Projects

Because of your generous support of Southeast Utah National Parks, the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks is able to provide much needed funding for essential project where budget shortfalls exist. Your help makes a difference!

Search and Rescue Vehicle

A Quick Response Time Is Critical

The addition of "Rescue-1" to the SAR fleet means first responders can respond far more speedily to incidents than ever before. It is not uncommon for SAR rangers to field multiple, back-to-back incidents. Prior to Rescue-1, rangers often had to drive back to the Emergency Operations Building to restock supplies between calls - slowing response time by as much as an hour. Anyone who understands the extreme weather conditions in our parks understands the issues this can cause.

Through a targeted campaign and a foundation grant, the Friends raised and provided $60,000 in financial support which allowed the NPS Southeast Utah Group to retrofit a new truck to be used for Search and Rescue purposes. Escalating visitation, paired with visitors’ unfamiliarity with the risks of outdoor recreation, have exponentially increased the demand on National Park Service Search and Rescue.

The number of Search and Rescue operations has increased dramatically over the years. Although Arches and Canyonlands rank in the middle of National Park visitation each year, the number of incidents rangers respond to is typically in the top ten.

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Back Country “Sheep Camp” Trailer

The Southeast Utah Group has identified a critical need for a backcountry trailer to house volunteers and park rangers who stay onsite at the Great Gallery in Horseshoe Canyon, in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. To address this need, the Friends is currently raising funds for the purchase of a new backcountry trailer. Because Horseshoe Canyon contains some of the most significant rock art in North America, personnel need to be on site to monitor the site and assist visitors. The Great Gallery—the best known panel in Horseshoe Canyon—includes well-preserved life sized figures dating from 400 A.D. to 1,100 A.D.

In 1994 the National Park Service provided the used sheep camp as quarters for occasional Horseshoe Canyon Volunteers. However, the camp became more crucial when a full-scale Horseshoe Volunteer Program was instituted in 2012 to compensate for declining NPS staffing due to federal budget cuts. Increased use and weathering has caused the sheep camp to deteriorate beyond repair.

The Friends anticipate having funds in place by the end of 2021 for the trailer purchase.

House Purchase for NPS Seasonal Employees

One of the biggest challenges for the National Parks Service is securing housing for seasonal employees. The Southeast Utah Group has been in discussion with the Friends regarding this issue for several years.

In 2019, an opportunity was presented to the Friends by a local resident who was in the process of downsizing his home situation. He offered his 9 bedroom 8 bathroom home to the Friends for purchase on the condition that it be used exclusively for NPS employee housing. The Friends jumped at the chance to fulfill this need and raised over $1,000,000 to purchase the home. A deed restriction was put in place and the home can only be used by public land agency employees and other essential workers in the Moab area.

The generosity of our members and the community made this possible.

Affordable Housing for Arches Staff