain bikes, and energy development.

U.S. House National Parks Subcommittee To Consider Red Rock Wilderness Act Legislation

Legislation scheduled to be taken up Thursday by a U.S. House subcommittee wouldn't create any national parks if passed, but it would go a long way toward providing some serious buffer zones around four national park units in Utah through the creation of officially designated wilderness.

Trial Over What Constitutes a "Road" In Canyonlands National Park: Vestiges of Sagebrush Rebels

There long have been pockets of disgust over federal land ownership in the West, and perhaps nowhere are those sentiments stronger than in Utah, where roughly two-thirds of the landscape is federally managed. While the "Sagebrush Rebellion" mightily reared its head some three decades ago, its waning vestiges are on trial this week over whether a creek bed constitutes a road in Canyonlands National Park.
AttachmentSize
Salt_Creek-Amicus_Brief.pdf81.59 KB
Salt_Creek-NPS_Motions.pdf294.07 KB

On Canyoneering, Politics, and Teens Studying Climate Change in the National Parks

Slipping from the top of the arch into the abyss below was a difficult move that rattled my psyche. Even though the sandstone band I was perched on was not much more than 4 feet wide, it was stable. Putting my faith into the rope cinched to my climbing harness and dropping into the 100-foot void went completely against my desire for self-preservation.

Court Ruling Blocks Some ORV Access to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Other Federal Lands

A split ruling this week by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concerning off-road vehicle access to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and other public lands in southern Utah could also affect ORV issues on national park lands throughout the region.
AttachmentSize
10th_Circuit-R.S._2477.pdf183.82 KB

Officials Working to Ensure Recovery Of Endangered Fishes In Upper Colorado River Basin

A longstanding problem for fisheries in the Upper Colorado River Basin is the competing demands for water. It's needed for irrigation, it's needed to generate power, and it's needed, not surprisingly, to sustain fisheries. With drought a frequent visitor to the states of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah, how that huge watershed is cooperatively managed is critical for all these demands.

Climate Change and National Parks: A Survival Guide for a Warming World -- Bighorn Sheep in the Southwest

Canyonlands National Park is one of the most rugged national parks, with a harsh summer sun that bakes the dry, canyon-riddled landscape. But those deep canyons’ steep rocky slopes, which offer ample grasses and shrubs, and an openness that puts predators at a disadvantage, are an optimal environment for bighorn sheep. In fact, Canyonlands’ bighorn population has been so stable that Utah’s wildlife biologists long relied on it for stock to re-establish herds elsewhere in the state.

Traveler's Checklist: Canyonlands National Park

For starters, you'll need a good rig with good gas mileage, for a trip to Canyonlands National Park entails a lot of traveling.

Upon Further Review: Assumption Junction

Sign in Canyonlands National Park.
Lots of folks get into trouble in the Great Outdoors by making assumptions, a term closely related to "speculate," "bogus," and "imagine." As the following story illustrates, when you’re faced with a choice that could determine whether your day turns out to be fun or frantic, none of those is a great basis for a decision.

NPCA Report: National Parks Provide Economic Security for Surrounding Communities

National parks can, and do, provide an economic lifeline to their surrounding communities. In its latest report, the National Parks Conservation Association points out just how valuable southeastern Utah's parks are to their nearby communities.

Don't Take National Park Landscapes for Granted

How comfortable have we become with national park settings? With the big sweep of granite that frames the Yosemite Valley, with Old Faithful's not-quite-so-faithful demonstrations of steam and hot water, with the fall's colorful deciduous forests of Great Smoky and Shenandoah?

Remains of Professor Who Went Missing in Canyonlands National Park Found in Needles District

It was just about a year ago that a college professor headed into the remote backcountry of Canyonlands National Park to find his final resting place. His remains recently were discovered by another hiker.

National Park Quiz 45: Green

St. Patrick’s Day is less than a week away, so this week’s quiz will see if you’re ready to start thinking green. Answers are at the end. If we catch you peeking, we’ll make you write on the whiteboard 100 times: “The shamrock of Irish legend is a three-leaf clover symbolizing the Holy Trinity.”

Can You Still Get Off the Beaten Path in National Parks?

How much have the national parks changed since you were a kid? Have they changed? When you return to a park that you haven't been to in decades, is it like returning to an old friend, or visiting someplace totally alien?

Secretary Salazar Scuttles Oil and Gas Leases Near National Parks in Utah

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in a move that repudiates the Bush administration's energy policies, on Wednesday scuttled a series of controversial oil and gas leases near national parks in Utah.
Cheslar Park, Canyonlands National Park. Kurt Repanshek photo.Rock. In every direction you glance in Canyonlands National Park your eye confronts rock. And whether it's twisted, contorted, or shattered rock, it's also more likely than not incredibly colorful.

BLM, NPS Modify Oil and Gas Lease Auction near National Parks in Utah

Some tweaks to a proposed oil and gas lease auction in Utah could spare some potential impacts to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument, but conservationists say the National Park Service still dropped the ball.

Backpacker's Most Dangerous Hikes: The National Parks are Well-Represented

Today's younger generations want thrills? Well, the National Park System has plenty of them, from incredible white-water opportunities and climbs to some of what Backpacker magazine calls the most dangerous hikes in America.

President-Elect Obama's Team Hints At Reversing BLM Leasing Decisions in Utah

A decision by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to open thousands of acres of public lands abutting national park properties in Utah could be halted by President-elect Barack Obama once he takes office, according to his transition team.

Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

How much is too much? When the oil and gas industry in Utah has nearly 3,500 drilling permits in hand, but which have not been acted upon, why is the Bush administration selling them more, particularly in sensitive areas around national parks and monuments?
AttachmentSize
GAO-Drilling Report.pdf733.79 KB

New BLM Management Plans Could Have Major Impacts on Utah National Parks

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park.
If you want to enjoy some of those iconic views from places like Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, you might want to plan your trip sooner rather than later. While most Americans and their elected officials have been mesmerized by the economic crisis and the upcoming election, enormous changes in the management of public lands in Utah are afoot. The effects on a number of national parks could be substantial.

Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks

Three years after the International Mountain Bicycling Association said it simply wanted mountain bike access to dirt roads in national parks, Interior Department officials are said to be working to make it easier for the bikers to gain access to backcountry trails.

Canyonlands National Park, Still A Work in Progress After All These Years

It is one of the most rugged and physically demanding parks of the continental United States. And it also is one of the most beautiful works of landscape architecture, one that continues to evolve. And yet, Canyonlands National Park is still not a completed work.

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest

Sweeping panoramas, fluted slot canyons and fossilized sand dunes are among the subjects that Jon Ortner brings into focus with Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest, an expansive coffee table book.

Sierra Club Regrets Use of Mesa Arch Photo

A spokesman for the Sierra Club says the organization never intended to use a photo of a hiker atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park to lure new subscribers.

Sierra Club Caught Standing Atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park

What were they thinking at the Sierra Club when they dreamed up their latest solicitation for new members? Did the organization, which touts itself as America's "most influential grassroots environmental organization" and "Good Stewards of the Environment," really intend to use a photo of a hiker atop Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park?

Battling Invasive Species in Arches National Park

Our national parks are places of incredible beauty and rich history. But they also are under siege. Across the National Park System, the landscape is being invaded by non-native species that are not just out of place, when you consider what should be growing, but in some cases are actually driving out the natives.