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101

Freitag, 18. Oktober 2019, 20:03

Lower Emerald Pool Trail Closing for Trail Repairs

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Zion National Park will be closing Lower Emerald Pool Trail Monday through Thursday and reopen Friday through Sunday for the next few weeks starting Monday, October 21, 2019. A full closure for major trail repairs will commence on Lower Emerald Pool Trail in November lasting until spring 2020 and will remain closed during the upcoming holiday season.
Middle Emerald Pool Trail is situated above Lower Emerald Pool Trail and will connect hikers to the Sand Bench Trail and Upper Emerald Pool Trail when reopened. This moderate trail has been closed since January 2011. The work on Middle and Lower Emerald Pools Trails are not connected to recent rockslides in the park.
Upper Emerald Pool Trail will remain accessible from the Kayenta Trail which begins from Shuttle Stop 6, The Grotto.
We appreciate the public’s patience and cooperation as we continue to work on reopening trails damaged by landslides and precipitation events.

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102

Sonntag, 27. Oktober 2019, 22:36

Zion National Park officials making progress in assessing stability of area damaged by rockfall

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Zion National Park officials are making progress in assessing the stability of an area damaged by a large rockfall earlier this summer.
“A large rockfall occurred on the East Rim Trail on Aug. 24,” said a Facebook post from the park Sunday. “These photos are of the Weeping Rock Trail, which was also damaged by the debris flow. The source of the rockfall was a location on Cable Mountain, high above the trail.
“As the large chunks of Navajo sandstone tumbled down and broke apart, they created a wind gust that knocked down trees and branches. The rocks and sand ended up covering a large part of the Weeping Rock Trail.”
Now, two months later, with the help of state geologists, the park is making progress assessing the stability of this area, the post said.
“This is necessary before work to clear and repair the trail can begin,” the post said. “We still don’t know what we may find under the debris. Perhaps the trail will be unscathed or perhaps it will require significant repairs.”
The post added: “The size and scope of this event means that we shouldn’t expect these trails to open in the near future. We may not know how long to expect this area to be closed, but you can always check the current conditions on our website.”
Currently, the Weeping Rock shuttle stop and all trails that start there are closed, including Observation Point, Hidden Canyon, and Weeping Rock Trails.
Park officials said they will update the website as well as social media as more information is received.

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103

Dienstag, 5. November 2019, 21:14

How to celebrate Zion National Park’s 100th birthday

Nov. 19 marks a “century of sanctuary” for this beloved park known for its natural wonders

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On Nov. 19, people will have been flocking from far and wide to see the high plateaus, soaring sandstone cliffs, desert wilderness and slot canyons in Zion National Park for 100 years.

And now, it is time to celebrate.
In the 1860s, Latter-day Saint settlers began to populate the area, calling it “Zion,” a biblical term meaning “a place of peace and refuge or sanctuary.”
“To them, Zion meant a place of safety, a place of sanctuary, and Zion is truly a sanctuary,” Mike Large, a park ranger at Zion, said in an interview with the Deseret News. “It’s a sanctuary for geology, for wildlife, for human history; it’s a sanctuary for people seeking to get away from the outside world and find a nice, quiet place.”
The park became Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909 after the Paiute word for “straight canyon,” and in 1919, the area officially became Zion National Park.
Since then, Zion has become the fourth-most visited national park in America with over 4 million American and foreign visitors a year. With these growing numbers, Zion and its partners strive to preserve its natural wonders for future generations to enjoy.
“With our historic visitation this last year, we’ve seen an increase in trash and human waste and graffiti,” Large said, “so it is becoming increasingly more on the public to help us kind of keep an eye on those things and protect the resource.”
Zion Forever, the park’s official nonprofit partner, is continuing its “We the Keepers” centennial campaign and celebration as part of this ongoing preservation effort with the public.
In August, music icon Sting collaborated with the Utah Symphony in a benefit concert, which was “an extraordinary way to celebrate Zion National Park’s centennial anniversary and bring attention to preserving the park for generations to come,” according to a press release from Lyman Hafen, executive director for Zion Forever Project.
Hafen also emphasized the importance of volunteers, who he called the “lifeblood,” who maintain the projects and programs that have kept the park alive for the last 100 years and will hopefully do the same for the next 100.
In the same vein of awareness and conservation, Zion Forever, in collaboration with officials at Zion National Park and Draper producer Local Studio, is releasing a new film to be shown at the park. The film will replace its current decades-old visitors center film.
The new 23-minute film, which will premiere at a centennial event on Nov. 19 at Dixie State University, will “better meet the needs of today’s visitors by emphasizing conservation and telling the story of Zion through the eyes of its people,” according to St. George News.
Later, an extended, 50-minute version of the film will be available for purchase at the park bookstore, which will include even more dazzling footage and compelling stories from Zion.
Rather than orienting visitors to the park as the current film does, the newest production will reflect a more interactive, dynamic vision of Zion and its future. It includes the stories of 10 people who give a voice to the often-overlooked human history that contributes to the enduring legacy of the park.
The geological aspect of the film even transforms water into an equally important character in telling the park’s story.
“We hope this film will be inspiring and help connect people on a deeper level to the resources protected by the park,” Amy Baltrus, park spokeswoman, said to St. George News.
This inspiration and connection, park officials hope, will encourage a sense of stewardship in visitors to the park, which is so vital in the effort to preserve it, according to St. George News. Film information and tickets can be found online at Dixie State University’s ticket office.
Among the exciting events at Zion National Park this year was the birth of the 1,000th condor chick in the park since the California Condor Reintroduction Program was implemented in 1992.
Local artists are also expressing their love for the park through the Zion Forever Project Centennial Celebration of Art. Eleven selected plein air artists will be doing public painting demonstrations in the park during the week of Nov. 5.
Additionally, the artists have submitted artwork for an online and physical exhibit and sale, which features the natural wonders of Zion through art. Dates and information about this event can be found at zionpark.org.
The museum curation staff at Zion also put on an exhibit called “Keepers of Sanctuary,” which started in May and will run through Dec. 1. The exhibit “pays tribute to the park’s history and changes over the last century,” according to the exhibit website.
The website also includes a slideshow and photo gallery of historic photographs of old park programs, the clothes rangers and visitors wore, 1930s and 1940s era cars in the park and more.
Finally, Zion’s birthday celebrations will continue with “America’s Wonders in 3D With the Utah Symphony” which will take place at Abravanel Hall on Nov. 19. The show will present various wonders of the American landscape, including Zion National Park, in “cutting-edge LED 3D” with accompanying pieces like Ferde Grofé’s “Grand Canyon Suite” and “Shenandoah.” Tickets and event information can be found at utahsymphony.org.

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104

Sonntag, 17. November 2019, 19:33

Angels Landing Closed due to Rockfall

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he park received reports of a rockfall late Saturday afternoon, November 16, on the chains section of the Angels Landing Trail. No one was injured or trapped. As a precaution, park officials closed the entirety of the trail, from Scout Lookout to Angels Landing.
The trail will be assessed by Zion National Park’s trail crew on Sunday morning to determine what impacts the rockfall had on the trail and what steps need to be taken to reopen Angels Landing. The park urges visitors to comply with the closure to ensure their safety and to allow park officials to focus on the assessment and repairs.

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105

Freitag, 6. Dezember 2019, 22:03

Proposed RV Park Outside Zion National Park Rejected

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Officials in southern Utah have rejected a proposal to build an RV park, hotel and gas station near the northwest entrance to Zion National Park. The Spectrum newspaper in St. George reports that Washington County commissioners unanimously voted down the proposal Tuesday despite a earlier approval from a planning commission. A company called Juniper Investors was asking the commission to rezone land near the town of New Harmony off Interstate 15. Zion's chief ranger says the park opposed the project because it worried the development would affect views from the canyon and overwhelm the limited staff that work the entrance. Juniper Investors declined to comment after the vote.

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106

Freitag, 20. Dezember 2019, 18:24

Collaboration Brings Lasting Protection To Zion Narrows Trail

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A collaboration between state, federal, and local officials, along with private landowners and the National Park Foundation, has gained permanent protection for the entire 16-mile-long Zion Narrows Trail that winds through a deep slot canyon in Zion National Park.
The news was announced by the Trust for Public Land, which long has worked to protect lands in and around the red-rock jewel of the National Park System. Joining with the Trust to achieve protection of the entire trail were the State of Utah, Washington (Utah) County, U.S. Forest Service, private landowners, the National Park Foundation, and the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.
Known for its slot canyons and towering walls that are 1,000 feet tall in places, hiking this iconic trail is considered the quintessential Zion experience, and is one of the most famous hikes in the world.
The groups' effort brought protection to the last unprotected mile along the trail, a section that runs through Simon Gulch on the northern boundary of the park (see map below). Along with ensuring that Zion hikers will have uninterrupted access to the world-famous Zion Narrows Trail, the development means that the encompassing 880 acres of upland on the edge of the park will remain undeveloped.
“Our iconic national parks, like Zion, represent this country at our best,” said Diane Regas, CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “It took extraordinary commitment from many partners with diverse views to protect this majestic place for people, and shows we can do tremendous things when we work together. The permanent protection of the Zion Narrows Trail will give people the opportunity to experience this special place, in perpetuity.”
The Trust for Public Land has a long history of working with partners to protect and expand the park. The Trust was responsible for protecting a 35-acre inholding along the popular Hop Valley Trail in 2018 in partnership with the National Park Foundation and the National Park Trust. In 2013, The Trust for Public Land and the National Parks Conservation Association combined efforts to protect Tabernacle Dome, and the Trust helped protect the 300-acre Chamberlin Ranch, which includes the trailhead by which the Zion Narrows Trail is accessed.
The Trust for Public Land ensures access to the Narrows Trail into Zion National Park from theTrustforPublicLand on Vimeo.
“To experience the Zion Narrows Trail is to experience something out of this world,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The National Park Foundation commends the State of Utah, Washington County, U.S. Forest Service, the Trust for Public Land, and the Eccles Foundation for their leadership in protecting this trail in its entirety and increasing access to it.”
This project protects not only the one-mile segment of trail in the Zion Narrows, but it also protects 880 acres of land adjacent to the national park through a conservation easement. The landowner has voluntarily entered into a perpetual conservation easement with the Utah Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands. Funding for the acquisition was provided by the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program, Washington County, LeRay McAllister Critical Lands Conservation Fund administered by the Quality Growth Commission of Utah, National Park Foundation, Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and Federal Highway Administration's, Recreational Trails Program and others.
Across the country, there is a significant amount of privately-owned land in and around national parks that is at risk of development, raising concerns about preserving the sanctity of these special places. Known as inholdings and edgeholdings, these properties can also make management challenging and impact visitor experience by creating unsuitable development or blocking public access.
According to recent research from The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, 9.52 million acres of public land are “landlocked,” including 264,000 acres in Utah. In recent years, The Trust for Public Land has also protected land for the public inside and around many other popular national parks around the country including Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Saguaro national parks. This project is the 206th project The Trust for Public Land has completed within or at the boundaries of a national park.
“Our family is pleased to work with The Trust for Public Land and partners from Utah and beyond to share and protect this unique place for future generations,” said the Bulloch family, the sellers of the newly protected property, in a statement. “The Zion Narrows Trail attracts visitors from around the world, and we are happy that it will now be properly protected and managed in its entirety. We are proud to formally share this area with the world both now and into the future.”

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107

Sonntag, 5. Januar 2020, 16:38

The Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel

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Zion National Park has become one of the busiest, most popular parks in the country. But that wasn’t the case in 1919 when it became Utah’s first national park. Back then, the challenge was how to promote tourism in the remote area.

One of the biggest efforts was road construction, in particular, the completion of the Grand Loop connecting Zion with Bryce Canyon and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. That meant linking the west side of the park to the east side via the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway and Tunnel.
Crews began digging into the sandstone in 1927. The first step was blasting five gallery windows into the cliff face above Pine Creek Canyon. Narrow-gauge railcars were loaded with rock debris that was dumped out through the window openings, letting in light and air as the workers continued to widen and lengthen the tunnel. Eventually, it was extended in both directions, connecting the east and west ends of the new road. At just over a mile long, the tunnel was - and still is - the longest vehicle tunnel in the national park system.
At a dedication ceremony on July 4th, 1930, Utah Governor George Dern said, “I take off my hat to the men who conceived this almost impossible project and carried it through…”
Now each year millions of travelers pass through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel and emerge on the far end to marvel at the engineering feat and at Zion’s dazzling scenery, glimpsed through the carefully placed windows.

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108

Sonntag, 19. Januar 2020, 23:41

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Trail Closures
The Weeping Rock Trail, Hidden Canyon Trail, and Observation Point Trail (East Rim from Weeping Rock) are closed due to rockfall damage. These closures are indefinite at this time. Lower Emerald Pools Trail is closed for trail repairs until Spring 2020

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Zion National Park's Weeping Rock closed indefinitely after report suggests future danger
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109

Sonntag, 19. Juli 2020, 21:05

Zion's deadly algae at extreme levels, threat raised to "dangerous"

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Zion National Park officials received results back from the deadly algae which killed a puppy over the Fourth of July weekend, indicating dangerous levels.
They are extremely high for Utah, especially for a river.
Park officials are now putting up “danger” warning signs, asking visitors to avoid contact with the water. In an “abundance of caution” these signs will be posted everywhere there is water in the park.
“With this toxin, there’s a lot of unknowns,” Zion spokesperson Jeff Axel said. “It’s such an unusual thing.”
This more resolved figure comes after the EPA in Denver studied the algae and found it to be much higher than the regulatory threshold.
The cyanobacteria can be ingested through your eyes, nose and mouth.
“Even very small pieces of the cyanobacterial growth may contain enough cyanotoxin to cause harm and these pieces may be invisible, Zion spokesperson Jeff Axel said.
Previously, officials found a cyanotoxin concentration greater than 95 micrograms per liter in the North Fork of the Virgin River, nearly four times the state threshold, in the affected area. Friday's test results indicated it is actually 550 micrograms per liter, which is "extremely high."
While scientists are still trying to figure out how this happened, they are warning the public to stay out of the Virgin River, and to not allow animals in. Don't drink it (even with a purifier,) don't swim in it, don't wade in it.
On the Fourth of July weekend, Vanessa Weichberger and her son Francis were wading and splashing through the Virgin River on the Pa'rus Trail with hundreds of people.
Suddenly Keanna, a 10th birthday present for Francis who only joined the family two months ago, started looking and acting strange.
Her eyes were developing something that looked like a cat's second eyelids, and within minutes she could no longer walk. She began to seize and was visibly in pain.
Vanessa carried her as they tried to get down back to the parking lot while calling for help. Keanna nuzzled both Vanessa and Francis, and then the pain started.
"It was like she was saying goodbye," Vanessa said.
Keanna died within 20 minutes of encountering toxic algae blooms new to the river and dangerous to humans on July 3.
Vanessa has started a GoFundMe to cover Keanna's final expenses, as well as to help find a new dog for 10-year-old Francis.
The North Fork and the Diversion Dam area are the most affected by this algal bloom, though officials are testing all parts of the river. The popular Narrows hike is affected.
The Virgin River is a source of drinking water for many, though Washington County Water Conservancy District, Zion National Park and the Towns of Virgin and Rockville are not using the North Fork as a drinking water source.
Springdale, however, does use water from the North Fork for drinking. While water treatment technologies can remove this toxin, a press release said they have not yet detected cyanotoxins in Springdale's water.
Signs have been posted around affected areas warning visitors not to swim, submerge themselves or let their pets be in the water.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food also suggests livestock be led to a different drinking source and avoid irrigation water. Officials say to clean fish well and discard guts.
People who use culinary water to supplement secondary water should take measures to avoid substantial demand on the system and empty animal watering troughs. More information on this can be found in the press release.
Quail Creek Reservoir, Sand Hollow Reservoir and the Santa Clara River basin are not affected.
The only two ways this bloom will die is if it reaches the end of its life cycle or a monsoon flash floods the area.
If you see suspected algal blooms or see any signs, the public is asked to report them to the 24-hour Division of Water Quality tip line at 801-536-4123. Sampling updates can be found at the Department of Environmental Quality website.

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