In its rush Thursday to take the rest of the summer off, Congress left behind a pile of unfinished work, some of which reaches into the National Park System. There's the Interior appropriations bill, which would roll back some environmental protections, and a controversial Public Lands Initiative for Utah that quickly drew fire. And then there's the draft platform for the Republican Convention, which holds freight aimed at fleecing federal lands and tying presidents' hands.
Natural Bridges National Monument
Due to high summer heat, ongoing drought conditions, and sparse rainfall, fire danger is increasing across many parts of the National Park System in the western United States.
Spend any time deep in the heart of Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah and you'll know the park has some of the darkest night skies you've seen. Now the International Dark-Sky Association has made that fact official by recognizing the park for its dark night skies.
National Park Service officials are proposing to more than double the entrance fee for Natural Bridges National Monument, a small, off-the-beaten-path unit of the National Park System in southern Utah.
John Annerino's large format book showcases, in images and words, the magnificent Southwestern desert of the American West.
Often overlooked by visitors seeking memorable experiences at Utah's iconic "Mighty Five" national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capital Reef, and Zion), the lesser-known Natural Bridges National Monument showcases three stunning natural bridges: Sipapu, Kachina, and Owachomo.
There are few better places to stare into the dark starry skies than Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. OK, Natural Bridges National Monument on the eastern side of the state isn't too shabby for star-gazing, either. But it doesn't have an astronomy festival, and Bryce Canyon's 14th Annual Astronomy Festival arrives next week.
If you like to frequent the national parks in southeastern Utah, and not many others, you might consider spending $25 for an annual pass to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments.
Wondering which national parks have been able to reopen with state funding? Here's a list, and the dates the parks are to remain open...barring some resolution in Washington or more funding from the states.