Updated: NPS Director Jarvis Ends "Core Ops" Budgeting Across The National Park System

In a brief, four-paragraph memorandum, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis has brought to an end a controversial budgeting process that stripped arguably key positions from parks. Dubbed "core ops" for its approach to analyzing a park's core operations, the process failed to produce wise budgeting decisions, the director said in a letter to his regional directors.
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Wilderness Designations And National Parks Don't Cross Paths Often Enough

Yellowstone. Canyonlands. Voyageurs. Grand Canyon. Great Smoky Mountains. Glacier. Surprising as it is, none of those parks has so much as a single acre of officially designated wilderness.

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.