Fire management and restoration programs in the Sierra National Parks now reflect much of what researchers like van Wagtendonk and Stephenson have learned about the behavior and ecology of wildfires. The current prescribed burning program, says Stephenson, is highly successful.
Although humans have long shaped their landscapes through deliberate use of fire, Allen says fire patterns in the Southwest have largely been driven by the region’s weather patterns.
The damming of the Colorado River at Glen Canyon is high on the West’s “greatest ecological sins” list.
Tucked away in remote Tsegi Canyon, the monument surrounds a small desert oasis, a place abundant in plant life, with mountain mahogany, Gambel oak, serviceberry, rice grass and Douglas fir scattered across the canyon.
The fossil nests, dating to about 220 million years ago, are similar to modern-day crocodile and turtle nests.
All day-use visitors to the South Rim will park their cars in the gateway community of Tusayan and board a light rail car for the six-mile ride to the Mather Point Transit Center. Light-rail trains will serve this route year-round, at regular intervals, with a train scheduled to depart about every five minutes during the peak season.
During the summer, Navajo families still live and farm the bottoms of Canyon de Chelly, Canyon del Muerto and Monument Canyon, all of which make up Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona.
I knew The Grand before ever being introduced. I knew about the bubble line in Lava Falls, the hole in Crystal, the rocks in Hance, the waves in Hermit.
Mount Wilson is one of dozens of geologic wonders to be found in Sedona.
But as Sedona becomes more and more attractive a destination, the citizens are faced with a challenge: To retain its charm and natural beauty without sacrificing its soul to tourism and development. That is, if it’s not too late.