There’s a move underway in southern Utah to make the Cedar Breaks National Monument a national park. The idea has been around for a few years, but got officially aired for the first time this week, reports Mark Havnes of the Salt Lake Tribune. If successful, it would make the area, famous for its red rock amphitheater, the sixth national park for Utah, and the 54th for the country. The news comes just as the National Parks Second Century Commission, chaired by former Senators Howard H. Baker, Jr. of Tennessee and J. Bennett Johnson, Jr. of Louisiana prepare to release their final report, “Advancing the National Park Idea” later this week.
The dialogue in Utah so far seems focused on the issues of how such a national park designation would affect private landowners in the area, and how much money it could bring in tourism. Maybe the report later this week will bring a renewed focus on the original purpose of such landmark parks and what they could mean for all our futures.