Canyonlands National Park is 50 years old this year and a series of celebrations are planned to mark the occasion. The Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks presented their plans for the celebration at the August 11 meeting of the San Juan County Commission.
The main celebration events will occur from Thursday to Saturday, September 11 to 13. The Thursday and Saturday events take place in Moab, and will include a historic film festival on Thursday and a picnic on Saturday.
The Friday celebration will take place in the Needles district, running from 3 until 8 p.m.
Douglas Brinkley, a history professor from Rice University, is the featured speaker that evening. Additionally, the Utah State University cultural performers will perform a Native American dance. A free “cowboy” dinner will be provided as well.
Commissioner Bruce Adams, who will give the invocation at the September 12 celebration, said, “This is a great celebration.”
Adams mentioned that he hopes Angel Arch, the rock formation that inspired Senators to designate the national park, will one day be more accessible than it is today.
In other matters at the August 11 Commission meeting, county wildfire management was addressed. Plans were presented to purchase a SIMtable, a technology that maps areas, such as the Abajo mountains, to simulate and predict what a fire will do.
Commissioners plan to buy the $29,000 table using Secure Rural School (SRS) grant funds. They plan to hear a presentation on the table in a future meeting.
Additionally, Monticello Assistant City Manager Oliver Crane presented an idea to provide cabins for rock climbers in Indian Creek Canyon.
The climber’s village would provide low-cost short-term lodging for climbers visiting the canyon. American Alpine Club would mange the cabins, and receive half of the profits. The rest of the money would go towards grants for small businesses in San Juan County.
While the project is still in its formative stages, Crane said he is excited about the opportunity it will provide for local growth.