Escalante National Monument

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This article is about the national monument proposed in the 1930s and present-day efforts to expand Utah park lands: for the national monument proclaimed in 1996 on a portion of the 1936 proposal, see Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Escalante National Monument was proposed by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes in the 1930s as a unit of the U.S. National Park Service in the canyonlands of south central Utah. Centering on the canyons of the Escalante River, the proposed monument encompassed portions of present-day Canyonlands and Capitol Reef national parks, Natural Bridges and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.[1] The proposed national monument was to encompass about 4,500,000 acres (1,800,000 ha). The Second World War interrupted Ickes initiative, which had encountered resistance from Utah politicians.[2][3][4]

The scheme was partially fulfilled with the establishment of Capitol Reef National Monument under the Antiquities Act in 1937 and Canyonlands National Park by act of Congress in 1964,[1] and expanded with the proclamation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by the Clinton Administration in 1996. Later proposals by the National Parks Conservation Association in the 1980s,[3] former Utah Congressman Wayne Owens in the 1990s,[1] and the Greater Canyonlands Coalition in the 2010s revived the idea, encountering renewed opposition from the Utah congressional delegation.[5]

On December 28, 2016 President Barack Obama proclaimed the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument to protect Bureau of Land Management public lands and part of the Manti-La Sal National Forest south and east of Canyonlands National Park. This area was part of the 1936 proposed national monument.


  1. ^ a b c Davidson, Lee (August 3, 1991). "Park Idea Dates Back to the 1930s". Deseret News. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Greater Canyonlands National Monument: An Opportunity, A Legacy" (PDF). Greater Canyonlands Coalition. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Park History:Canyonlands National Park". National Parks Traveleer. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  4. ^ Davidson, Lee (September 12, 1996). "Tug of war over area dates back 60 years". Deseret News.
  5. ^ Repanshek, Kurt (February 21, 2010). "Will the Long-Desired "Completion" of Canyonlands National Park Ever Arrive?". National Parks Traveler. Retrieved 26 May 2014.

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