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Contact: Jim Roche, 435-425-4140
Capitol Reef National Park is seeking public comments on an orchard replanting project to begin in fall of 2021. The project will initiate long-term rehabilitation of several historic Fruita orchards. To provide comments and learn more about the Orchard Rehabilitation Project, visit the Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) site at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/careorchardrehab.
The orchards of the Fruita Rural Historic District are one of the largest in the U.S. National Park System and are significant to the park’s history and cultural heritage. They provide valuable fruit harvest and educational opportunities that can be enjoyed by all visitors. Several orchards have lost most of their original trees and with continued losses expected, replanting is needed to maintain their historic integrity. “Many orchards are in decline due to old age, disease, and other factors. It is essential to begin sustained replanting of park orchards to maintain the integrity of the Fruita historic landscape” says park Horticulturist Fritz Maslan.
Work planned for 2021 will focus on the Guy Smith and Cook orchards and will consist of removing remaining trees and then regrading and amending soils to revitalize orchard soil health. In 2022, historically appropriate saplings will be planted. Lessons learned from this project, including input from the public, will inform upcoming orchard projects that sustain this precious resource into the future. There are several ways to comment, either virtually or in-person:
• February 25, 2021 at 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm mountain time: virtual public meeting via webinar,
• February 26, 2021 at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm mountain time: on-site public meeting,
• March 4, 2021 at 10:00 am to 12:00 pm mountain time: on-site public meeting.
The virtual public meeting will be open to all interested parties. The on-site public meetings will be limited to 30 participants each and hosted at Capitol Reef National Park, site to be determined later.
To participate, visit the project website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/careorchardrehab.
For more information about the orchard rehabilitation project at Capitol Reef National Park, visit:
Last updated: January 29, 2021