“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
In 2009, Congress protected some of the most scenic land in Washington County by adding them to the National Conservation Lands. These lands have been set aside for current and future generations because of their outstanding cultural, natural, 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. 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, as well as providing unique resources for study to scientists and students of all ages.
From the iconic Red Mountain to the Moki steps of Quail Creek, Red Cliffs has been a recreation destination for decades. With over 130 miles of non-motorized trails, the NCA is where many of us take our morning walk or weekly hike. Because of easy accessibility and high visitor ship it’s the most known of the National Conservation Lands here in Washington County. Lesser known is that it’s also incredibly important habitat for wildlife and plants and is full of historic sites. Watch the video above to learn more about Red Cliffs and why it’s so important to our community.
Beaver Dam Wash sits at the very edge of Mojave desert. Sitting at the lowest elevation in Utah, it contains dense stands of Joshua Trees and desert plants. The intermittent water supplied through the wash is invaluable to local wildlife in an otherwise dry environment. The area also provides excellent habitat for the threatened Mojave desert tortoise. In fact, historically some of the densest populations of the tortoise ever found used to be out in Beaver Dam.
For more information on all the National Conservation Land Units, you can go to BLM’s website.