SPRINGDALE — The Trust for Public Land today announced that it has permanently preserved a 35-acre inholding within Zion National Park. The land, known as Firepit Knoll, will be protected from future development thanks to the work of The Trust for Public Land and partners including the National Park Foundation and the National Park Trust.
The parcel is located alongside the popular Hop Valley Trail. Protection of the property ensures that visitors to Zion National Park will have uninterrupted views of the stunning Zion Wilderness from the trail and surrounding areas. Next month, The Trust for Public Land will donate the land to the National Park Service for formal inclusion into the park.
“Our iconic National Parks, like Zion, represent this country at our best,” said Diane Regas, CEO of The Trust for Public Land. “We are pleased to partner with the National Park Foundation to permanently protect land in Zion National Park."
The land was purchased by The Trust for Public Land from an Arizona rancher and real estate developer who bought the property over 20 years ago, and recently decided he would like to see it protected as part of the park.
“Partnership is vital to protecting America’s national treasures,” said Will Shafroth, president of the National Park Foundation. “The National Park Foundation’s collaboration with The Trust for Public Land, National Park Trust and donors preserves an important piece of our shared inheritance so that all people can experience it.”
Zion National Park is the third most visited National Park in the country and The Trust for Public Land has a long history of working to protect and expand the park. The Trust for Public Land was responsible for the most recent expansion of the park in 2013 with the protection of Tabernacle Dome. That same year, the organization protected the 300-acre Chamberlin Ranch and secured a trailhead and access to the iconic and internationally-known Zion Narrows Trail.
Inholdings are private land that exist entirely within the boundaries of public lands, such as National Parks. Inholdings can make management challenging and impact visitor experience by creating unsuitable development or blocking public access. According to recent research from The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, 9.52 million acres of public land are “landlocked” including 264,000 acres in Utah. In recent years, The Trust for Public Land has also acquired inholding properties at many other popular national parks around the country including Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, and Saguaro National Parks to add to our public lands.
"National Park Trust is honored to have worked with The Trust for Public Land and the National Park Foundation to permanently preserve this land for generations to come," said Phil Selleck, Park Projects Director at National Park Trust. "We believe it is critical that we complete our national parks to protect them from any development within park boundaries that would diminish their status as a national treasure as well as our legacy for those future generations; this was an important step in protecting Zion National Park."
Funding for protecting this property was provided by foundations and individuals who understand the importance of keeping Zion National Park intact for future generations. These individuals included John Donnell, a passionate hiker and biker who was a volunteer at Zion National Park after retiring from a long and successful career in the corporate world. Funding for the project was also provided by the National Park Foundation, the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation of Salt Lake City and by the National Park Trust, which often collaborates with The Trust for Public Land on projects that help our national parks.
ABOUT THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live within a 10-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION
Celebrating 50 years, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks and nonprofit partner to the National Park Service. Chartered by Congress in 1967, the National Park Foundation raises private funds to help PROTECT more than 84 million acres of national parks through critical conservation and preservation efforts, CONNECT all Americans with their incomparable natural landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, and ENGAGE the next generation of park stewards. In 2016, commemorating the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary, the Foundation launched The Centennial Campaign for America’s National Parks, a comprehensive fundraising campaign to strengthen and enhance the future of these national treasures for the next hundred years. Find out more and become a part of the national park community at www.nationalparks.org.
ABOUT NATIONAL PARK TRUST
NPT’s mission is preserving parks today; creating park stewards for tomorrow. In the 35 years since NPT was established, the non-profit organization has completed 62 land acquisition, restoration, and mitigation projects in 30 states, 1 U.S. Territory and Washington, D.C. including 49 National Park Service projects. In 2009, NPT launched its nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs which currently supports more than 200 Title I schools across the country. Since 2011, NPT has organized Kids to Parks Day, an annual national celebration of America’s parks hosted on the third Saturday in May.