Rep. Stewart proposes new national park in Utah

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FILE – This July 9, 2017 file photo, shows a view of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. A government watchdog will investigate whether the U.S. Interior Department broke the law by making plans to open up lands cut from the Utah national monument by President Trump to leasing for oil, gas and coal development. U.S. Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico said Monday, June 17, 2019, in a news release that the Government Accountability Office informed his office last week that it has agreed to his request that it look into whether the Interior violated the appropriations law by using funds to assess potential resource extraction in the lands cut from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. (Spenser Heaps/The Deseret News via AP, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Representative Chris Stewart (R) has reintroduced the Grand Staircase Escalante Act (H.R. 8446) which aims to create a sixth national park in the state of Utah. The proposed new park, the Escalante Canyons Park and Preserve, was originally introduced this legislation.

“Whether you want guaranteed access or long-term conservation, the Escalante Canyons National Park meets your goals. By providing for a strong local voice in park management, the Escalante Canyons Park and Preserve is pioneering management that works collaboratively with those who live and work in this area. This legislation invites those who want to experience the beauty of Utah, our paleontology and ancient history, and the local culture to come enjoy this part of the state,” said Rep. Stewart of the proposed new national park.

According to a press release sent from Rep. Stewart’s office, details concerning the newly proposed park include:

  • The park would conserve the important area while allowing access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and grazing
  • Park boundaries would fall within the Escalante Canyons Unit of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
  • The new park would transfer ‘Hole in the Rock Road’ to the state of Utah in recognition of the road’s historical significance as a pioneer trail to early settlers
  • A ‘Management Council’ comprised of local officials would be created to oversee a management plan for the new monuments and National Park
  • The act designates three separate and distinct national designations: Grand Staircase National Monument, Escalante Canyons National Park, and Kaiparowits National Monument
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