Rep. Chris Stewart introduces legislation to create Utah's 6th National Park

FILE - This July 15, 2016, file photo, shows the "Moonhouse" in McLoyd Canyon which is part of Bears Ears National Monument, near Blanding, Utah. President Donald Trump is expected to announce plans to shrink Bears Ears National Monument as well as Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah that were created by past Democratic presidents. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(KUTV) Utah Congressman Chris Stewart introduced legislation Wednesday aiming to create Utah's sixth National Park, Escalante Canyons Park and Reserve.

“With their deep narrow canyons, high plateaus, sheer cliffs, incredible vistas, and vibrant colors, the Escalante Canyons are a crown jewel in the state,” Rep. Stewart said. “Escalante Canyons National Park is a win-win for those wanting conservation and access. It’s a win-win for those who want to share the beauty of this state but also to preserve the local culture that is so important to our communities. Additionally, this bill gives locals a stronger voice in how their backyard is managed.”

“There is a reason I live in Utah. I love it here! I love to ski. I love to hike and rock climb. I love these lands. I want to preserve them, and I believe Utahns are better suited to manage our lands than bureaucrats back in Washington.”

The Grand Staircase Escalante Enhancement Act accomplishes the following:

  • Creates Utah's sixth National Park -- Escalante Canyons National Park
  • Transfers "Hole in the Rock Road" to the state of Utah in recognition of this historically significant Mormon pioneer trail
  • Creates a "Management Council" comprised of local officials to draft and oversee a management plan for the new monument and National Park, giving local leaders a powerful voice and seat at the table
  • Codifies the boundaries of the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, as outlined by President Trump

The new park would conserve the region while allowing access for hunting, fishing, trapping, and grazing.

According to a press release, the park maps are still being finalized by the local communities, but the boundaries will fall within the newly created Escalante Canyons Unit of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

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