Lifetime Pass for Military Veterans and Gold Star Families to Access Public Lands
Pass Provides Free Entrance to National Parks, Wildlife Refuges and Other Public Lands.
Last month the Biden-Harris administration announced that starting on Veterans Day (Nov. 11), veterans of the U.S. Armed Services and Gold Star Families can obtain a free lifetime pass to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites spread out across more than 400 million acres of public lands, including national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests.
“We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans. This new lifetime pass is a small demonstration of our nation’s gratitude and support for those who have selflessly served in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, whose father served during the Vietnam War. “I’m proud the Department of the Interior can provide veterans and Gold Star Families opportunities for recreation, education, and enjoyment from our country’s treasured lands.”
“Our national forests and grasslands represent so much of the beauty of the nation our brave service members have sacrificed so much for,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Though they can never be fully repaid, by connecting the families of the fallen and those who served with these iconic places, we can, in a small way, say thank you.”
2023 Community Artist in the Parks
The National Park Service Southeast Utah Group is pleased to announce Jess Hough as the 2023 Community Artist in the Parks (CAIP).
Jess Hough is a local carpenter/handyman and artist based in Moab. Primarily an illustrator, she has recently been working on developing DIY methods for at-home printmaking using reclaimed/recycled materials. Jess enjoys working on landscapes and environments inspired by red rock canyons and all the amazing natural features of Utah’s deserts. About her upcoming tenure as Community Artist, Jess says, “I’m looking forward to spending more time in the parks and working on some exciting new projects!”
Created in 2009, the CAIP program highlights the connection between a local artist and the surrounding landscapes, particularly Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. Participating artists must reside in Grand, San Juan, or Montezuma counties.
As the Community Artist for 2023, Jess Hough will create original work within the parks for a minimum of 24 hours per month, April through October, and share her inspiration and creative process with visitors. Her works will be sold in the Canyonlands Natural History Association bookstores at Arches and Canyonlands national parks during her tenure. Also, look for her work on the CNHA website beginning in April.
For more information about the program and a schedule of each Community Artist’s park activities, visit go.nps.gov/CAIP. Inquiries may be directed to Karen Garthwait at 435-719-2142 or by email. Chad Niehaus, the Community Artist in the Parks Liaison, may also be contacted for program information via email at Chad@moabart.com.
CNHA Partners with Science Moab
Science Moab’s mission is to make place-based science accessible to all. They envision communities across the Colorado Plateau thriving from a deeper engagement with science and place-based knowledge. Science Moab is able to achieve this goal through various programs offered to the greater Moab community.
These creative initiatives include but are not limited to the following.
- Indigenous Science
- School to Science
- Science Certified training for guides
- Science Moab Radio Show
- Science Moab Live Events
To learn more about Science Moab, check out their website. CNHA and Science Moab look forward to more collaborative projects in the future.
Christmas Tree Cutting Permits Available Online and at the MIC
Coming back to Recreation.gov this holiday season, you’ll be able to purchase a permit to cut down a Christmas tree at a National Forest in your area.
Cutting down your own tree is the perfect way to create a memorable holiday experience, share a special tradition with family and friends, and help maintain a healthy forest.
Christmas Tree permits are available online and at the Moab Information Center (MIC) on the corner of Main and Center Streets in downtown Moab. Get your online permit here.
Where to Cut Your Tree
- Do not cut on private land, in wilderness areas, designated campgrounds, or existing tree plantations.
- Do not cut in active timber sales or areas that have been planted with new trees.
- Do not cut trees within 100 feet of roads, streams or reservoirs or within 500 feet of a Ranger Station, campground or picnic area.
- Do not cut ponderosa pine
- Tree topping is not allowed. Cut the entire tree and leave a stump height of 12 inches or less (measured from the ground).
- Remove all live branches from the stump.
- Cut and scatter waste branches and stems.
Selecting Your Tree
- Each forest has limitations on the size of the tree you can cut and the species of trees that are permitted. See below to help you measure and choose a tree that meets your permit’s guidelines.
- Tree Height: 20 feet maximum
- Stump height: 12 inches maximum
- Stump diameter: 5 inches maximum
- If snow is on the ground, remove it from around the stump so you can accurately measure the stump and tree height.
Winter Campground Closures
The following campgrounds will be closed from Nov. 29 to Feb. 16, 2023. These closures help direct visitation during the slower winter months, balance workloads for BLM staff, and facilitate the completion of maintenance and capital improvement projects. All other BLM-administered campgrounds in the Moab Field Office are open. Call the Moab Field Office if you have questions. 435-259-2100
Kane Creek Corridor
- Ledge A, Ledge B, Ledge C, Ledge E – except site 1 & 2
State Route-279: (The Potash Road)
- Williams Bottom Campground
- Horsethief Loops – Buckskin, Cayuse and Dapple loops
- Horsethief Group sites A, B, C, D, E
- Lone Mesa Group sites A, B, C, D, E
State Route-128 (River Road)
- Big Bend Campground – lower end
- Drinks Campground, Hal Campground, Oak Grove Campground
- Hittle Bottom Campground and Group site
- Dewey Bridge group sites A, B, C
- Ken’s Lake Campground:Loop A
The Manti La Sal National Forest would like for you to know that the Warner and Oowah Lake roads are closed for the season due to early snowfall in the La Sal Mountains.
BLM Colorado River Day Use Area
The BLM has created a new day use area along Route 128 (River Road), just north of Moab, Utah. Travel one mile east from Highway 191 along the River Road and you’ll see the brand-new Colorado River Day Use Area on your left. There is a large shade structure, picnic tables, toilet, and spectacular views of the Colorado River and massive red rock canyon cliffs. The BLM is happy to announce the Colorado River Day Use Area reservation system is now live! Here are the details:
The eastern shade structure is available by reservation. When not reserved, it can be used without a reservation (just like infrastructure on the the western side of the site). There is an onsite calendar for reference.
The site can be used for group gathering with up to 50 people and up to 20 vehicles. Please remember that amplified music is not allowed.
Reservations can be entered four days – six months in advance. A reservation can last up to four hours.
There is a $20 registration fee that must be paid through Recreation.gov. Learn more and reserve the site at www.recreation.gov/venues/VR1400193.
Winter Hours for area Visitor Centers
- Arches National Park: 9:00 – 4:00
- Island in the Sky, Canyonlands: 8:00 – 4:00 through 12/31
- The Needles, Canyonlands National Park: 8:00 – 4:00 (Closed from 12/11 through mid-February)
- Natural Bridges NM: (Thursday – Monday) 9:00 – 4:00
- Hovenweep NM: (Thursday – Monday) 9:00 – 4:00
- Moab Information Center: 9:00 – 4:00
- Blanding Info Center: (Mon – Sat)10:00 – 4:00
- Kane Gulch Ranger Station: (Closed until March 1)
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.