Search and Rescue

The Forever Project is Enhancing SAR Operations in Zion

The Zion Forever Project recently allocated over $60,000 to bolster search and rescue (SAR) operations within Zion National Park. This substantial contribution underscores the project’s dedication to preserving the park’s natural beauty and ensuring the well-being of its visitors and the resilience of its rescue teams.

Zion National Park attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe, and the park’s search and rescue team is a critical lifeline, responding to more than 400 calls for assistance each year. These operations range from basic rescues to complex operations in challenging conditions, emphasizing the importance of well-equipped and well-trained SAR personnel.

The funding from the Zion Forever Project has been strategically allocated, ensuring comprehensive support. This includes basic SAR training, which lays the foundation for all rescue operations, and specialized swift water training, essential for navigating the treacherous currents of the Virgin River during rescues. Additionally, recognizing the emotional toll these operations can take, the project has invested in training to support the mental health of rescuers and family liaisons. These individuals play a vital role in providing care and support to the families of victims, who often find themselves in distressing situations far from the comforts of home.

Winter rescues, which present unique challenges in the park, have also received a boost with the acquisition of a new snowmobile. This equipment is vital for ensuring the effectiveness of search and rescue efforts during the colder months and at high elevations when the park’s terrain can become particularly perilous.

Zion National Park operates under the principle that “your safety is your responsibility,” reminding visitors that while the beauty of the park is to be enjoyed, the wilderness demands respect and preparation. Search and rescue services, powered by the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of donors, are not guaranteed, and your support is critical to their continuation.

To support SAR efforts in our parks – or prevent the need for them, follow these steps:

  1. Be prepared – have the right water and food needs, weather equipment/gear, and knowledge of the area you are going into.
  2. Know your level of ability and the level of ability of those you are enjoying the parks with.
  3. Be aware – know the risks of the areas you are recreating in; weather conditions, terrain, and wildlife can all impact your experience.

To support future SAR training and equipment needs: Donate Today

The Zion Forever Project’s contribution to SAR operations is a powerful reminder of the role that donors play in safeguarding the park’s visitors. As the park continues to welcome adventurers, the enhanced capabilities of its SAR teams ensure that Zion remains a place of beauty, challenge, and safety.