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Otto

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Mittwoch, 1. November 2017, 17:15

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Horseshoe Bend Rim Railing Construction Beginning November 6

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Improvements at the rim of the Horseshoe Bend Overlook in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will be starting November 6. Visitors are advised that while contractors are installing rim safety railing, half of the rim viewing area will be closed to visitor access until construction has been completed. Additional improvements include a trail to the rim that meets Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) standards for accessibility and blends with the natural environment, and two shade structures with benches along the new trail. One of the shade structures is being installed by the park and the other shade structure is being installed by the City of Page. A small, ABA accessible viewing area with safety railing will be available at the overlook rim.
According to Superintendent William Shott, “Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s Horseshoe Bend Overlook has become an iconic destination area for tourists from all over the world, and visitation has increased significantly. We’re excited to work alongside our partners, the City of Page, to address the needed improvements.”
The completion dates for this phase of improvements are still to be determined and may be affected by weather. Construction is expected to take at least 90 days. The construction will not affect parking.
Construction of a viewing platform and rim railing will greatly increase visitor safety at the rim for families while also meeting accessibility standards. The rim railing will encompass a viewing area at the terminus of the trail. Though not recommended, visitors may always choose to take in the iconic view without the security of railing simply by walking along the canyon rim. The park thanks the public for their patience while these improvements in visitor services are completed.
Construction is being funded by visitor entrance fees to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the City of Page, Arizona Parks and Trails, Coconino County, and Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas Guest Donation Program in collaboration with the Glen Canyon Natural History Association.

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Freitag, 3. November 2017, 18:04

Vandals Paint Sandstone Cliffs at Snow Canyon State Park

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TUtah State Parks officials are asking for the public's help to crack down on vandalism at a scenic park in the southwest corner of the state.
Snow Canyon State Park Manager Kristen Cornella says vandals recently sprayed paint on the sandstone cliffs in the White Rocks area of the canyon north of St. George.
She says the vandals had to hike several miles with the spray paint cans. She says the paint covering about 10 meters is difficult to remove and often requires the use of power tools that alter the natural rock features.
The white Navajo sandstone with hues ranging from creamy white to burnt orange is what remains from an ancient desert sand sea. The Anasazi Indians first inhabited the area about 1,800 years ago.

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Mittwoch, 15. November 2017, 17:25

Grand Staircase-Escalante monument will be pruned by half, Hatch official says

Trump to announce monument reductions next month, but official fears “pingpong effect” if future presidents restore the current boundaries.

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President Donald Trump will shrink the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by about half, to a size between 700,000 and 1.2 million acres, following the recommendation of his Interior secretary, according to a staffer for Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Ron Dean, Hatch’s central and eastern Utah director, revealed the potential magnitude of monument reductions Tuesday while fielding questions from the Utah Legislature’s Commission for the Stewardship of Public Lands.
He also confirmed Bears Ears National Monument will be redrawn in the range of 100,000 to 300,000 acres when the president visits Utah early next month. It’s currently 1.35 million acres.
But Dean cautioned, absent changes to the Antiquities Act that rein in alleged abuses, any monument reduction could be fleeting since afuture president could reverse whatever action Trump takes.
“We are going to get a pingpong effect should the president lose and the wrong kind of occupant of the White House, who has a different view of what public lands in the West are all about, they could restore Grand Staircase and Bears Ears,” Dean said. “There is a substantial fear that, especially in Bears Ears’ case, it would be even be larger than originally called for by President Obama.
Trump’s action to reduce Utah’s two monuments will be based on recommendations by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whom the president instructed to review 27 large monuments designated mostly by Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act.
In a leaked memo, Zinke did not recommend revoking any monuments, but he did urge the president to reduce Grand Staircase, Bears Ears and two other Western national monuments. His specific recommendations, however, remain under wraps despite widespread calls for their release to the public.
“The fact that we’re learning as much about the president’s review fromSen. Hatch as we are from the White House shows that the realdecisions about these monuments are being made in secret,” said Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Sen. Jani Iwamoto, D-Salt Lake City, said she makes a point of speaking with local residents and businesses whenever she visits Garfield and Kane counties. People often tell her they would prefer Grand Staircase remain in tact because the monument protects so many natural wonders that draw visitors.
“It has helped them greatly economically and their way of life,” Iwamoto said.
But Kane and Garfield county commissions see the monument as a drag on their economy and heritage and have implored the federal government to break it into a few small monuments, focused on places that truly warrant preservation instead of vast landscape sprawling from Skutumpah Terrace to Glen Canyon.
Dean said he has not seen Zinke’s proposed monument changes, but was confident the acreage ranges he provided are accurate.
“If [Trump’s] announcement is outside those parameters, my rumors are bad rumors,” said Dean, arguing that presidents have authority to adjust monument boundaries proclaimed by predecessors.
“There have been multiple instances of monuments being enlarged or shrunk, sometimes in substantial ways,” he said.
Dean’s report to state lawmakers is based on what Trump has told Hatch, one of the Senate’s most powerful members, whose support would help the president advance his legislative agenda regarding tax reform and financing a wall along the Mexican border.
Earlier this week, Zinke told The Salt Lake Tribune he counseled the president to severely reduce Bears Ears, but keep it bigger than Bryce Canyon and Arches national parks combined. That means at least 180,000 acres.
Zinke’s recommendations are expected to align with what state and local leaders requested for the two Utah monuments. For a reduced Bears Ears, Utah officials drew a 120,000-acre oval stretching from Bears Ears Buttes to the Butler Wash ruin and submitted the map to the Interior Department.
Proposals for a redrawn Grand Staircase were left to Kane County leaders. They presented their map while meeting with Zinke on May 10, during the secretary’s multi-day swing through Utah, according to County Attorney Robert Van Dyke. Yet the county has rejected The Tribune’s public records request for that and many other maps it prepared in its push to reduce the 1.9-million-acre monument Clinton proclaimed as he was running for re-election in 1996.
That map indicated two areas local officials believe would be appropriately protected as national monuments, according to Van Dyke’s presentation at the State Records Committee Nov. 9, where he tried to fend off The Tribune’s appeal. One would be the Escalante Canyons in Garfield County, and the other would be a slice of Kane County between Paria and Cottonwood washes.
Dubbed “Heart of the Monument” because the outline is shaped like a heart, this area is just south of Kodachrome Basin State Park and includes Hackberry Canyon, but leaves out numerous world-class hiking destinations as well as much of Kaiparowits Plateau, which holds abundant coal deposits.
The Record Committee found that the county had properly classified the maps as protected drafts, but ordered the one shown to Zinke and several other maps be released, concluding that disclosure served the public interest. The county has until Dec. 9 days to contemplate an appeal to district court.

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Freitag, 17. November 2017, 17:31

Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods to become first in national park system to require year-round vehicle reservations

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In an attempt to reduce traffic jams and overcrowding, Muir Woods National Monument will become the first national park unit in the United States to require reservations year-round for all vehicles to enter the park.
Managers of the Marin County preserve, famous for its towering redwood trees, announced Thursday that starting Jan. 16 everybody who plans to bring a car to Muir Woods will need to book a reservation online or by phone. Vehicles without reservations will be turned away at the gate.
The parking lot at Muir Woods has 232 spaces. Reservations will cost $8 per vehicle in addition to the $10 park entrance fee and will be taken starting Jan. 1 at gomuirwoods.com. After that, reservations can be booked 90 days in advance.
“Visitation has continued to increase,” said Darren Brown, a transportation planner with the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which manages Muir Woods. “The problem is too many cars. It’s extremely crowded, and we can’t handle as many cars that end up going there.”
Last year, 1.1 million people visited Muir Woods, up 30 percent from the decade before. The new reservation system is expected to reduce that number to about 924,000, the National Park Service estimates.
The 554-acre forest, named for naturalist and Sierra Club founder John Muir, was preserved more than a century ago by Marin County Congressman William Kent, who purchased some of the land and donated it to the federal government. President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument in 1908, and Kent went on to become a lead author of the bill that established the National Park Service in 1916.
The property has become wildly popular over the generations, however, receiving up to 6,000 visitors on some summer weekend days. Motorists have parked cars along the winding roads in the area, causing problems and harming the adjacent Redwood Creek, home to endangered coho salmon.
“Some weekends, we’ll have 250 or 300 cars parked down the road more than a mile from the monument,” Brown said. “People were walking in the road. It wasn’t safe.”
The park service will continue to let hikers and bicyclists into Muir Woods without a reservation. Disabled spots will require a reservation like the other parking spaces. The agency plans to post signs starting in January along Highway 101 and other local roads telling people they won’t be allowed into the park without a reservation.
And people who show up at the last minute hoping to make a reservation from the gate will be out of luck. There’s no cellphone service there.
The park service also will expand shuttle bus service, which now runs on summer weekends, to run every weekend beginning Jan. 16. Shuttle reservations are $3.
Environmentalists on Thursday were generally supportive of the overall plan.
“I can certainly count myself among those more than 1 million people who have experienced frustrations when attempting to visit and park my car,” said Kati Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the National Parks Conservation Association in San Francisco. “We support the reservation and shuttle solution.”
Attempts to put similar reservation systems for vehicles in place at other national parks have been met with opposition from local communities, who have worried that it would harm tourism.
Former Yosemite Superintendent B.J. Griffin drew waves of controversy in the mid-1990s when she began exploring the idea as a way to cut down on crowds in that park. She later dropped the idea.
This year, however, with annual visitation now up to 5 million people, Yosemite officials instituted a pilot program for four weekends in August at one parking lot near Yosemite Falls. In February, Haleakala National Park in Hawaii began requiring reservations for anyone wanting to drive a car to the summit of the mountain from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. to watch the fabled Maui sunrise.

Meanwhile, Zion and Arches national parks in Utah are also studying the idea.
The Muir Woods plan was discussed for several years. At first, the park service proposed building a new remote parking lot along the slopes of Mount Tamalpais, on the Panoramic Highway near Mill Valley. But neighbors vociferously fought that idea — and it was dropped. The park service also proposed building a shuttle bus station near Muir Woods at Muir Beach, but neighbors sued to stop that idea.
The reservation system grew out of a task force of neighbors, business groups, environmentalists and local leaders convened by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael.
“There was some controversy when we began discussing it,” Brown said. “Certainly the communities on the approaches to Muir Woods are affected by it. Now everybody is pretty much in agreement.”

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Donnerstag, 23. November 2017, 17:11

Chimney Rock State Park, NC

Chimney Rock State Park completely reopens Nov. 22

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After missing out on most of the fall foliage show from some of the best vantage points in the Hickory Nut Gorge, visitors to Chimney Rock State Park will get to view the panoramas Thanksgiving weekend.
The upper portion of Chimney Rock, which includes access to the park’s iconic Chimney, Outcroppings trail, Exclamation Point trail, and the Skyline Trail opened the morning of Nov. 22 to the public
The entire park was closed after a heavy rain Oct. 23 brought down the retaining wall in the upper parking lot. The park in Rutherford County 25 miles southeast of Asheville is more than 100 years old.
The lower portion of the park, including access to the Great Woodland Adventure trail, the Four Seasons trail and a portion of the Hickory Nut Falls trail was accessible to guests a couple of weeks ago.
State Park, Department of Transportation and contractors have been working on the park’s upper parking lot to remove debris and stabilize the area.
The elevator is still out of service, so access to the top of Chimney Rock requires hiking the Outcroppings trail. Pets are welcome as long as they are leashed.
Things continue to be on the move in the park.
Crevice Pass, which serves as an alternative route to the Outcroppings Trail opened in May. In September, an expanded deck near Gneiss Cave, which provides additional space for programs and picnickers, and the new Skyline trail that leads hikers to a view of the upper cascades of Hickory Nut Falls and Hickory Nut Gorge were opened.

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Freitag, 1. Dezember 2017, 16:49

When Trump guts two Utah national monuments next week, he'll trigger a new conservation war

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I wrote my first letter pleading for preservation of Utah's Kaiparowits Plateau as a college student 45 years ago. When President Clinton proclaimed Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996, he ended a 30-year debate about whether we should strip-mine coal on the Kaiparowits, a vast and remote wildland offering rich resources for scientific research. I thought the plateau, one of three key landscapes protected by the monument, was safe.
Turns out the monument's canyons, plateaus and riversheds still need defending.
President Trump plans to head for Utah on Monday to wreak destruction on public lands he knows nothing about. He’s doing so at the behest of Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, whose office says the president will follow Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to reduce Bears Ears National Monument by 85% and Grand Staircase-Escalante by half.
The attack on Bears Ears has been getting the most media coverage because it’s new — proclaimed by President Obama in 2016 in response to a visionary proposal from five Southwestern tribes, our first national monument dedicated to Native culture. Trump cares nothing for this bow of respect to the first Americans. He’s eager to join Hatch’s assault on Bears Ears so he can nullify one more Obama accomplishment.
Grand Staircase was as revolutionary in its way as Bears Ears. Rather than transferring jurisdiction of 1.9 million acres of public land to the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management retained authority even after the monument proclamation. This allowed for sport hunting, prohibited in national parks, and challenged the BLM to move beyond its reputation as the "Bureau of Livestock and Mining," toward an emphasis on managing legacy lands for recreation and habitat conservation.
Grand Staircase-Escalante came first. Twenty-six BLM national monuments in ten Western states followed, the foundation for the bureau's National Landscape Conservation System, codified by Congress in 2009 to "conserve, protect and restore these nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values."
Since designation, Grand Staircase has become a paleontology hot spot, the only place in North America where we can study in detail the causes of dinosaur extinction. New dinosaur species turn up there regularly — and paleontologists have surveyed only 6% of the monument. Thousands of fossils come from the Kaiparowits, the very place the Utah delegation imagines transforming from national monument to coal mine.
Our "science monument" also turns out to be good for local business. Hunting, fishing and existing mining claims continue; 95% of the monument is grazed by livestock just as it was before monument designation. Gateway communities such as Kanab, Escalante and Boulder have seen increases in population, jobs, personal income and per capita income that mirror other Western counties with protected lands.
Trump has no justification to gut this preserve other than to placate an angry and powerful Utah senator and the Utah congressional delegation — all of whom oppose public ownership of Western lands. Indeed, the White House informally referred to the executive order that empowered Zinke to shrink the monuments as the "Hatch E.O."
The senator and his cohorts defer to Utah's rural county commissioners, whose resentment of federal management of nearby public lands blinds them to any monument benefits. Their outsize power is shocking. Kane and Garfield, the two counties that make up Grand Staircase, number just 7,334 and 5,009 residents, respectively.
Geographic proximity leads many of the locals to believe they own these public lands. They do not. Their rallying cry to "take back" the monument rings hollow; public lands within Grand Staircase have never been state or locally owned.
Utah's politicians do have one legitimate gripe: Clinton didn't consult them before proclaiming Grand Staircase a national monument.
Federal officials learned their lesson. The designation process for virtually every new monument since - including Bears Ears - has incorporated multiple public hearings and broad local input.
In 1998, Congress effectively recognized the legality of Grand Staircase-Escalante with legislation that clarified Clinton's proclamation. The state gave up its land within the monument and acquired BLM land (often developable or valuable for fossil fuels) elsewhere in Utah along with $50 million in cash. Congress approved minor boundary adjustments and a $14-million federal buyout of the Andalex Corp.'s coal leases on the Kaiparowits.
Hatch, Zinke and the rest ignore this history. They ignore science. They ignore the impossibility of mining coal profitably on the remote Kaiparowits. They ignore the 2.8 million citizens who told Zinke last summer to leave our monuments intact. They ignore the monument's 900,000 annual visitors, stunned by sculptured slickrock and bedazzled by the Milky Way alight in the darkest of night skies. The senator and the secretary cater only to a stubborn handful of rural Utahns.
The administration's attack on national monuments has fired up a national coalition of public lands and Native American rights defenders. If Trump carries through with this political favor to Hatch, he will disrupt management on the ground and trigger a years-long taxpayer funded court battle the anti-monument folks will likely lose. Legal scholars favor Clinton, Obama and nearly every other president since Teddy Roosevelt who have wielded their executive authority under the 1906 Antiquities Act to proclaim national monuments, not to eviscerate them.
Those who dream of more mining, more roads fragmenting wild country and more local control on Utah's public lands will instead endanger both the resources of our national treasures and the economic stability of southern Utah's families and communities.

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Montag, 4. Dezember 2017, 22:23

Grand Staircase Escalante wird verkleinert

:cursing: warum macht man sowas ?(
Da kann man gespannt sein welche Naturschönheiten da komplett auseinander gerupft werden. ;-(
Ich könnte (:klopp1:)
https://www.google.de/amp/www.sueddeutsc…h-1.3778499!amp

Ich habe es mal hierhin verschoben, hatte Otto ja schon berichtet. LG Kerstin

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Montag, 4. Dezember 2017, 23:04

Liebe Grüße

Klaus



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Freitag, 8. Dezember 2017, 16:43

Am 6.12. wurde der Everglades NP 70 Jahre alt

Today marks 70th anniversary of Everglades National Park

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Today marks the seventieth anniversary of Everglades National Park in South Florida, the third largest national park in the lower United States.
According to the National Park Service, On Dec. 6, 1947, President Harry S. Truman traveled to Everglades City to dedicate Everglades National Park as the first national park set aside for its biologic uniqueness.

The event represented the culmination of over a 20-year effort to create the park and was attended by 4,000 people. Those present included well known names in Florida including John D. Pennekamp, Sen. Claude Pepper, Sen. Spessard Holland, Gov. Millard Caldwell and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
Before 1947, when Stoneman Douglas named The Everglades a "river of grass" in her book The Everglades: River of Grass most people considered the area worthless. She brought the world's attention to the need to preserve the Everglades.
Everglades National Park encompasses a million and a half acres between Miami, Key Largo and Naples.

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Mal sehen, wann der Trumpel diesen NP verkleinert. (:kotz:)
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