Canyonlands Celebrates 50th Birthday

Grand Canyon(Moab-Monticello Utah) Canyonlands national Park is celebrating its 50th Birthday this week with event that actually spread over several weeks. The birthday event also highlights the continuing controversy over the future of Canyonlands…should it be expanded as environmentalists from the around the country contend or should it remain the same. This weekend, the Salt lake Tribune included a special section on Canyonlands, including a lengthy story highlighting the expansion controversy.  This weekend, in Moab, a number of environmental organizations are sponsoring‘ Canyonlands is our bedrock’ where former Superintendent Walt Dabney will join author Terry Tempest Williams, Moab activist Emily Stock and Grand Canyon Trust executive director Bill Hedden on Friday in Moab’s Star Hall for a film screening and panel discussion timed with the park’s 50th anniversary.The trust is part of a coalition urging the Obama administration to create the broader Canyonlands monument. While such a move would be hotly opposed by political leaders in Grand and San Juan counties, a larger monument would complete Stewart Udall’s conservation vision dating to when the then-interior secretary first proposed a park, according to Williams and Dabney. The coalition fears continued oil and gas development on BLM lands just outside the park, will further degrade the pristine nature of the park.

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