BLM partners with CNHA and Oars to support the Moab Valley Multicultural Center
On June 30, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and OARS continued their partnership with the Moab Valley Multicultural Center on a one-day river trip on the Colorado River. The aim of the trip is to get local Moab residents out on the river to experience their public lands and the myriad of opportunities for recreation. This year, Canyonlands Natural History Association joined the partnership and filmed this video, “A Day on the River.” (YouTube)
The trip was down the Moab Daily. A 13-mile stretch of river that parallels State Route 128 and borders Arches National Park. Depending on water levels, rapids on this section range from Class I to Class III. The “Daily” is considered Utah’s most popular river trip. For many participants, it was their first time on the river. Each participant received a reusable water bottle provided by the BLM, and OARS guided everyone down the river and served a delicious lunch. Everyone had a great time, and we look forward to partnering again in 2023!
Staying Safe During Monsoon Season
Late summer is the hottest time of year for the Colorado Plateau’s high desert. It’s also monsoon season when afternoon thunderstorms are probable. Knowing how to prepare and plan your visit, as well as what to look for, is important to have a safe and enjoyable adventure.
Typically, the monsoon season is the months of July, August, and September. That’s when afternoon thunderstorms are most frequent and severe.
The National Weather Service’s Flash Flood Information provides the forecast and flash flood potential rating for southern Utah’s parks and monuments. Thunderstorms – with lightning and flash flooding – can happen any time of the year. Always check the forecast and be prepared for quickly-changing weather.
Thunderstorms with heavy rain can cause severe flooding in canyons. These storms can be powerful and sudden. Water can rise quickly downstream from heavy rain, even when the parent thunderstorm is miles away! Summer storms include lightning, a powerful force that can and does kill. All thunderstorms produce lightning and there is no safe place outside during a storm – you must go indoors.
Lightning can strike up to 60 miles (16 kilometers) away from the nearest rainfall. If you hear a clap of thunder, a thunderstorm is within 10 miles (16 kilometers). So, if you hear thunder, you are within lightning striking distance! An appropriate shelter is a building with walls, a roof, and a floor. A hard-top vehicle with all doors closed and windows completely closed can also be an appropriate shelter.
For more information on staying safe during inclement weather click here.
This video (YouTube) illustrates the power of a monsoon-type storm in the desert. It was shot by former park ranger Glenn Sherrill at Arches National Park on July 26, 2022.
Stay safe from floods by following these tips:
- Know your area’s flood risks and weather hazard bulletins by visiting weather.gov or your local news stations.
- Stay alert for signs of heavy rain with thunder and lightning where you are and upstream. Watch for rising water levels.
- Get to higher ground before flooding happens.
- It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into floodwaters. Turn Around Don’t Drown®
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Don’t try to swim to safety; wait for rescuers to come to you.
- Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize and respond to danger. During threatening conditions, do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and rivers.
- Be Ready
Manti La Sal Update
This summer, forest service employees met with members of the regional geology and lands staff to inspect several uranium mining claims on Polar Mesa.
The claims, located within the Moab Ranger District, include numerous closed adits as well as a former ore crushing site.
Mining has not occurred on Polar Mesa for decades and the current owner is considering donating the claims to the Manti-La Sal National Forest.
Dingell Act – Emery County Land Exchange
SALT LAKE CITY — The Bureau of Land Management requests public input during a 30-day scoping period on an analysis to exchange more than 90,000 acres of BLM-managed public lands for more than 115,000 acres of trust lands managed by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
“This land exchange could help the BLM better protect wild landscapes within and near wilderness, recreation areas and conservation lands, while enabling Utah public school officials to potentially grow revenues or consider other future options for land use,” said BLM Utah State Director Greg Sheehan. “The exchange demonstrates the continuing commitment to building relationships to expand public access, enhance the visitor experience and ensure public safety.”
The proposed “Dingell Act – Emery County Land Exchange” includes public and state lands located across 18 counties including Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan, and Wayne counties. The state parcels are located within newly created wilderness areas, the San Rafael Swell Recreation Area, the Green River Wild and Scenic Rivers Corridor and the John Wesley Powell National Conservation Area.
Written comments may be submitted through ePlanning here until Aug. 12, 2022. Please note the most useful comments are specific and contain new technical or scientific information relevant to the proposed action. Comments limited to opinions or preferences will not receive a formal response but could be considered in the BLM decision-making process. Please reference “Dingell Act – Emery County Land Exchange” when submitting comments.
Please visit the Dingell Act – Emery County Land Exchange to view maps and for related information.
Before including an address, phone number, email address or other personally identifiable information in any comments, be aware the entire comment—including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. Requests to withhold personal identifying information from public review may be submitted, but the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.
Please contact Planning and Environmental Specialist Tiera Arbogast at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 801-539-4158 for additional information.
Moab Information Center 2022 Lecture Series
Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA)
Thursday’s @ 5:00 p.m.
Date: August 11
Presenter: Robert Anderson
Beep Beep Beep! Tweet tweet! Sounds are all around us and play an important role in our experience with the landscape. The National Park Service is beginning to understand the relationship between sound and the inherent resources within the park. By preserving the natural sound, we all can enjoy our national wonders a little more.
Date: August 18
Presenter: Rhodes Smartt
Title: Geology of Canyonlands
Have you ever wondered how Canyonlands was formed? National Park Ranger/Geologist Rhodes Smartt will take us on a journey through the geologic history of Canyonlands National Park. He will discuss the geology of the greater Colorado Plateau area and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, and how its unique geology led to uranium mining. Join us for an evening of geologic exploration!
Date: September 1
Presenter: Jennifer M. Bousselot
Title: Common Southwestern Native Plants
Native plants are often overlooked as viable options that can provide many benefits to pollinators and people alike. Discover the basics of native plant gardening – selection, care, and cultural requirements. Join Jennifer Bousselot, Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Colorado State University and co-author of Common Southwestern Native Plants, as she discusses this important topic!
This is an excerpt from the Canyonlands Natural History Association’s Member Newsletter. To find out more about CNHA and how to get your own copy delivered, visit the Canyonlands Natural History Association website.