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Rep. Stewart Reintroduces Bill To Create Utah’s Sixth National Park

Sandstone formations are shown here in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on May 10, 2017 outside Boulder, Utah. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Rep. Chris Stewart is trying again to create Utah’s sixth national park after he reintroduced the Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act in Congress.

Stewart originally introduced the act in 2017 and has been working on ways to protect and manage the area.

“Whether you want guaranteed access or long-term conservation, the Escalante Canyons National Park meets your goals. By providing for a strong local voice in park management, the Escalante Canyons Park and Preserve is pioneering management that works collaboratively with those who live and work in this area,” Stewart said in a statement. “This legislation invites those who want to experience the beauty of Utah, our paleontology and ancient history, and the local culture to come enjoy this part of the state.”

The park would be named Escalante Canyons Park and Preserve.

A news release from Stewart’s office included the following details about the Act:

  • The park maps are still being finalized by the local communities, but the boundaries will fall within the Escalante Canyons Unit of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
  • ​The new park conserves this nationally important area while allowing access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and grazing.
  • This bill codifies 3 separate and distinct national designations, Grand Staircase National Monument, Escalante Canyons National Park, and Kaiparowits National Monument.
  • Transfers “Hole in the Rock Road” to the state of Utah in recognition of the road’s historical significance as a pioneer trail for the early settlers sent to the area by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
  • Creates a “Management Council” comprised of local officials to draft and oversee a management plan for the new monuments and National Park, giving local leaders a powerful voice and seat at the table.
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