TPL Protects 10 Acres at Foot of Tabernacle Dome

September 23, 2009
Utah

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) today announced the permanent protection of 10 critical acres as part of Zion National Park. The property lies in the Kolob Terrace section of Zion National Park.

The protection of this property comes at a significant time, as Ken Burns' new documentary "The National Parks: America's Best Idea", draws the public's attention to our National Park system, which protects America's breathtaking crown jewels of natural resources, historic and cultural treasures, and recreational areas for the public. As one of the country's oldest and most visited national parks, Zion National Park still contains many privately owned and unprotected lands called "inholdings". The NPS had long identified this important inholding as a priority to acquire because of its visual prominence. Once the property became available from a willing seller, TPL worked with the landowner to secure the property and transfer it to the NPS for permanent protection.

"TPL is extremely pleased to have played a role to acquire the property," said Paul Maynard, TPL's Project Manager. "Now that it is protected as part of the National Park, the scenic character and natural setting cherished by the many visitors will never be diminished by development."

The property lies on both sides of Kolob Terrace Road-a popular scenic route-and is near the base of Tabernacle Dome, a spectacular, steeply rounded peak rising to 6430 feet from Cave Valley. This area is popular for its hiking trails, camping, and spectacular vistas. The Subway and Right Fork trailheads are located just south of the property.

Funds for purchase of the property, valued at over $800,000, came from the Federal Land Transactions Facilitation Act (FLTFA) and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. FLTFA allows receipts from lands sold by the Bureau of Land Management which were identified for disposal in land use plans to be used to acquire private inholdings within National Parks, National Forests, and BLM conservation areas. The Utah congressional delegation strongly supported the federal funds for this project.

"As demonstrated in the Washington County lands bill, I strongly support selling excess federal property and using the proceeds to buy inholdings from willing sellers in special areas like national parks," said Senator Bennett. " I requested funding for this project and I am pleased that this transaction has been finalized."

"This is great news that TPL and the Park Service were able to protect this important property in such an iconic and heavily visited national park," said David Nimkin, Southwest regional director for the National Parks Conservation Association. "The use of federal funds to conserve the property demonstrates how important these federal land conservation programs are for protecting our national heritage for future generations."

Located in Washington, Iron, and Kane Counties in southwestern Utah, Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyons in the United States. With over 2.5 million people visiting the park each year, Zion is one of the most visited national parks in the country. The park is characterized by high plateaus, a maze of narrow, deep sandstone canyons and striking rock towers and mesas. Elevations in the park reach 9,000 feet and rock climbers and hikers from around the world travel to Zion to experience this recreational paradise.

TPL is a national land conservation organization dedicated to conserving land for people as parks, greenways, wilderness areas and natural, historic and cultural resources for future generations. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 2.5 million acres nationwide. TPL depends upon the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.