Tuesday, July 14, 2020

SUBSCRIPTIONS

Moab, UT

79.8 F
Moab
More

    Council supports push for Utahraptor State Park

    Featured Stories

    Tales of Trails: Savor spectacular views from thrilling Shafer Trail

    In the 1890s, Moab pioneer brothers Frank M. And John S. Shafer developed the route from what had been a Native American pathway connecting what is now Canyonlands National Park to the river below.

    At 99, Moab man is knighted by France

    “The French people will never forget his courage and devotion to the great cause of freedom,”

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 4: ‘A year in the land of eternal spring’

    Though I planned to return someday, whether as a Peace Corps volunteer or not, this experience proved that even the best-laid plans go awry.

    Leaving Guatemala, Part 3: Sudden departure came with painful goodbyes

    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.

    Leaving Guatemala Part 2: There wasn’t enough time to say goodbye

    To say I woke up on the Monday morning of the evacuation...
    Doug McMurdo
    Doug McMurdo
    Editor Doug McMurdo reports on news out of the Moab City Center, tourism, courts, change of government and more.
    This full skeleton of a Utahraptor is on display at Utah State University Eastern in Price. Photo courtesy of USU Eastern

    The Grand County Council will send a letter in support of turning the Dalton Wells and Willow Springs area into Utahraptor State Park.

    The council with little discussion voted 7-0 to send the letter to Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. David Hinkins and Rep. Steve Eliason with the idea of tackling two issues at once: Protect the existing recreational opportunities at the site of one of the world’s most diverse paleontological sites, as well as historical and cultural locations – including a World War II Japanese internment camp. The second reason is to put an end to rampant dry, or dispersed, camping where not everybody is respectful.

    “Recognizing the value of this area with its diverse paleontological, historical and cultural history, and being concerned about its lack of protection, Grand County has been working for the past few years with Utah’s Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands to create a management plan for these sovereign lands,” reads the letter.

    A plan discussed but never followed up on in late 2018 sought to have the area turned into a campground managed by Grand County, and constructed by the state after it was reported the site was subjected to widespread vandalism, along with some campers dumping the black water tanks from their RVs on the ground and people leaving piles of trash when they left.

    The Times-Independent interviewed State Paleontologist Dr. Jim Kirkland following a teleconference in November of 2018 to discuss the site and the problems.

    It’s no secret Utah is home to more dinosaur fossils than anywhere else in the world and Grand County is ground zero.

    Located on State Sovereign Lands off of Highway 191 north of Arches National Park, the roughly 1,200 acres has become popular with campers who either can’t find a campsite or don’t want to pay the fees.

    Ongoing vandalism at Dalton Wells could do “real harm” to what Kirkland described as “the most complete record of the history of life in the world.”

    “We’re where it all began. This is an incredible resource,” he said at the time.

    Kirkland named the Utahraptor in 1989 and it was a find that validated the giant raptors that were featured in the original “Jurassic Park” film. Gov. Gary Herbert named it the state dinosaur earlier in 2018. There are roughly 50 other types of dinosaur fossils in the area.

    Kirkland advocated for turning the site into a state park, saying acts of vandalism occur “almost daily,” and he said full-cast skeletons from the site are exhibited in more than 30 museums around the world.

    In addition to being home to the Utahraptor – it has been found nowhere else – is a Civilian Conservation Corps site from the 1930s, the internment camp from the 1940s, and a history of uranium mining from the 1960s.

    Share this!

    - Advertisement -

    Latest News

    County: Mask mandate is official

    Southeast Utah Health Department Director Bradon Bradford modeled the local order after those in Salt Lake and Summit counties.

    Lionsback Resort project begins on Sand Flats Road

    The City of Moab will have oversight of the project, which was not something that was always on the table because state law allows SITLA to develop projects without input from local authorities.

    Drought conditions grip Utah; stats are grim

    It’s unlikely things will improve this late in the water year.

    State provides 75,000 more facemasks for Moab businesses, visitors

    Local businesses may pick up free face coverings at the Canyonlands Copy Center, 375 S. Main St., in Moab.

    County approves letter opposing September gas lease sales

    The oppositional letter asserts that the lease sale “threatens the core of our tourism economy by locking in long-term oil and gas leases on and around popular recreation areas that are vital to our local economy.”