Manti-La Sal Update
Alpine monitoring is no small feat! The Moab wildlife/botany crew puts in great effort to visit the high-elevation habitat of two sensitive plant species every year. The La Sal daisy (Erigeron mancus) and Lehmann’s rockjasmine (Androsace chamaejasme ssp. lehmanniana) are notably adorable plants found in the cushion plant communities of the La Sal mountains.
The daisy is endemic to the La Sal Mountains, meaning it is only found at these high elevations of the narrow alpine environment in Utah. Categorized as critically imperiled by NatureServe, monitoring the La Sal daisy is a high priority. The rockjasmine has a wider range following the Rocky Mountains north to Alaska and Canada. Although, where the rockjasmine occurs in Utah it is considered at very high risk of extinction due to the restricted local range.
The data collected is pertinent to the management of a healthy alpine ecosystem and increases our understanding of the impacts from mountain goats, recreation, and changing climate. Data is being analyzed in collaboration with the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Thank you to the volunteers and folks from the Manti-La Sal Supervisor’s Office and USDA Forest Service Regional Office for help with monitoring this season.
Timed Entry Pilot Concludes at Arches
On October 3rd, Arches National Park concluded the temporary, timed entry pilot that has operated since April 3, 2022. Timed entry tickets will no longer be necessary to enter the park. The purchase of traditional entrance passes will still be required to enter Arches after the end of the pilot. With the closure of the program, visitors should expect increased traffic and the possibility of temporary entrance delays.
“With the conclusion of the timed entry pilot, we would like to extend our gratitude to visitors, local community members, and park partners for their support of this program. The pilot met many of the goals we set out to achieve, including distributing visitation throughout the day and improving visitor experiences, and it provided data that will inform our next steps,” said Arches Superintendent Patricia Trap.
The information gathered during the 2022 pilot will be analyzed to help determine if a future timed entry program will be a viable solution for visitor use management at Arches. The park will hold discussions with partners and stakeholders this Fall and plans to announce a decision on 2023 congestion management strategies in the next few months.
Starting on October 4, visitors to Arches should expect increased traffic and wait times to enter the park. Trails and parking lots may be crowded, and temporary delays lasting 3-5 hours may be implemented at the entrance gate to manage congestion.
Visitors should plan ahead and prepare for crowded conditions and changing weather. Bring plenty of water and snacks, wear sturdy shoes, and don’t forget sun protection. Visitors are encouraged to check the park website or Twitter account for current updates and road conditions prior to driving to the park.
Road Updates for Canyonlands National Park
The Shafer Trail Road will close for routine maintenance on weekdays (M-F) from October 24 through November 10th. The road may reopen for weekend use Oct 29-30 and Nov 5-6. This project will repair tread surfaces and shoulders damaged by recent rains. See maps & more.
We are happy to report that State Route 211 has reopened. Thank you to the team from the Utah Department of Transportation who worked diligently to rebuild and reopen the road. State Route 211 intersects with US Highway 191 about 40 miles south of Moab and 14.5 miles north of Monticello. State Route 211 provides access sites in the Needles District of Canyonlands and the northern part of Bears Ears National Monument including Indian Creek climbing areas, Superbowl and other BLM campgrounds, and Newspaper Rock.
Moab Information Center 2022 Lecture Series
Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA)
Thursday’s @ 5:00 p.m.
The 2022 Free Lecture Series winds down with these amazing speakers.
Date: October 13
Presenters: Donald Irwin / Allison Aakre
Title: Archaeology in the LaSal Mountains
Visitors from around the world come to this region to see well-preserved archaeological sites. Early surveys on the Manti-La Sal National Forest identified numerous sites dating to the Basketmaker III- Pueblo I period, but the documentation style at the time was expedient. Join us as we detail the archaeology of the archaeology! With amazing volunteers and specialists assisting, we were able to find clarity through fieldwork. As a result, we have broadened our understanding of the origins of ancestral Puebloan communities in the Forest.
Date: October 27
Presenter: Sam Metzner
Title: SEUG Community Artist in the Park
The national parks surrounding Moab are limitless sources of inspiration. Come hear how 2022 Community Artist in the Parks Sam Metzer captured these landscapes in her unique works of art. Creating hand-made photographs inspires her — especially the fact that no two will ever be exactly the same. Since 2009, the Community Artist in the Parks program has highlighted the connection between local artists and the landscapes of Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Hovenweep and Natural Bridges national monuments. Participating artists are residents of Grand, San Juan, or Montezuma counties who spend seven months creating art and talking with park visitors about their inspiration.
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.