Zion National Park Property Protected

October 11, 2012

A 30-acre private parcel at the base of Tabernacle Dome in Zion National Park has been protected from potential development and will be added to the park, The Trust for Public Land and National Parks Conservation Association announced today.

An anonymous donor, working with the National Parks Conservation Association(NPCA) and The Trust for Public Land, donated $825,000 so the land could be purchased and given to the park, said Will Rogers, President of The Trust for Public Land.

The land was an inholding, meaning it was a privately owned piece of property that was completely surrounded by Zion National Park. Currently, hundreds more inholdings remain in national parks, many of which have been turned into large trophy homes. In fact, an inholding two miles north of the Tabernacle Dome property is now the site of a large mansion that was recently constructed.

"There are lots of places to build large homes with great views, but national parks like Zion aren't one of them," said Rogers. "These parks are for all of us. And now, thanks to a generous donation from a private individual, the view of Tabernacle Dome will remain forever unspoiled."

NPCA staff knew about the inholding from their work in preserving and protecting Zion National Park and informed the donor about the urgency to protect this specific property from development.

"National parks like Zion were established to protect the unique natural beauty of those places and to prevent development from scarring their pristine nature," said NPCA Program Manager Cory MacNulty. "The purchase of private pieces of property like the Tabernacle Dome location should be handled through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. But for decades Congress has raided this fund that was supposed to be set aside to protect our national parks and other protected areas from encroachment and improper adjacent development.

"We are fortunate that a private donor was able to protect this historic piece of land, but with hundreds of more inholdings still at risk due to the lack of funding, Congress needs to step up to the plate and fulfill its duty to protect and preserve our national parks for future generations," she said.

The National Park Trust is supporting and assisting in acquiring inholdings in National Parks across the country and provided financial support to The Trust for Public Land to protect this property.

"The National Park Trust is very pleased to work with The Trust for Public Land on this important preservation effort by providing critical resources that were needed to complete this project," stated Jonathan Cohen, NPT board member.

The Trust for Public Land is a national land conservation organization which preserves land for people. Founded in 1972, it is the nation's leader in building urban parks and creating local funds for conservation. It has protected more than 3 million acres in 47 states.as parks, greenways and wilderness areas. Founded in 1972, TPL has protected more than 3 million acres in 47 states.

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA and its 750,000 members and supporters work together to protect our National Park System and preserve our nation's natural, historical, and cultural heritage for our children and grandchildren. www.npca.org.