Member Survey

What are National Conservation Lands

“The establishment of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) also known as National Conservation Lands was a major step forward in recognizing lands of exceptional beauty, historical value, and cultural significance that are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. Through effective, forward-looking stewardship, the BLM will protect and preserve these treasured landscapes as a legacy for the American people.”

-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar-March 2010

As defined by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, the National Landscape Conservation System, also known as National Conservation Lands includes the following areas administered by the BLM in the U.S.:

  1. National Monuments.
  2. National Conservation Areas.
  3. Components of the National Wilderness Preservation System.
  4. Wilderness Study Areas.
  5. Components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  6. National Scenic Trails or National Historic Trails Designated as Components of the
  7. National Trails System.
  8. Any area designated by Congress to be administered for conservation purposes.

The National Conservation Lands (formally the National Landscape Conservation System) are the nation’s newest, permanently protected collection of public lands. Similar to the National Parks System, BLM has been charged to manage these 28 million acres of nationally significant landscapes with conservation as a priority. These lands have been set aside for current and future generations because of their outstanding cultural, ecological and scientific importance. The National Conservation Lands consist of the last places where you can experience the history of the American West. From the rivers which Lewis and Clark explored, to pioneer trails, to Native American sites, the heritage and beauty of these places are safeguarded for all to see.

As part of the Lands Bill, two National Conservation Areas were designated in Washington County, The Beaver Dam Wash and Red Cliffs NCA’s. These special places along with the entire National Conservation Lands System reflect our new understanding that truly conserving natural and cultural values means protecting large landscapes – entire ecosystems and archaeological districts – more than small, isolated tracts surrounded by development. And it encourages the increasingly rare opportunity for Americans to escape crowds and create their own outdoor adventures in the wild beauty of the West, as well as providing unique resources for study to scientists and students of all ages.

Components of the National Conservation Lands in Washington County

As defined by 2009 Lands Bill, the National Conservation Lands include the following areas administered by BLM in Washington County, Utah:

  • Two National Conservation Areas (NCAs) Beaver Dam Wash 68,083 acres and Red Cliffs 44,725 acres.
  • Wilderness Areas 256,338 acres With 131,932 acres on BLM land outside Zion National Park and the balance within Zion National Park.
  • 165 miles of National Wild and Scenic River segments on BLM and Zion National Park land. 11 river segments totaling 19 miles of creeks in BLM wilderness areas that flow into Zion National Park. In Zion National Park 146 miles of river segments were designated.

The National Conservation lands represents a model in which landscape-scale conservation can be achieved through shared stewardship. To carry out its National Conservation Lands mission, the BLM seeks the help of tribes, communities of interest and place, Friends groups, recreationists, ranchers, business interests, universities, and others to assist in managing for conservation in the context of a larger working landscape and to respect the unique and diverse opportunities that result from these national treasures.

Please join CDF’s volunteer program to protect these National Conservation Lands in Washington County.