Utah - Canyonlands National Park

State: Utah

Canyonlands National Park is located in southeastern Utah and is geologically located in the heart of the Colorado Plateau.  The geology and scenery of the park showcases red rock canyons carved by the Colorado River, the Green River and many other smaller tributaries. The park was established in 1964 after many years of preservation advocation by Arches National Monument Superintendent Bates Wilson. The park was expanded in size in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. The park encompasses 527 square miles and provides unmatched beauty and recreational opportunities for over 500,000 visitors each year.

This high desert landscape is home to a multitude of adaptive native species such as desert bighorn sheep, lizards, hawks, eagles, and many rodents. Most people are amazed by the amount of vegetation in Canyonlands National Park. Desert environments such as Canyonlands National Park are fragile, and surprisingly teaming with life. Conservation groups like The Southern Utah Wilderness Association (SUWA), Grand Canyon Trust and the Sierra Club are working to protect the park, which is threatened by nearby oil and gas interests as well as potash and tar sands mining. They are also working to protect an area surrounding the park through the Antiquities Act, which would preserve an additional 1.4 million acres of public BLM lands. The Greater Canyonlands ecosystem is threatened by increased outdoor recreation vehicle use and industrialization of our natural resources, and needs an additional buffer of protection to keep this gem of the southwest intact for future generations.