Next Steps for the Greater Zion Landscape

GIFT REQUESTED: Ongoing, call to get involved

In early 2019, the Zion Forever Project published a five-year Strategic Plan. More than 50 local and regional stakeholders joined park leadership and Zion Forever team and board members to identify priorities, set strategy, and create implementation plans. Central to the Forever Project’s vision for the future includes building stewardship over the Greater Zion Landscape. To do so, we rely on our community of supporters to help us take care of the sacred and significant landscapes surrounding Zion, Cedar Breaks, and Pipe Spring.

With nearly 3,000 acres of unprotected land within Zion’s boundaries and thousands more adjacent, land conservation remains a persistent park priority. In a show of leadership, the Trust for Public Land, Washington County, the National Park Foundation, and a circle of committed individuals are working together to conserve a privately-owned one-mile section of the Zion Narrows. Acquiring the Simon Gulch parcel is essential to giving 80 global visitors a day continued access to the 16-mile top-down Zion Narrows hiking experience—an effort supported by both the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.

In a region west of the park, The Nature Conservancy is focused on protecting the Virgin River, a life – sustaining resource in the Greater Zion Landscape. In partnership with a southern Utah community organization, the Virgin River Land Preservation Association, the Nature Conservancy is raising funds needed to protect a 419-acre parcel known as Sheep Bridge Crossing. The Virgin River Land Preservation Association has activated a local youth committee and is holding fundraisers in support of this collective effort. The Virgin River Land Preservation Association aspires to create new hiking trails, mountain bike paths, and picnic areas once Sheep Bridge property is permanently protected.

The Zion Forever Project remains committed to supporting organizations, individuals, landowners, and their generational conservation efforts to protect heritage lands. A gift in 2020 allows Zion Forever to bring additional resources to these efforts to forever protect the natural and cultural resources of the Greater Zion Landscape.