Tag Archives: Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park = Visitors, Money and Jobs for Local Economy

Photo by Scott J Horwath Photography

A National Park Service (NPS) report shows that almost 4.4 million visitors spent more than $415 million in Grand Canyon National Park and in gateway regions around the park in 2010. In addition, visitor spending supported 6,167 jobs in the local area. The four economic/job sectors most impacted by this visitor spending were lodging, restaurants, retail trade, and entertainment/amusement.

“Grand Canyon National Park is an international icon, attracting visitors from around the world. It’s no surprise that it has a substantial impact on the local economy,” said Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. “The opportunity to engage in a wide array of popular recreational activities in one of the world’s premier geologic landscapes is a tremendous draw for tourism dollars.”

These figures are based on $12.1 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in and around 394 national park units around the country and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes of Michigan State University for the National Park Service. According to the analysis, the 22 national park units in Arizona alone attracted more than 10.5 million visitors who spent approximately $671 million and supported 9,661 jobs in the state.

Across the U.S., local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.

 

 

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Grand Canyon Hosts 5th Annual Archeology Day

Courtesy of Grand Canyon National Park

This Saturday, Grand Canyon National Park will host its 5th annual Archeology Day in honor of Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month.

Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month is intended to inform the public about archeology in the state of Arizona. In Grand Canyon National Park alone, over 4300 archeological sites have been recorded to date, and archeologists estimate that the park may have as many as 50,000-to-60,000 sites. Some of the artifacts found in the park date back almost 12,000 years, testimony to the vast extent of the human history of the area. That history lives on as the descendents of those ancient peoples continue to utilize the area today.

The event will feature opportunities for visitors to try their hands at making clay pinch pots and split-twig figurines; creating rock art using scratch art paper; coloring Hopi pot designs; sifting for artifacts; and planting corn, beans and squash seeds- traditional foods of the park’s native peoples. Additionally, there will be special programs by park archeologist Jason Nez and NAU anthropology professor Chris Downum.

All activities are free and family friendly and will take place between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages which can be easily accessed via the park’s free Village Route shuttle.

Archeology Day will conclude with a very special evening program by Shonto Begay, artist, author, educator and Grand Canyon Master Artist-in-Residence. Begay will discuss how his Navajo heritage and the rich culture of the Navajo reservation have influenced his contemporary paintings, as well as his environmental and social justice activism. Begay’s program will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of Ages Auditorium located on the South Rim near Parking Lot A.

For more information on Archeology Day and on special park programs happening throughout Archeology and Heritage Awareness Month, please visit the park’s web site or call Supervisory Park Ranger Libby Schaaf at 928-638-7641.

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Grand Canyon to Eliminate Sale of Water in Disposable Container

Photo by Coqui

Grand Canyon National Park will eliminate the in-park sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers within 30 days under a plan approved today by National Park Service (NPS) Intermountain Regional (IMR) Director John Wessels.

Free water stations are available throughout the park to allow visitors to fill reusable water bottles.

The park’s plan calls for the elimination of the sale of water packaged in individual disposable containers of less than one gallon, including plastic bottles and various types of boxes. The waste associated with disposable bottles comprises an estimated 20 percent of the park’s overall waste stream and 30 percent of the park’s recyclables.

Grand Canyon National Park’s plan was submitted and approved in accordance with the policy issued by NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis on December 14, 2011. Under the policy, parks are directed to implement a disposable plastic water bottle recycling and reduction policy, with an option to eliminate in-park sales — with the approval of the park’s regional director — following a thorough analysis of a variety of factors ranging from the cost to install water filling stations, to the cost and availability of BPA-free reusable containers, to potential effects on public safety.

“Our parks should set the standard for resource protection and ustainability,” said Regional Director Wessels. “Grand Canyon National Park has provided an excellent analysis of the impacts the elimination of bottled water would have, and has developed a well-thought-out plan for ensuring that the safety, needs and comfort of visitors continue to be met in the park. I feel confident that the impacts to park concessioners and partners have been given fair consideration and that this plan can be implemented with minimal impacts to the visiting public.”

Grand Canyon National Park has experienced increasing amounts of litter associated with disposable plastic bottles along trails both on the rim and within the inner canyon, marring canyon viewpoints and visitor experiences.

“We want to minimize both the monetary and environmental costs associated with water packaged in disposable containers,” said Grand Canyon Superintendent Dave Uberuaga. “We are grateful to the Director for recognizing the need for service-wide guidance on this issue and for providing a thoughtful range of options.”

“A lot of careful thought went into this plan and its implementation,” said Director Jarvis. “I applaud Grand Canyon National Park for its efforts to reduce waste and the environmental impacts created by individually packaged water. This is another example of The National Park Service’s commitment to being an exemplar of the ways we can all reduce our imprint on the land as we embrace sustainable practices that will protect the parks for generations to come.”

To view a copy of the service-wide policy on reduction of disposable plastic bottles in parks, go to www.nps.gov/policy/plastic.pdf.

 

>>Flickr photo by Coqui

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Q&A With Winner of Harry Yount Award


Ever wonder what a park ranger does all day? A lot, actually. In fact, when we heard that Grand Canyon National Park Supervisory Park Ranger, Lisa Hendy, was awarded the National Park Service’s Harry Yount National Park Ranger Award for excellence in the field of rangering, we wanted to spread the word… you see, what Ranger Hendy does day-in and day-out isn’t exactly what you’d do at a typical 9-to-5 job.

On any given day she could be found rappelling over the edge to stabilize a patient, working with the park’s Special Response Team to do a building sweep, responding with the structural fire engine to a burning RV, providing advanced life support care as a paramedic, being short-hauled into a victim on the river, or patrolling the backcountry – checking permits, stirring toilets, assessing archeological sites, and the list goes on.

The award, named after the nation’s first park ranger, is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a park ranger, so needless to say, this is a HUGE deal.

Below, we talked to Ranger Hendy about her work, why more folks should consider rangering as a job and what this award means to her:

How did you get into this line of work? Did you always know you wanted to be a ranger?
I was initially a criminal justice major at Auburn University, and I came to the realization I didn’t want to be stuck in a city or a car all the time. I had a good professor who suggested I look into the land management agencies. I got an internship in Yosemite, and when I got a look at what the National Park Service had to offer for emergency services, I was sold. I changed my major to Park Management before it was all said and done, but honestly that would not have mattered much. Either would have done.

What is the biggest misconception people have about your work?
That this job is all play all the time. Don’t get me wrong, we have it very good… people save up their vacation time to go do what I do at my job. But the hours are long, and the terrain and weather are unforgiving. It is hard on your body, and the emergency responses are often very stressful. I love my job, but it is definitely work!

What is the most extreme thing you’ve had to do as part of your job?
We have this nasty habit of making the extreme routine. I think something we do frequently that is also really high risk are the low level flights over the river. We do so many MEDEVAC’s off the river, it is easy to forget what the consequence of error would be.

Why should someone consider getting into your line of work?
Because it is the most fun job in the world! The challenges never cease, and no two days are ever alike. The caveat is that they must be willing to start at the bottom and work at it. Also, it helps to have no real internal clock since the pager does not seem to be able to tell time.

You said that your career is built on the teaching and wisdom of your predecessors… What piece of wisdom sticks with you most?
Take care of your buddies. You have to trust your coworkers with your life. We need to look out for each other in the day to day small stuff. That is the number one rule for the guys I supervise, and it is something I try to take to heart daily.

Tell us what this award means to you?
The award is extraordinarily humbling. I work with serious professionals. Many of them would be more than viable candidates for this award. I am honored that my peers thought enough of me to choose me, but I am aware that representing them is a tremendous responsibility. Of course, it makes me feel very honored. These people are my heroes. To have their respect is one of the most meaningful gifts they could give me.

 

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A New Sheriff in Town

There’s a new sheriff in town — well, more like a new superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park.

Dave Uberuaga is set to start his new gig this month after serving 9 years at Mount Rainier National Park. During that time, he also served as Acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park for more than a year. He has  been with the National Park Service since 1984.

“I am humbled to have been selected as Superintendent at Grand Canyon,” Uberuaga said when the news was made public. “I look forward to working with the park staff, the many stakeholders who care so deeply about the park, and the local community. Grand Canyon National Park is a truly spectacular place, one that has inspired people around the world.”

Welcome to Arizona Superintendent Uberuaga, and CONGRATS on the new post from your friends at Arizona Highways.

>>Flickr pic 

 

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Managing the Backcountry

Grand Canyon, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park’s Acting Superintendent,Jane Lyder, announced today that a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and revised Backcountry Management Plan has been published in the Federal Register.  This announcement begins the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process of identifying, analyzing and disclosing the potential impacts of actions that could be taken to manage Grand Canyon’s extensive backcountry resources.

The park’s existing Backcountry Management Plan (BMP) was completed in 1988 and needs to be updated in order to comply with current National Park Service (NPS) laws and policies and the park’s 1995 General Management Plan.  Development of a revised plan provides an opportunity to look at alternative management strategies for protecting park resources and values while providing for a variety of visitor experiences within the backcountry.  The EIS will describe the relationship of the BMP to other plans and NEPA documents, such as the Colorado River Management Plan, Mule Operations and Stock Use Plan, Fire Management Plan, and the Draft EIS for Special Flight Rules.

One of the first steps in the development of an EIS is public scoping. Scoping is an opportunity for the public to provide early ideas about a plan and the alternatives that should be considered, thus defining the “scope” of the plan.  The NPS is currently in the scoping phase of the EIS for Grand Canyon’s BMP.

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