Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park, located in northwestern Arizona, is the 15th site in the United States to have been named a national park. The park's central feature is the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered one of the Wonders of the World; the park, which covers 1,217,262 acres of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties, received more than six million recreational visitors in 2017, the second highest count of all American national parks after Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Grand Canyon was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979. "Grand Canyon" was designated a national park on February 26, 1919, though the landmark had been well known to Americans for over thirty years prior. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt visited the site and said: "The Grand Canyon fills me with awe, it is beyond comparison—beyond description. Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur and loveliness. You cannot improve on it, but what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see."Despite Roosevelt's enthusiasm and strong interest in preserving land for public use, the Grand Canyon was not designated as a national park.
The first bill to establish Grand Canyon National Park was introduced in 1882 by then-Senator Benjamin Harrison, which would have established Grand Canyon as the third national park in the United States, after Yellowstone and Mackinac. Harrison unsuccessfully reintroduced his bill in 1883 and 1886. Theodore Roosevelt created the Grand Canyon Game Preserve by proclamation on 28 November 1906, the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908. Further Senate bills to establish the site as a national park were introduced and defeated in 1910 and 1911, before the Grand Canyon National Park Act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919; the National Park Service, established in 1916, assumed administration of the park. The creation of the park was an early success of the conservation movement, its national park status may have helped thwart proposals to dam the Colorado River within its boundaries. In 1975, the former Marble Canyon National Monument, which followed the Colorado River northeast from the Grand Canyon to Lee's Ferry, was made part of Grand Canyon National Park.
In 1979, UNESCO declared the park a World Heritage Site. The 1987 the National Parks Overflights Act found that "Noise associated with aircraft overflights at the Grand Canyon National Park is causing a significant adverse effect on the natural quiet and experience of the park and current aircraft operations at the Grand Canyon National Park have raised serious concerns regarding public safety, including concerns regarding the safety of park users." In 2010, Grand Canyon National Park was honored with its own coin under the America the Beautiful Quarters program. The Grand Canyon, including its extensive system of tributary canyons, is valued for its combination of size and exposed layers of colorful rocks dating back to Precambrian times; the canyon itself was created by the incision of the Colorado River and its tributaries after the Colorado Plateau was uplifted, causing the Colorado River system to develop along its present path. The primary public areas of the park are the South and North Rims, adjacent areas of the canyon itself.
The rest of the park is rugged and remote, although many places are accessible by pack trail and backcountry roads. The South Rim is more accessible than the North Rim, accounts for 90% of park visitation; the park headquarters are at Grand Canyon Village, not far from the south entrance to the park, near one of the most popular viewpoints. Most visitors to the park come to the South Rim, arriving on Arizona State Route 64; the highway enters the park through the South Entrance, near Tusayan and heads eastward, leaving the park through the East Entrance. Interstate 40 provides access to the area from the south. From the north, U. S. Route 89 connects Utah and the North Rim to the South Rim. Overall, some 30 miles of the South Rim are accessible by road; the North Rim area of the park located on the Kaibab Plateau and Walhalla Plateau, directly across the Grand Canyon from the principal visitor areas on the South Rim. The North Rim's principal visitor areas are centered around Bright Angel Point.
The North Rim is higher in elevation than the South Rim, at over 8,000 feet of elevation. Because it is so much higher than the South Rim, it is closed from December 1 through May 15 each year, due to the enhanced snowfall at elevation. Visitor services are closed or limited in scope after October 15. Driving time from the South Rim to the North Rim is about 4.5 hours, over 220 miles. Grand Canyon Village is the primary visitor services area in the park, it is a full-service community, including lodging, food, souvenirs, a hospital and access to trails and guided walks and talks. Several lodging facilities are available along the South Rim. Hotels and other lodging include: El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge, Maswik Lodge, all of which are located in the village area, Phantom Ranch, located on the canyon floor. There is an RV Park named Trailer Village. All of these facilities are managed by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, while the Yavapai Lodge is managed by Delaware North.
On the North Rim there is the historic Grand Canyon Lodge managed by Forever Resorts and a campgroun
The Monkey Wrench Gang
The Monkey Wrench Gang is a novel written by American author Edward Abbey, published in 1975. Abbey's most famous work of fiction, the novel concerns the use of sabotage to protest environmentally damaging activities in the Southwestern United States, was so influential that the term "monkeywrench" has come to mean, besides sabotage and damage to machines, any sabotage, law-making, or law-breaking to preserve wilderness, wild spaces and ecosystems. In 1985, Dream Garden Press released a special 10th Anniversary edition of the book featuring illustrations by R. Crumb, plus a chapter titled "Seldom Seen at Home", deleted from the original edition. Crumb's illustrations were used for a limited-edition calendar based on the book; the most recent edition was released in 2006 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics. The book's four main characters are ecologically minded misfits—"Seldom Seen" Smith, a Jack Mormon river guide. Together, although not always working as a knit team, they form the titular group dedicated to the destruction of what they see as the system that pollutes and destroys their environment, the American West.
As the gang's attacks on deserted bulldozers and trains continue, the law closes in. For the gang, the enemy is those who would develop the American Southwest—despoiling the land, befouling the air, destroying nature and the sacred purity of Abbey's desert world, their greatest hatred is focused on the Glen Canyon Dam, a monolithic edifice of concrete that the monkey-wrenchers seek to destroy because it dams a beautiful wild river. From the National Observer, "A sad, exuberant, vulgar fairy tale... It'll make you want to go out and blow up a dam." From The New York Times, "Since the publication of The Monkey Wrench Gang, Mr. Abbey has become an underground cult hero." From The Washington Post, "One of the best writers to deal with the American West." From the Houston Chronicle, "What a thing of beauty is Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang." In his book Screw Unto Others, George Hayduke states that Edward Abbey was his mentor, mentions The Monkey Wrench Gang as the origin of the term monkey-wrenching.
Hayduke says The Monkey Wrench Gang inspired environmentalist David Foreman to help create Earth First! A direct action environmental organization that advocates much of the minor vandalism depicted in the book. Many scenes of vandalism and ecologically motivated mayhem, including a billboard burning at the beginning of the book and the use of caltrops to elude a group of vigilantes, are presented in sufficient detail as to form a skeletal how-to for would-be saboteurs; the actions are presented in a larger-than-life format, because much of what Hayduke, the rest of the characters in the story face are larger-than-life obstacles that require larger-than-life approaches. The symbol of the Earth Liberation Front is a monkey stone hammer. In his book Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy, author Matt Ruff notes: "One of my other literary inspirations for the subplot was Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang.* That book’s protagonist, George Hayduke, is a Vietnam vet and former POW who launches a campaign of sabotage against the polluters who are ruining his beloved southwestern desert.
Hayduke is a pretty angry guy, but he loves life, in his own fatalistic way he remains an optimist." Hayduke Lives continues the story from. As of 2012, a film adaptation of the book, to be directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, was being planned; the film rights holders for the book filed suit against the producers of Night Moves, charging that the film's plot is similar to the story of book. Adbusters Culture jamming Environmentalism Cassuto, David N. "Waging Water: Hydrology vs. Mythology in The Monkey Wrench Gang." ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment 2.1: 13–36. Slovic, Scott. "Aestheticism and Awareness: The Psychology of Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang." CEA Critic 55.3: 54–68. Box, C. J. Savage Run, G. P. Putnam's Sons, publishers, 2002.
Moab is a city on the southern edge of Grand County in southeastern Utah in the western United States. The population was 5,046 at the 2010 census, in 2017 the population was estimated to be 5,253, it is largest city in Grand County. Moab attracts a large number of tourists every year visitors to the nearby Arches and Canyonlands national parks; the town is a popular base for mountain bikers who ride the extensive network of trails including the Slickrock Trail, for off-roaders who come for the annual Moab Jeep Safari. The Biblical name Moab refers to an area of land located on the eastern side of the Jordan River; some historians believe the city in Utah came to use this name because of William Andrew Peirce, the first postmaster, believing that the biblical Moab and this part of Utah were both "the far country". However, others believe the name has Paiute origins, referring to the word moapa, meaning "mosquito"; some of the area's early residents attempted to change the city's name, because in the Christian Bible, Moabites are demeaned as incestuous and idolatrous.
One petition in 1890 had 59 signatures and requested a name change to "Vina". Another effort attempted to change the name to "Uvadalia". Both attempts failed. During the period between 1829 and the early 1850s, the area around what is now Moab served as the Colorado River crossing along the Old Spanish Trail. Latter-day Saint settlers attempted to establish a trading fort at the river crossing called the Elk Mountain Mission in April 1855 to trade with travellers attempting to cross the river. Forty men were called on this mission. There were repeated Indian attacks, including one on September 23, 1855, in which James Hunt, companion to Peter Stubbs, was shot and killed by a Native American. After this last attack, the fort was abandoned. A new round of settlers from Rich County, led by Randolph Hockaday Stewart, established a permanent settlement in 1878 under the direction of Brigham Young. Moab was incorporated as a town on December 20, 1902. In 1883 the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad main line was constructed across eastern Utah.
The rail line did not pass through Moab, instead passing through the towns of Thompson Springs and Cisco, 40 miles to the north. Other places to cross the Colorado were constructed, such as Lee's Ferry, Navajo Bridge and Boulder Dam; these changes shifted. Moab farmers and merchants had to adapt from trading with passing travelers to shipping their goods to distant markets. Soon Moab's origins as one of the few natural crossings of the Colorado River were forgotten; the U. S. military deemed the bridge over the Colorado River at Moab important enough to place it under guard as late as World War II. In 1943, a former Civilian Conservation Corps camp outside Moab was used to confine Japanese American internees labeled "troublemakers" by authorities in the War Relocation Authority, the government body responsible for overseeing the wartime incarceration program; the Moab Isolation Center for "noncompliant" Japanese Americans was created in response to growing resistance to WRA policies within the camps.
On January 11, 1943, the sixteen men who had initiated the two-day protests were transferred to Moab from the town jails where they were booked after the riot. Having closed just fifteen months prior, all 18 military-style structures of the CCC camp were in good condition, the site was converted to its new use with minimal renovation. 150 military police guarded the camp, director Raymond Best and head of security Francis Frederick presided over administration. On February 18, thirteen transfers from Gila River, were brought to Moab, six days ten more arrived from Manzanar. An additional fifteen Tule Lake inmates were transferred on April 2. Most of these new arrivals were removed from the general camp population because of their resistance to the WRA's attempts to determine the loyalty of incarcerated Japanese Americans, met with confusion and anger because of a lack of explanation as to how and why internees would be assessed; the Moab Isolation Center remained open until April 27, when most of its inmates were bused to the larger and more secure Leupp Isolation Center.
In 1994, the "Dalton Wells CCC Camp/Moab Relocation Center" was added to the National Register of Historic Places, although no marker exists on the site, an information plaque at the current site entrance and a photograph on display at the Dan O'Laurie Museum in Moab mention the former isolation center. Moab's economy was based on agriculture, but shifted to mining. Uranium and vanadium were discovered in the area in the 1920s. Potash and manganese came next, oil and gas were discovered. In the 1950s Moab became the so-called "Uranium Capital of the World" after geologist Charles Steen found a rich deposit of uranium ore south of the city; this discovery coincided with the advent of the era of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in the United States, Moab's boom years began. The city population grew nearly 500% over the next few years, bringing the population to near 6,000 people; the explosion in population caused much construction of schools. Charles Steen donated a great deal of money and land to create new houses and
Zion National Park
Zion National Park is an American national park located in southwestern Utah near the town of Springdale. A prominent feature of the 229-square-mile park is Zion Canyon, 15 miles long and up to 2,640 ft deep; the canyon walls are reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone eroded by the North Fork of the Virgin River. The lowest point in the park is 3,666 ft at Coalpits Wash and the highest peak is 8,726 ft at Horse Ranch Mountain. Located at the junction of the Colorado Plateau, Great Basin, Mojave Desert regions, the park has a unique geography and a variety of life zones that allow for unusual plant and animal diversity. Numerous plant species as well as 289 species of birds, 75 mammals, 32 reptiles inhabit the park's four life zones: desert, riparian and coniferous forest. Zion National Park includes mountains, buttes, monoliths, slot canyons, natural arches. Human habitation of the area started about 8,000 years ago with small family groups of Native Americans, one of, the semi-nomadic Basketmaker Anasazi.
Subsequently, the Virgin Anasazi culture and the Parowan Fremont group developed as the Basketmakers settled in permanent communities. Both groups moved away by 1300 and were replaced by the Parrusits and several other Southern Paiute subtribes. Mormons settled there in the early 1860s. In 1909, President William Howard Taft named the area Mukuntuweap National Monument in order to protect the canyon. In 1918, the acting director of the newly created National Park Service, Horace Albright, drafted a proposal to enlarge the existing monument and change the park's name to Zion National Monument, Zion being a term used by the Mormons. According to historian Hal Rothman: "The name change played to a prevalent bias of the time. Many believed that Spanish and Indian names would deter visitors who, if they could not pronounce the name of a place, might not bother to visit it; the new name, had greater appeal to an ethnocentric audience." On November 20, 1919, Congress redesignated the monument as Zion National Park, the act was signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
The Kolob section was proclaimed a separate Zion National Monument in 1937, but was incorporated into the national park in 1956. The geology of the Zion and Kolob canyons area includes nine formations that together represent 150 million years of Mesozoic-aged sedimentation. At various periods in that time warm, shallow seas, streams and lakes, vast deserts, dry near-shore environments covered the area. Uplift associated with the creation of the Colorado Plateau lifted the region 10,000 feet starting 13 million years ago; the park is located in southwestern Utah in Washington and Kane counties. Geomorphically, it is located on the Markagunt and Kolob plateaus, at the intersection of three North American geographic provinces: the Colorado Plateau, the Great Basin, the Mojave Desert; the northern part of the park is known as the Kolob Canyons section and is accessible from Interstate 15, exit 40. The 8,726-foot summit of Horse Ranch Mountain is the highest point in the park. Streams in the area take rectangular paths.
The stream gradient of the Virgin River, whose North Fork flows through Zion Canyon in the park, ranges from 50 to 80 feet per mile —one of the steepest stream gradients in North America. The road into Zion Canyon is 6 miles long, ending at the Temple of Sinawava, named for the coyote god of the Paiute Indians; the canyon becomes more narrow near the Temple and a hiking trail continues to the mouth of The Narrows, a gorge only 20 feet wide and up to 2,000 feet tall. The Zion Canyon road is served by a free shuttle bus from early April to late October and by private vehicles the other months of the year. Other roads in Zion are open to private vehicles year-round; the east side of the park is served by Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, which passes through the Zion–Mount Carmel Tunnel and ends at Mount Carmel. On the east side of the park, notable park features include the East Temple; the Kolob Terrace area, northwest of Zion Canyon, features a slot canyon called The Subway, a panoramic view of the entire area from Lava Point.
The Kolob Canyons section, further to the northwest near Cedar City, features one of the world's longest natural arches, Kolob Arch. Other notable geographic features of the park include the Virgin River Narrows, Emerald Pools, Angels Landing, The Great White Throne, Court of the Patriarchs. Spring weather is unpredictable, with stormy, wet days being common, mixed with occasional warm, sunny weather. Precipitation is heaviest in March. Spring wildflowers bloom from April through June. Fall days are clear and mild. Summer days are hot, but overnight lows are comfortable. Afternoon thunderstorms are common from mid-July through mid-September. Storms may produce waterfalls as well as flash floods. Autumn tree-color displays begin in September in the high country. Winter in Zion Canyon is mild. Winter storms bring light snow to Zion Canyon and heavier snow to the higher elevations. Clear days may become quite warm, reaching 60 °F. Winter storms can make roads icy. Zion roads are plowed, except the Kolob Terrace Road, closed when cover
Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park is an American national park in south-central Utah. The park is 60 miles long on its north–south axis and just 6 miles wide on average; the park was established in 1971 to preserve 241,904 acres of desert landscape and is open all year, with May through September being the highest visitation months. In Wayne County, the area was named "Wayne Wonderland" in the 1920s by local boosters Ephraim P. Pectol and Joseph S. Hickman. Capitol Reef National Park was designated a national monument on August 2, 1937, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to protect the area's colorful canyons, ridges and monoliths. Road access was improved in 1962 with the construction of State Route 24 through the Fremont River Canyon; the majority of the nearly 100 mi long up-thrust formation called the Waterpocket Fold—a rocky spine extending from Thousand Lake Mountain to Lake Powell—is preserved within the park. Capitol Reef is an rugged and spectacular segment of the Waterpocket Fold by the Fremont River.
The park was named for its whitish Navajo Sandstone cliffs with dome formations—similar to the white domes placed on capitol buildings—that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold. Locally, reef refers to any rocky barrier to land travel, just as ocean reefs are barriers to sea travel. Capitol Reef encompasses the Waterpocket Fold, a warp in the earth's crust, 65 million years old, it is the largest exposed monocline in North America. In this fold and older layers of earth folded over each other in an S-shape; this warp caused by the same colliding continental plates that created the Rocky Mountains, has weathered and eroded over millennia to expose layers of rock and fossils. The park is filled with brilliantly colored sandstone cliffs, gleaming white domes, contrasting layers of stone and earth; the area was named for a line of white domes and cliffs of Navajo Sandstone, each of which looks somewhat like the United States Capitol building, that run from the Fremont River to Pleasant Creek on the Waterpocket Fold.
The fold forms a north-to-south barrier, breached by roads. Early settlers referred to parallel impassable ridges as "reefs", from which the park gets the second half of its name; the first paved road was constructed through the area in 1962. State Route 24 cuts through the park traveling east and west between Canyonlands National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, but few other paved roads invade the rugged landscape; the park is filled with canyons, towers and arches. The Fremont River has cut canyons through parts of the Waterpocket Fold, but most of the park is arid desert. A scenic drive shows park visitors some highlights, but it runs only a few miles from the main highway. Hundreds of miles of trails and unpaved roads lead into the scenic backcountry. Fremont-culture Native Americans lived near the perennial Fremont River in the northern part of the Capitol Reef Waterpocket Fold around the year 1000, they stored their grain in stone granaries. In the 13th century, all of the Native American cultures in this area underwent sudden change due to a long drought.
The Fremont settlements and fields were abandoned. Many years after the Fremont left, Paiutes moved into the area; these Numic-speaking people named the Fremont granaries moki huts and thought they were the homes of a race of tiny people or moki. In 1872 Alan H. Thompson, a surveyor attached to United States Army Major John Wesley Powell's expedition, crossed the Waterpocket Fold while exploring the area. Geologist Clarence Dutton spent several summers studying the area's geology. None of these expeditions explored the Waterpocket Fold to any great extent, however, it was, as now rugged and forbidding. Following the American Civil War, officials of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City sought to establish missions in the remotest niches of the Intermountain West. In 1866, a quasi-military expedition of Mormons in pursuit of natives penetrated the high valleys to the west. In the 1870s, settlers moved into these valleys establishing Loa, Lyman and Torrey. Mormons settled the Fremont River valley in the 1880s and established Junction and Aldridge.
Fruita prospered, Caineville survived, Aldridge died. In addition to farming, lime was extracted from local limestone, uranium was extracted early in the 20th century. In 1904 the first claim to a uranium mine in the area was staked; the resulting Oyler Mine in Grand Wash produced uranium ore. By 1920 no more than ten families at one time were sustained by the fertile flood plain of the Fremont River and the land changed ownership over the years; the area remained isolated. The community was abandoned and still some buildings were restored by the National Park Service. Kilns once used to produce lime are still near the campgrounds on Scenic Drive. Local Ephraim Portman Pectol organized a "booster club" in Torrey in 1921. Pectol pressed a promotional campaign, furnishing stories to be sent to newspapers. In his efforts, he was aided by his brother-in-law, Joseph S. Hickman, the Wayne County High School principal. In 1924, Hickman extended community involvement in the promotional effort by organizing a Wayne County-wide Wayne Wonderland Club.
That same year, Hickman was elected to the Utah State Legislature. In 1933, Pectol was elected to the presidency
Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness is an autobiographical work by American writer Edward Abbey published in 1968. His fourth book and his first book-length non-fiction work, it follows three fictional books: Jonathan Troy, The Brave Cowboy, Fire on the Mountain. Although it garnered little attention, Desert Solitaire was recognized as an iconic work of nature writing and a staple of early environmentalist writing, bringing Abbey critical acclaim and popularity as a writer of environmental and philosophical issues. Based on Abbey's activities as a park ranger at Arches National Monument in the late 1950s, the book is compared to Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac, it is written as a series of vignettes about Abbey's experiences in the Colorado Plateau region of the desert Southwestern United States, ranging from vivid descriptions of the fauna, flora and human inhabitants of the area, to firsthand accounts of wilderness exploration and river running, to a polemic against development and excessive tourism in the national parks, to stories of the author's work with a search and rescue team to pull a human corpse out of the desert.
The book is interspersed with observations and discussions about the various tensions – physical and existential – between humans and the desert environment. Many of the chapters engage in lengthy critiques of modern Western civilization, United States politics, the decline of America's environment. In 1956 and 1957, Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal ranger for the United States National Park Service at Arches National Monument, near the town of Moab, Utah. Abbey held the position from April to September each year, during which time he maintained trails, greeted visitors, collected campground fees, he lived in a house trailer provided to him by the Park Service, as well as in a ramada that he built himself. The area around Moab in that period was still a wilderness habitat and undeveloped, with only small numbers of park visitors and limited access to most areas of the monument. During his stay at Arches, Abbey accumulated a large volume of notes and sketches which formed the basis of his first non-fiction work, Desert Solitaire.
These notes remained unpublished for a decade while Abbey pursued other jobs and attempted with only moderate success to pursue other writing projects, including three novels which proved to be commercial and critical failures. Abbey revisited the Arches notes and diaries in 1967, after some editing and revising had them published as a book in 1968. Although Abbey rejected the label of nature writing to describe his work, Desert Solitaire was one of a number of influential works which contributed to the popularity and interest in the nature writing genre in the 1960s and 1970s. Abbey cited as inspiration and referred to other earlier writers of the genre Mary Hunter Austin, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, whose style Abbey echoed in the structure of his work. However, Abbey's writing in this period was significantly more confrontational and politically charged than in earlier works, like contemporary Rachel Carson in Silent Spring, he sought to contribute to the wider political movement of environmentalism, emerging at the time.
Abbey went on to admire the nature writing and environmentalist contemporaries of that period Annie Dillard. Desert Solitaire is a collection of treatises and autobiographical excerpts describing Abbey's experiences as a park ranger and wilderness enthusiast in 1956 and 1957; the opening chapters, First Morning and Solitaire, focus on the author's experiences arriving at and creating a life within Arches National Monument. In this early period the park is undeveloped: road access and camping facilities are basic, there is a low volume of tourist traffic. Many of the book's chapters are studies of the animals, plants and climate of the region around Arches National Monument. Cliffrose and Bayonets and Serpents of Paradise focus on Abbey's descriptions of the fauna and flora of the Arches area and his observations of the deteriorating balance of biodiversity in the desert due to the pressures of human settlement in the region. Abbey provides detailed inventories and observations of the life of desert plants, their unique adaptations to their harsh surroundings, including the cliffrose, pinyon pine, sand sage.
He comments on the decline of the large desert predators bobcats, mountain lions, wildcats, criticizes the roles ranchers and the policies of the Department of Agriculture have had in the elimination of these animals, which in turn has fostered unchecked growth in deer and rabbit populations, thereby damaging the delicate balance of the desert ecosystem. In the aforementioned chapters and in Rocks, Abbey describes at length the geology he encounters in Arches National Monument the iconic formations of Delicate Arch and Double Arch. In Water, Abbey discusses how the ecosystem adapts to the arid conditions of the Southwest, how the springs and other stores of water in their own ways support some of the diverse but fragile plant and animal life; some of the oddities of water in the desert, such as flash floods and quicksand, are explored. Abbey contrasts the natural adaptation of the environment to low-water conditions with increasing human demands to create more reliable water sources; the Heat of Noon: Rock and Tree and Cloud describes the intensity of the summer months in the park, the various ways in which animals and humans have tried to survive and adapt in those conditions.
Several chapters focus on Abbey's
The Henry Mountains are located in the southeastern portion of the U. S. state of Utah and run in a north-south direction, extending over a distance of about 30 miles. They were named by Almon Thompson in honor of Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; the nearest town of any size is Hanksville, north of the mountains. The Henry Mountains were the last mountain range to be added to the map of the 48 contiguous U. S. states, before their official naming by Thompson, were sometimes referred to as the "Unknown Mountains." In Navajo, the range is still referred to as Dził Bizhiʼ Ádiní. The range is clustered with Highway 276 dividing the two portions; the northern group is by far the taller of the two with Mount Ellen: 11,522 ft above sea level. The southern group is much lower in elevation; the southern group has two peaks: Mount Ellsworth: 8,235 ft and Mount Holmes: 8,000 ft. The southern group is known as the "Little Rockies"; the Henry Mountains are drained by a number of canyon systems which radiate away from the isolated range, flowing north into the Fremont River, east into the Dirty Devil River, or south into Lake Powell.
The geology of these mountains was first studied in 1875-1876 by Grove Karl Gilbert. He coined the term "laccolite" to describe the characteristic shapes of some of the igneous intrusions that core the mountains; the main type of igneous rock is porphyritic diorite. Ages of the igneous rocks are important for understanding the evolution of the Colorado Plateau. Ages of these rocks were reported to be about 45 to 50 million years in older geologic literature. However, it has been established that these intrusions formed in the period from about 23 to 31 million years ago, using uranium–lead dating of zircon and argon–argon dating of hornblende; the intrusions are hosted by Permian to Cretaceous sedimentary rocks. The geology of these mountains is similar to the geology of the La Sal Range and of the Abajo Mountains, both on the Colorado Plateau in southeastern Utah: locations are shown on a satellite image presented with information about the La Sal Range; the Henry Mountains are home to 350 American bison.
Via genetic testing of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, the Henry Mountains bison herd was shown to be one of only three free-roaming and genetically purebred bison herds on public lands in the United States. This study, published in 2015 showed the Henry Mountains bison to be free of brucellosis, a bacterial disease, imported with non-native domestic cattle to North America; the other two American herds are in Yellowstone National Park, Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota. The majority of free-ranging American Bison are found in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, with additional transplanted populations in AlaskaThe Henry Mountains Bison Herd was created in 1941 when 18 bison, including three bulls, were moved from Yellowstone National Park and released near the Dirty Devil River and east of Hanksville, Utah. An additional five bulls were added to the population in 1942; the herd has moved toward the Henry Mountains, frequenting elevations up to 10,000 ft. The Henry Mountain herd has been brucellosis-free since 1963.
A population objective of 325 bison by 2012 was set by Utah wildlife biologists for the Henry Mountain herd. Since the bison reproduce and the herds have been larger than this in the past, a decision was made to reduce the size of the herd. To achieve this objective, increase overall genetic diversity, breeding animals are being transplanted to other locations from the herd. In January, 2009, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources officials transplanted 31 animals to the Book Cliffs in eastern Utah; the new group joined 14 animals released in August, 2008 from a private herd on the nearby Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. In addition, special licenses are issued annually to hunt the animals and help reduce the excess population. In 2009, 146 public once-in-a-lifetime Henry Mountain bison hunting permits were issued. Much of the area is managed by the United States Bureau of Land Management. Jules D. Friedman and Curtis Huffman, Jr. coordinators, Laccolith Complexes of Southeastern Utah: Time of Emplacement and Tectonic Setting—Workshop Proceedings, United States Geological Survey Bulletin 2158, 1998.
Http://pubs.usgs.gov/bul/b2158/B2158.pdf W. Kenneth Hamblin, Beyond the Visible Landscape: Aerial Panoramas of Utah's Geology. Regal Printing Limited. Hong Kong, http://www.regalprinting.com.hk 300 p. 2004. ISBN 0-9760722-0-3 Gilbert, Grove Karl. Report on the Geology of the Henry Mountains. Washington, D. C.: United States Geological Survey. The Henry Mountains by Roy Webb / broken link 2016-03-27Kay, Charles E. 2015. Long Term Vegetation Change in Utah's Henry Mountains: A Study in Repeat Photography. BLM-UT-GI-14001-8002+REV15. 274 pages. Http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/blm/wo/blm_library/misc_pubs. Par.74891. File.dat/Kay2015_HenryMtns.pdf