Foundation Document

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Introduction

Every unit of the national park system will have a foundational document to provide basic guidance for planning and management decisions—a foundation for planning and management. The core components of a foundation document include a brief description of the park as well as the park’s purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, other important resources and values, and interpretive themes. The foundation document also includes special mandates and administrative commitments, an assessment of planning and data needs that identifies planning issues, planning products to be developed, and the associated studies and data required for park planning. Along with the core components, the assessment provides a focus for park planning activities and establishes a baseline from which planning documents are developed.

A primary benefit of developing a foundation document is the opportunity to integrate and coordinate all kinds and levels of planning from a single, shared understanding of what is most important about the park. The process of developing a foundation document begins with gathering and integrating information about the park. Next, this information is refined and focused to determine what the most important attributes of the park are. The process of preparing a foundation document aids park managers, staff, and the public in identifying and clearly stating in one document the essential information that is necessary for park management to consider when determining future planning efforts, outlining key planning issues, and protecting resources and values that are integral to park purpose and identity.

While not included in this document, a park atlas is also part of a foundation project. The atlas is a series of maps compiled from available geographic information system (GIS) data on natural and cultural resources, visitor use patterns, facilities, and other topics. It serves as a GIS-based support tool for planning and park operations. The atlas is published as a (hard copy) paper product and as geospatial data for use in a web mapping environment. The park atlas for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument can be accessed online at: http://insideparkatlas.nps.gov/.

 

Part 1: Core Components

The core components of a foundation document include a brief description of the park, park purpose, significance statements, fundamental resources and values, other important resources and values, and interpretive themes. These components are core because they typically do not change over time. Core components are expected to be used in future planning and management efforts.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area encompasses more than 1.25 million acres in northern Arizona and southeastern Utah. The recreation area includes portions of Garfield, Kane, San Juan, and Wayne counties in Utah and Coconino County in Arizona. The park’s southern boundary runs contiguous to lands of the Navajo Nation for almost 500 miles. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area shares boundaries with other national park system units, including Grand Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area adjoins approximately 9.3 million acres of other federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, and the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness. The park staff consults regularly with the Hopi Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Pueblo of Zuni, San Juan Southern Paiute, and Ute Mountain Ute in areas of mutual interest.

Rainbow Bridge National Monument was established in 1910 to protect a large and exceptionally scenic natural bridge and its surrounding area. At 160 acres, the monument is bounded by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Navajo Nation lands. Rainbow Bridge is sacred to several American Indian tribes, including the Hopi Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, Pueblo of Zuni, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (White Mesa Band). The stone arc of Rainbow Bridge is composed of Navajo sandstone on a base of Kayenta sandstone. Rainbow Bridge spans 275 feet, reaching a
height of 290 feet above Bridge Creek and ranging from 33 to 42 feet thick. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are managed as one unit; therefore, they are both included in this foundation document.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are both units of the national park system. While they are designated a national recreation area and a national monument respectively, both are equal units within the diverse park system. Individual units of the park system are commonly referred to as “parks” even if their designation is something other than national park. In 1970, Congress elaborated on the 1916 National Park Service Organic Act, saying that all units of the system possess equal legal standing in a national system. Consequently Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument are managed consistent with the law and policies that apply to all national park units.

Glen Canyon and Rainbow Bridge are located in a geographic area commonly referred to as the Colorado Plateau. This desert region is characterized by expansive areas of exposed and uplifted rocks that have been carved by the Colorado River and several tributaries. Lake Powell, formed by the impounded waters of the Colorado River above the Glen Canyon Dam, is the best known and most visited feature at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) manages the Glen Canyon Dam. The surrounding desert landscape and river corridors also provide a wide range of recreational opportunities and provide habitat for a diverse assemblage of terrestrial and aquatic species.
The purpose statement identifies the specific reason(s) for establishment of a particular park unit. The purpose statements for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument were drafted through a careful analysis of enabling legislation and the legislative history that influenced development of each park unit. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area was established when the enabling legislation adopted by Congress was signed into law on October 27, 1972. Rainbow Bridge National Monument was established by presidential proclamation on May 30, 1910. (see appendix A for enabling legislation and presidential proclamation). The purpose statement lays the foundation for understanding what is most important about the parks.

The purpose statement for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is:
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, located at the center of the Colorado Plateau, provides for public enjoyment through diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities, and protects scenic, scientific, natural, and cultural resources on Lake Powell, the Colorado River, its tributaries, and surrounding lands.

The purpose statement for Rainbow Bridge National Monument is:
Rainbow Bridge National Monument protects an extraordinary natural bridge that captures public and scientific interest with its rainbow form and appearance.

Significance statements express why a park’s resources and values are important enough to merit designation as a unit of the national park system. These statements are linked to the purpose of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument and are supported by data, research, and consensus. Statements of significance describe the distinctive nature of each park and why an area is important within a global, national, regional, and systemwide context. They focus on the most important resources and values that will assist in park planning and management.

The following significance statements have been identified for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (Please note that the sequence of the statements do not reflect the level of significance.)

  1. The Colorado River and its many tributaries, including the Dirty Devil, Paria, Escalante, and San Juan rivers, carve through the Colorado Plateau to form a landscape of dynamic and complex desert and water environments.

  2. The vast, rugged landscapes of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide an unparalleled spectrum of diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities for visitors of wide-ranging interests and abilities.

  3. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves a record of more than 10,000 years of human presence, adaptation, and exploration. This place remains significant for many descendant communities, providing opportunities for people to connect with cultural values and associations that are both ancient and contemporary.

  4. The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition in 1869, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell.

The following significance statements have been identified for Rainbow Bridge National Monument. (Please note that the sequence of the statements do not reflect the level of significance.)

  1. Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest natural bridges and is a premier example of eccentric stream erosion in a remote area of the Colorado Plateau.

  2. For many indigenous peoples in the Four Corners region, Rainbow Bridge is a spiritually occupied landscape that is inseparable from their cultural identities and traditional beliefs.

Fundamental resources and values (FRVs) are those features, systems, processes, experiences, stories, scenes, sounds, smells, or other attributes determined to warrant primary consideration during planning and management processes because they are essential to achieving the purpose of the park and maintaining its significance. Fundamental resources and values are closely related to a park’s legislative purpose and are more specific than significance statements.

Fundamental resources and values help focus planning and management efforts on what is truly significant about the park. One of the most important responsibilities of NPS managers is to ensure the conservation and public enjoyment of those qualities that are essential (fundamental) to achieving the purpose of the park and maintaining its significance. If fundamental resources and values are allowed to deteriorate, the park purpose and/or significance could be jeopardized.

The following fundamental resources and values have been identified for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. (Please note that the sequence of the statements does not reflect the level of significance.)

  • Heritage Resources: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is the steward of heritage resources exemplified by the archeological and historic sites, cultural landscapes, and traditional cultural properties that illustrate the connection of people with the landscape of the Glen Canyon region.
  • Lake Powell: Lake Powell, set dramatically against a backdrop of eroded red rock canyons and mesas, is the largest man-made lake in North America and is widely recognized by boating enthusiasts as one of the premier water-based recreation destinations in the world.
  • Landscape: The vast landscape of Glen Canyon contains rugged water- and wind-carved canyons, buttes, mesas, rivers, seeps, springs, and hanging gardens where diverse habitats sustain an array of endemic, rare, and relict plant and animal communities.
  • Paleontology: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves one of the most complete sections of Mesozoic strata in the world; new discoveries continuously add to our scientific understanding of the past.
  • Water: Water quality and quantity is essential for public outdoor recreational use and enjoyment and for sustaining terrestrial and aquatic life in the high desert.

The following fundamental resources and values have been identified for Rainbow Bridge National Monument. (Please note that the sequence of the statements does not reflect the level of significance.)

  • Rainbow Bridge: The bridge itself is a fundamental resource.

  • Traditional Cultural Property and Values: Rainbow Bridge and the immediately surrounding landscape are considered sacred by, and are vitally linked with the histories, cultural practices, ceremonial activities, and oral traditions of associated American Indian tribes.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area contains other resources and values that are not fundamental to the purpose of the park and may be unrelated to its significance, but are important to consider in planning processes. These are referred to as “other important resources and values” (OIRV). These resources and values have been selected because they are important in the operation and management of the park and warrant special consideration in park planning.

The following other important resources and values have been identified for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area:

  • Wilderness: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area includes 588,855 acres of proposed wilderness and 48,955 acres of potential wilderness. Together this represents 51% of the total land area of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, containing a variety of culturally and ecologically unique landscapes where visitors can experience the character and solitude of wilderness within a recreation area.

Interpretive themes are often described as the key stories or concepts that visitors should understand after visiting a park—they define the most important ideas or concepts communicated to visitors about a park unit. Themes are derived from, and should reflect, park purpose, significance, resources, and values. The set of interpretive themes is complete when it provides the structure necessary for park staff to develop opportunities for visitors to explore and relate to all park significance statements and fundamental and other important resources and values.

Interpretive themes are an organizational tool that reveal and clarify meaning, concepts, contexts, and values represented by park resources. Sound themes are accurate and reflect current scholarship and science. They encourage exploration of the context in which events or natural processes occurred and the effects of those events and processes. Interpretive themes go beyond a mere description of the event or process to foster multiple opportunities to experience and consider the park and its resources. These themes help explain why a park story is relevant to people who may otherwise be unaware of connections they have to an event, time, or place associated with the park.

The following interpretive themes have been identified for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

  • The land and water features of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide a remarkable variety of opportunities to satisfy our hunger for adventure, discovery, and recreation.
  • The dramatic landscape of Glen Canyon lays bare the geological portrait of Earth, which reveals the ancient history of rock, water, and life on the Colorado Plateau with nearly limitless opportunities for research and personal revelation.
  • From the first native peoples to contemporary societies, thousands of years of human history along the Colorado River illuminates the intricate web of relationships between peoples, their interaction with the landscape, and the results that shape cultural exchange, create conflict, achieve progress, command choice, and deliver consequences.
  • Environments within Glen Canyon remind us that much of life is hidden to casual observation—and entice us to slow our pace and more intimately observe the subtle intricacies and adaptations of both plant and animal communities.

The following interpretive themes have been identified for Rainbow Bridge National Monument:

    • Rainbow Bridge is one of the largest known natural bridges in the world, a symbol of strength, balance, and change that spans geologic time.

    • For many indigenous peoples in the Four Corners region, Rainbow Bridge is a spiritually occupied landscape that is inseparable from their cultural identities and traditional beliefs.

    • Even in a landscape of dramatic and distinctive features, the immense presence of Rainbow Bridge often inspires the strong desire to both see and protect it.

    • Though remote and in some ways difficult to access, the uniqueness of Rainbow Bridge has inspired many people over time to make the journey and experience its grandeur.

 


Part 2: Dynamic Components


The dynamic components of a foundation document include special mandates and administrative commitments and an assessment of planning and data needs. These components are dynamic because they will change over time. New special mandates can be established and new administrative commitments made. As conditions and trends of fundamental and other important resources and values change over time, the analysis of planning and data needs will need to be revisited and revised, along with key issues. Therefore, this part of the foundation document will be updated accordingly.

Many management decisions for a park unit are directed or influenced by special mandates and administrative commitments with other federal agencies, state and local governments, utility companies, partnering organizations, and other entities. Special mandates are requirements specific to a park that must be fulfilled. Mandates can be expressed in enabling legislation, in separate legislation following the establishment of the park, or through a judicial process. They may expand on park purpose or introduce elements unrelated to the purpose of the park. Administrative commitments are, in general, agreements that have been reached through formal, documented processes, often through memoranda of agreement.

Examples include, but are not limited to, easements, rights-of-way, and arrangements for emergency service responses. Special mandates and administrative commitments support a network of partnerships that help fulfill the objectives of the park and facilitate working relationships with other organizations. They are an essential component of managing and planning for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

Special mandates and administrative commitments have been identified for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. Please refer to appendix B for lists of the administrative commitments and special mandates for both units.
Once the core components of part 1 of the foundation document have been identified, it is important to gather and evaluate existing information about the park’s fundamental and other important resources and values, and develop a full assessment of the park’s planning and data needs. The assessment of planning and data needs section presents planning issues, the planning projects that will address these issues, and the associated information requirements for planning, such as resource inventories and data collection, including GIS data.

There are three sections in the assessment of planning and data needs:
  1. analysis of fundamental and other important resources and values
  2. identification of key issues and associated planning and data needs
  3. identification of planning and data needs (including spatial mapping activities or GIS maps)
The analysis of fundamental and other important resources and values and identification of key issues leads up to and supports the identification of planning and data collection needs.

Analysis of Fundamental Resources and Values

The fundamental resource or value analysis table includes current conditions, potential threats and opportunities, planning and data needs, and selected laws and NPS policies related to management of the identified resource or value.

Fundamental
Resource or Value


Heritage Resources

Related Significance Statements

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves a record of more than 10,000 years of human presence, adaptation, and exploration This place remains significant for many descendant communities, providing opportunities for people to connect with cultural values and associations that are both ancient and contemporary
The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell

Current Conditions and Trends

Conditions

  • Three percent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has been surveyed for cultural sites Approximately 2,500 cultural sites have been recorded

  • Cultural sites along the Lake Powell shoreline, including National Register of Historic Places-eligible sites, are impacted by the actions of some members of the boating public Impacts include the destruction of features, unauthorized excavations, collection of artifacts, and pervasive graffiti

  • Cultural sites in grazing allotments associated with springs and alcoves may be impacted by grazing Damage may include destruction of masonry walls, trampling, and dung accumulation Installation of water developments also has the potential to impact archeological sites

  • Approximately 1,500 historic and pre-contact structures in varying condition exist in the park They include Ancestral Puebloan architecture, hogans, brush structures, and cabins, and are associated with the tribes and bands of the Hopi, Paiute, Navajo, Ute, and Zuni, as well as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, cattle ranchers, miners, and others

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area contains several historic properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places These include the Davis Gulch pictograph panel, the Hole-in-the-Rock and Hole-in-the-Rock Trail, Defiance House, the Lees Ferry/ Lonely Dell Ranch National Historic District, and the Charles H Spencer hulk (steamboat)

  • Three traditional cultural properties exist within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, including the Hole-in-the- Rock corridor associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

  • Two cultural landscapes have been identified in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area They are the Lees Ferry/Lonely Dell Ranch Historic District (listed in the National Register of Historic Places) and Robber’s Roost/Under the Ledge Ranches

  • Almost 900,000 objects and archival records in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area museum collection are in good condition and housed in two repositories

  • Nineteen American Indian tribes and bands are associated with Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and are the contemporary descendants of those American Indians who left behind what we call “archeological” or cultural sites

Trends

  • Increased visitation, especially by the boating public, has resulted in both intentional and inadvertent vandalism to cultural sites and remains an ongoing concern

  • Cattle-grazing has resulted in the inadvertent damage to cultural sites and remains an ongoing concern

  • Fluctuating water levels from climate and seasonal change and water demands repeatedly cover and expose cultural sites, accelerating their deterioration

  • Cultural resources are popular destinations, increasing the risk of intentional or inadvertent damage

Fundamental
Resource or Value


Heritage Resources

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges

  • Ninety-seven percent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has not been surveyed for cultural resources

  • National register significance evaluations have only been completed for six sites, although many more may be eligible for inclusion in the national register

  • National register-eligible cultural resources on grazing allotments are monitored infrequently Treatment plans for site preservation are not fully developed and applied This contributes to potential degradation of cultural resources on grazing allotments

  • Historic structures, including indigenous architecture, may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places

Opportunities

  • Seek funding or partnerships to help educate and provide interpretation to visitors about cultural resources in order to foster appreciation and stewardship of park resources and to prevent vandalism

  • Work in partnership with adjacent federal land managers to ensure management, protection, and interpretation of cultural resources

  • Seek the development of a park friends’ funding group to help support the preservation and protection of cultural resources

  • Continue to work with various partners, including universities, to foster the protection and preservation of cultural resources

  • Continue to build relationships with traditionally associated peoples, including American Indian tribes, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints members, and cattle ranchers to inform park management of heritage sites and landscapes

Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV

  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)

  • Archeological resources protection plan (1997)

  • Ruins preservation plan (2005)

Data and/or GIS Needs

  • Complete the lakeshore cultural sites protection strategy

  • Complete cultural landscape inventories and reports for the two national register-eligible cultural landscapes (Hole-in-the-Rock and Robbers Roost/Under the Ledge Ranches)

  • Visitor use data as related to visitor experience and crowding and visitor use demographics and statistics

  • Additional study and monitoring of the effects of flow levels on sediment resources below the Glen Canyon Dam

  • Archeological and rock art surveys / overview and assessment

  • Traditional ecological knowledge assessment

  • Wilderness character monitoring / baseline data collection

  • Visitor use data in proposed wilderness areas where resource impacts are occurring

  • A complete baseline inventory and assessment for national register eligibility is needed for cultural resources in grazing allotments

  • Complete historic structure reports for eligible structures

Planning Needs

  • Revise the cultural resources management plan

  • Shoreline cultural resource protection plan

  • Complete historic structure preservation plans

  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries (e g , Escalante River, San Juan River)

  • Backcountry/wilderness management plans (e g , Coyote Gulch management plan, Hole- in-the-Rock management plan)

Fundamental
Resource or Value


Heritage Resources

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation

  • Grand Canyon Protection Act

  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act

  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990

  • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 USC 470)

  • Archeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974

  • Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

  • 36 CFR 800 “Protection of Historic Properties”

  • 36 CFR 79 – Curation of Archeological Collections

  • Executive Order 13007, “Indian Sacred Sites”

  • Executive order 11593, “Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment”

  • Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”

  • Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, November 2009

NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)

  • The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation

  • 2008 Programmatic Agreement among the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers

  • “Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes”

  • NPS Management Policies 2006

  • Director’s Order 28: Cultural Resource Management (1998)

  • Director’s Order 28A: Archeology (2004)



Fundamental
Resource or Value

Lake Powell

Related Significance Statements

The vast, rugged landscapes of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide an unparalleled spectrum of diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities for visitors of wide-ranging interests and abilities

Current Conditions and Trends

Conditions

  • Overall water quality at Lake Powell is good Some beaches experience decreased water quality when waste is improperly disposed of or in response to other site-specific impacts associated with recreational use or the presence of livestock

  • Water levels at Lake Powell fluctuate dramatically in response to river flows and dam operations

  • Adult quagga mussels have been found in Lake Powell The states of Arizona and Utah have listed Lake Powell as an affected/infested water body

Trends

  • Visitor use levels peaked during the late 1980s and early 1990s and have decreased over time with minor changes in trend on a year-to-year basis

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Lake Powell

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges

  • Air and water quality is affected by emission sources within and outside of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, including the adjacent Navajo Generating Station

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has some of the darkest night skies in the area Light pollution from developed areas has the potential to affect the ability of people to experience the dark night sky from Lake Powell

  • Lake Powell is affected by shoreline terrestrial invasive species, quagga mussels and other aquatic invasive species, water quantity, and improper waste disposal

  • Mercury and other contaminants impact aquatic species and can make some game species dangerous for human consumption

  • Noise effects of loud boats, excessive volume from stereos and generators, vehicle use, and aircraft affect visitor experience on and around Lake Powell

  • High levels of trash, litter, graffiti, and human waste have resulted in impacts at several high-use areas

  • Shoreline and lake-accessed cultural resources are deteriorating in several locations

  • New visitor activities and recreational uses may affect visitor experience and park resources at Lake Powell

  • Sediment deposition is affecting several locations in Lake Powell, including where rivers enter the lake In some locations visitor access is impacted or precluded at low lake levels

  • Maintaining visitor access to Lake Powell is an operational challenge due to fluctuating lake levels and the need to frequently move marina infrastructure At very low lake levels park launch ramps may become unusable

  • The size of boats on Lake Powell is increasing This is resulting in new challenges regarding the adequacy of park infrastructure, including the size of rental slips

  • Maintaining year-round commercial services to visitors on Lake Powell can be economically challenging

  • Park utility infrastructure that supports visitor use at Lake Powell is challenging to maintain, particularly standalone systems to supply power where no utility grid is present: Hite, Hall’s Crossing, Bullfrog, Dangling Rope, and remote locations such as Lees Ferry and Lone Rock

  • Maintaining extensive marina- and lake-based infrastructure is a challenge that is expected to increase with the presence of quagga mussels

  • Avoiding new aquatic invasive species introductions and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species (such as quagga mussels) both within and from Lake Powell is difficult given the size of Lake Powell and the numerous areas where remote access occurs

  • Water-based recreation at Lake Powell can result in visitor injuries and fatalities

  • Climate change models project higher temperatures, no increase in precipitation, reduced run-off, and reduced storage in Lake Powell by 2021

Opportunities

  • Increase opportunities for low-cost, non-boat-related water-based recreation, including swimming

  • Consider nonmotorized areas to provide broader range of lake-based recreation opportunities

  • Develop and enhance off-season recreational activities

  • Develop and expand partnerships to support ongoing use, management, and protection of Lake Powell

  • Quagga mussels have established in Lake Powell and are spreading within the lake Containment is now the focus of the park’s quagga mussel management activities

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Lake Powell

Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV

  • Visitor study (2007)

  • Fire management plan (2004)

  • Strategic plan (1997)

  • Resource management plan (1995)

  • Backcountry management plan (1992)

  • General management plan (1979)

  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)

Data and/or GIS Needs

  • Improved visitor use data and statistics

  • Uplake boater access feasibility study

  • Effects of Navajo Generating Station emissions on Lake Powell

Planning Needs

  • Updated general management plan

  • Lake use and access plan

  • Commercial services strategy

  • Updated operations strategy to address the effects of aquatic invasive species, particularly quagga mussels

  • Shoreline cultural resources protection plan

  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries (e g , Escalante River, San Juan River)

  • Communications improvement plan

  • Sustainable energy strategy and climate friendly parks plan

  • Forced sewer main emergency action plan / emergency protection plan

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation states that the National Park Service will provide for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of Lake Powell and adjacent lands in Arizona and Utah

  • Secretarial Order 3289, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources”

  • NPS Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998

NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)

  • NPS Management Policies 2006

  • Director’s Order 4: Diving Management

  • Director’s Order 6: Interpretation and Education

  • Director’s Order 9: Law Enforcement Program

  • Director’s Order 17: National Park Service Tourism

  • Director’s Order 28: Cultural Resource Management

  • Director’s Order 42: Accessibility for Visitors with Disabilities in National Park Service Programs and Services

  • Director’s Order 48B: Commercial Use Authorizations

  • Director’s Order 53: Special Park Uses

  • Director’s Order 83: Public Health

  • NPS Natural Resource Management Reference Manual #77

  • NPS Transportation Planning Guidebook

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Landscape

Related Significance Statements

The Colorado River and its many tributaries, including the Dirty Devil, Paria, Escalante, and San Juan rivers, carve through the Colorado Plateau to form a landscape of dynamic and complex desert and water environments
The vast, rugged landscapes of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide an unparalleled spectrum of diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities for visitors of wide-ranging interests and abilities
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves a record of more than 10,000 years of human presence, adaptation, and exploration This place remains significant for many descendant communities, providing opportunities for people to connect with cultural values and associations that are both ancient and contemporary
The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell

Current Conditions and Trends

Conditions

  • The presence and operation of the Glen Canyon Dam has significantly altered the river corridors in terms of the hydrologic processes, physical landscape, and biological community

  • The tailwater below the Glen Canyon Dam has been scoured, removing a large percentage of pre-dam sediments, including pre-dam beach terraces Some pre-dam beach terraces persist but experience varying degrees of ongoing erosion in response to both natural processes and dam operations

  • Although significantly altered, the Glen Canyon reach below the dam is accessible and continues to provide high quality recreational experiences

  • Glen Canyon is known for the unique juxtaposition between Lake Powell and the surrounding natural terrain of arid Colorado Plateau

  • A risk assessment ranked park ecosystems as highly sensitive to nitrogen enrichment effects, relative to all I&M parks Certain vegetation communities in the park, including grassland plant communities, may be vulnerable to excess nitrogen deposition, which can change communities and reduce biodiversity

Trends

  • Interest in land-based recreation appears to be increasing, particularly in the Escalante District

  • The presence of the Glen Canyon Dam is resulting in increased sediment deposition in Lake Powell and upstream tributaries and is resulting in sediment depletion below the Glen Canyon Dam

  • Site-specific soil disturbance has increased over time in response to recreational use and ongoing management of large portions of the recreation area to support livestock grazing

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Landscape

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges

  • Interagency management of resources and coordinating multipark management to determine resource condition and monitor change over time presents ongoing challenges

  • Climate change

  • Lack of inventory and monitoring data for many park resources make short- and long- term management difficult

  • Impacts of visitor use, cattle grazing, and remaining wild burros on vegetation, soils, water quality, and paleontological resources

  • Unpredictable hydrological conditions, including prolonged periods of drought

  • The size and remote nature of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area make it difficult to detect and respond to illegal activities Providing sufficient patrol, monitoring, and oversight to understand and address effects is an ongoing challenge

  • Monitoring and responding to invasive species proliferation

  • Air quality is affected by emission sources inside and outside of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, including the adjacent Navajo Generating Station

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has some of the darkest night skies in the area Light pollution from developed areas has the potential to affect the ability of people to experience the dark night sky in the park

  • Seasonal crowding at popular visitor use areas (accessible shorelines, Horseshoe Bend, and backcountry sites such as Coyote Gulch) can affect visitor experience.

Opportunities

  • Seek additional funding and partnerships to improve resource inventory, monitoring, education, and management

  • Enhance opportunities for enjoying and protecting night sky resources

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provides outstanding opportunities to experience solitude

  • Recreational opportunities abound

  • Business opportunities that are consistent with protecting and enjoying Glen Canyon National Recreation Area landscape could be further developed

  • Improved coordination with the Bureau of Land Management related to administration of grazing on Glen Canyon National Recreation Area lands in accordance with the enabling legislation

  • Improve monitoring and mitigation related to off-road vehicle use and shoreline access areas

  • Improve monitoring and mitigation for river resources, including the Colorado River and its tributaries

Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV

  • Visitor study (2007)

  • Fire management plan (2004)

  • Personal watercraft use plan (2001)

  • Strategic plan (1997)

  • Resource management plan (1995)

  • Backcountry management plan (1992)

  • General management plan (1979)

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Landscape

Data and/or GIS Needs

  • Improved paleontological resource inventory and monitoring efforts—Paleo Blitz (data)

  • Additional inventory and monitoring of relict communities and upland terrestrial communities

  • Geologic hazard analysis for the park

  • Uplake boater access feasibility study

  • Visitor use data related to visitor experience and crowding, visitor demographics, and statistics

  • Additional study and monitoring of the effects of flow levels on sediment resources below the Glen Canyon Dam

  • Cultural landscape and historic structures inventories and reports for Lees Ferry and Hole-in-the-Rock Road

  • Cultural resources condition assessment

  • Archeological and rock art surveys/overview and assessment

  • Wilderness character monitoring / baseline data collection

  • Visitor use data in proposed wilderness areas where resource impacts are occurring

  • Natural resources condition assessment and development of indicators and standards

  • Additional inventory and monitoring of both flora and fauna, including relict communities

Planning Needs

  • Wilderness/backcountry management plan

  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries (e g , Escalante River, San Juan River)

  • Paleontological resources stewardship plan

  • Invasive species management plan

  • Visitor use management plans (e g , Coyote Gulch management plan, lake use and access plan, Hole-in-the-Rock management plan, frontcountry trail improvement plans)

  • Climate friendly parks plan

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation

  • Grand Canyon Protection Act

  • Wilderness Act, 1964

  • Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (1968)

  • Superintendent’s Compendium

  • Executive Order 11990, “Protection of Wetlands”

  • Executive Order 11988, “Floodplain Management”

  • Secretarial Order 3289, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources”

NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)

  • NPS Management Policies 2006

  • Director’s Order 41: Wilderness Stewardship

  • NPS Reference Manual 41: Wilderness Stewardship

  • Director’s Order 46: Wild and Scenic Rivers

  • NPS Natural Resource Management Reference Manual #77

  • Director’s Order 77-1: Wetland Protection

  • NPS Procedural Manual 77-1: Wetland Protection

  • Director’s Order 77-2: Floodplain Management

  • NPS Procedural Manual 77-2: Floodplain Management

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Paleontology

Related Significance Statements

The Colorado River and its many tributaries, including the Dirty Devil, Paria, Escalante, and San Juan rivers, carve through the Colorado Plateau to form a landscape of dynamic and complex desert and water environments
The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell

Current Conditions and Trends

Conditions

  • Location data are available on approximately 350 paleontology sites; of these a small number (<10%) have known condition and trend assessments There are many additional sites that may be discovered with additional surveys and research

Trends

  • Unknown for >90% of known sites Sites may be affected by illegal collecting, vandalism, climate change, lake fluctuations, and background erosion

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges

  • Ongoing lake fluctuations (wetting/drying cycles) damaging sites

  • Vandalism and illegal collecting, especially of known sites

  • Lack of staff or funds to survey and monitor sites

  • Ongoing effects of climate change including severe flooding and storms, accelerated erosion rates leading to loss of fossils and provenance

Opportunities

  • Support ongoing research and educational opportunities related to paleontological resources at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

  • Develop a site stewardship program for known or significant sites

  • Develop cooperative relationships with Utah Geological Survey or other research groups with paleontological expertise and interests

  • Develop an interdisciplinary team including Visitor and Resource Protection, Science and Resource Management, and Interpretation and Education to monitor, conserve, and interpret sites

  • Work with adjacent parks and agencies (Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, Zion, Grand Staircase-Escalante) to develop a shared paleontology position

Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV

  • Resource management plan (1995)

  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)

Data and/or GIS Needs

  • Inventory and monitoring of paleontological resources

Planning Needs

  • Paleontology resource stewardship plan

  • Backcountry/wilderness management plan

  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries

  • Frontcountry trail improvement plans

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV

  • Paleontological Resources Preservation Act 2009

  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation (reference to protection of scientific features)

NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)

  • NPS Management Policies 2006

Fundamental
Resource or Value
Water
Related Significance Statements The Colorado River and its many tributaries, including the Dirty Devil, Paria, Escalante, and San Juan rivers, carve through the Colorado Plateau to form a landscape of dynamic and complex desert and water environments
The vast, rugged landscapes of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide an unparalleled spectrum of diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities for visitors of wide-ranging interests and abilities
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves a record of more than 10,000 years of human presence, adaptation, and exploration This place remains significant for many descendant communities, providing opportunities for people to connect with cultural values and associations that are both ancient and contemporary
The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell
Current Conditions and Trends Conditions
  • Overall water quality at Lake Powell is good Some beaches experience decreased water quality when waste is improperly disposed of or in response to other site-specific impacts associated with recreational use or the presence of livestock
  • Water levels at Lake Powell fluctuate dramatically in response to river flows and dam operations Water levels depend on winter snowpack in the Colorado Mountains and to a lesser extent on monsoon rains and intermittent precipitation
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area includes a variety of aquatic habitats: wetlands, hanging gardens, springs and seeps, ephemeral or perennial streams, water holes, wet shorelines, woody riparian areas, and the reservoir of Lake Powell
  • All species are dependent on water: fish and wildlife endemic and rare plants, aquatic species such as insects and macroinvertebrates, endangered species, and state special status species
  • Glen Canyon comprises a series of tributaries to the Colorado River and the Colorado River itself Several river segments are relatively free from the influence of dams and may be eligible for designation under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act
  • Groundwater is the source for springs and hanging gardens
  • Water in an arid environment: more than 40 rare and endemic plant and animal species are supported by this water; resources and visitor experiences are dependent on the presence of water Water provides recreational use in and around Lake Powell
Trends
  • Lake levels fluctuate widely and projections indicate that there may be longer or more frequent drought conditions
  • As drought conditions persist in the face of increased development pressure outside the park, parties with water rights are seeking to install pipelines to pull water from Lake Powell
Fundamental
Resource or Value
Water
Challenges and Opportunities Challenges
  • Lake Powell has been infested by quagga mussels, an aquatic invasive species Effects on water quality as mussels continue to spread are unknown
  • The Colorado River segment in Glen Canyon below the dam has been significantly altered in terms of water temperature, turbidity, and the composition and structure of the aquatic ecosystem due to the presence and operation of the Glen Canyon Dam
  • Aquatic invasive species are present in Lake Powell and to varying degrees in other water bodies in the park
  • Riparian invasive species are present in many areas and affect the biological community and visitor experience
  • The effects of climate change remain uncertain but are expected to influence the hydrological cycle and associated systems
  • The presence of humans and cattle can introduce contaminants if measures to protect water quality are not effectively implemented
  • Development of surface and groundwaters within, adjacent to, and/or upstream or upgradient from park boundaries, for example: those associated with the operation of the Navajo Generating Station and associated coal mining complex and the proposed North Central Arizona Water Supply Project Such developments are likely to affect natural and cultural resources because of impacts on water
  • Maintaining access to water for recreational purposes in response to fluctuating lake levels
Opportunities
  • Opportunities to educate people about water resources and the consequences of drought, desertification, and climate change
  • The National Park Service has the opportunity to be more actively engaged in water resource planning efforts associated with the development of water rights and the ongoing operation of the Glen Canyon Dam
  • Opportunity to become more active in managing resource condition and visitor use of river resources within the recreation area
  • Seek partners to assist with ongoing monitoring and management of water resources within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the surrounding area
  • Improve administration of grazing, off-road vehicles, and visitor use to protect and improve water quality within Glen Canyon
Data and/or GIS Needs
  • Water condition and title assessment (NPS water rights assessment)
  • Inventory and monitoring of groundwater, seeps, springs, and tributaries
  • Natural resources condition assessment and development of indicators and standards
  • Wilderness character monitoring / baseline data collection
  • Visitor use data in proposed wilderness areas where resource impacts are occurring
  • Additional inventory and monitoring of both flora and fauna including relict communities
Planning Needs
  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries (e g , Escalante River, San Juan River, Glen Canyon reach below the dam)
  • Lake use and access plan (including uplake boater access plan)
  • Frontcountry trail improvement plans
  • Climate friendly parks plan
  • Forced sewer main emergency action plan / emergency protection plan
Fundamental
Resource or Value
Water
Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV
  • PL 93-493 Reclamation Development Act (1974) 88 Stat 1486, section 104
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation
  • Grand Canyon Protection Act
  • Executive Order 11990, “Protection of Wetlands”
  • Executive Order 11988, “Floodplain Management”
  • Secretarial Order 3289, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources”
NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)
  • NPS Management Policies 2006
  • NPS Natural Resource Management Reference Manual 77
  • Director’s Order 77-1: Wetland Protection
  • NPS Procedural Manual 77-1: Wetland Protection
  • Director’s Order 77-2: Floodplain Management
  • NPS Procedural Manual 77-2: Floodplain Management
  • Director’s Order 83: Public Health
  • Reference manuals 83A1, 83A2, 83D1, and 83G3
Fundamental
Resource or Value
Rainbow Bridge

Related Significance Statements
Rainbow Bridge is one of the world’s largest natural bridges and is a premier example of eccentric stream erosion in a remote area of the Colorado Plateau
For many indigenous peoples in the Four Corners region, Rainbow Bridge is a spiritually occupied landscape that is inseparable from their cultural identities and traditional beliefs
Current Conditions and Trends Conditions
  • Rainbow Bridge is a stable landscape feature formed by geological and hydrological processes, including the presence and location of Navajo Mountain and the flow of Bridge Creek through and around Jurassic age sediments
  • The bedrock below Rainbow Bridge is Kayenta sandstone that supports the upper layers of Navajo sandstone
  • At lower reservoir levels, lake water does not exist under the bridge but may inundate portions of the lower creek
  • Access to the site is available to those who own their own boats, those who take air or boat tours, and those who hike to the bridge from the Navajo Reservation.
Trends
  • Rainbow Bridge appears to be geologically stable The same geological processes that formed it will eventually bring it down
Challenges
  • Providing visitor access to, and around, Rainbow Bridge while avoiding or minimizing potential impacts on the site, particularly in response to fluctuating lake levels
  • Providing sustainable access to Rainbow Bridge from Lake Powell in response to periodic flooding of Bridge Creek
  • Preventing graffiti
  • Maintaining current quality and condition of the area springs and seeps in response to fluctuating lake levels and area development to support visitor use
  • Rainbow Bridge is a popular destination for boat and air tours, sometimes resulting in visual and noise-related impacts
  • The existing access to Rainbow Bridge does not meet outdoor accessibility guidelines due to the rugged terrain and effects of fluctuating lake levels.
Fundamental
Resource or Value
Rainbow Bridge
Opportunities
  • Continue Rainbow Bridge Native American Consultation Committee
  • Improve relationship with Navajo Nation related to access on both sides of the bridge and the development of trails for tribal and non-native access
  • Refine and fully implement the long-range interpretive plan
  • Work with tribes on service projects (i e , Native Conservation Corps)
  • Work with air tour operators to help protect Rainbow Bridge and visitor experience both on the ground and in the air
Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV
  • Visitor study (2007)
  • Fire management plan (2004)
  • Strategic plan (1997)
  • Resource management plan (1995)
  • Backcountry management plan (1992)
  • General management plan, development concept plan, interpretive prospectus (1993)
  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)
  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument General Management Plan, Development Concept Plan, Interpretive Prospectus (1993)
Data and/or GIS Needs
  • High-resolution mapping of Rainbow Bridge (LiDar) to inventory existing features (geologic, cultural) associated with the bridge itself to allow for high-quality long-term monitoring
  • Visitor use data related to quality of visitor experience and visitor use impacts, visitor use patterns, and preferences
  • Historic structures report
  • Floodplain analysis
Planning Needs
  • Updated site plan (stewardship plan/development concept plan) to address kinds and amounts of visitor use and management actions to protect Rainbow Bridge while providing appropriate visitor use and enjoyment (Addressed in the context of a general management plan )
  • Air tour management plan or voluntary agreement to address commercial air tours
  • Comprehensive interpretive plan
  • Commercial visitor services plan
  • Vegetation management plan
Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV
  • Rainbow Bridge Proclamation
  • Superintendent’s Compendium
  • NPS Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998
NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)
  • NPS Management Policies 2006
  • Executive Order 11988, “Floodplain Protection”
  • Director’s Order 48B: Commercial Use Authorizations
  • NPS Natural Resource Management Reference Manual #77
  • Director’s Order 77-2: Floodplain Management
  • NPS Procedural Manual 77-2: Floodplain Management

Current Conditions

Conditions

  • Rainbow Bridge and the surrounding landscape are considered sacred and still vital to the histories and cultures of five associated American Indian tribes (Hopi Tribe, Kaibab Paiute Tribe, Navajo Nation, San Juan Southern Paiute Tribe, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe [White Mesa Band]) These tribes consider Rainbow Bridge and the surrounding land to be both a sacred site and a traditional cultural property

  • From the perspectives of the five associated tribes, the integrity of Rainbow Bridge as a sacred site and traditional cultural property is compromised by partial inundation of the associated landscape and the high number of annual visitors (90,000) to Rainbow Bridge

  • Shrines have been inundated by water

  • Seeps and springs have been inundated or otherwise impacted by visitors

  • The presence and timing of overflights is considered problematic by associated tribes

  • The relationship between the National Park Service (Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument) and the associated tribes is respectful and productive

  • Intensive management of the docks due to frequently changing lake levels

  • The NPS concessioner operates regular boat tours to Rainbow Bridge

  • Extensive nonnative plant control has occurred over the last 10 years

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Traditional Cultural Properties and Values

Trends

Trends

  • Rainbow Bridge continues to increase in popularity as a visitor destination, both on the ground and as an air tour destination

  • The National Park Service anticipates that the associated tribes will continue to express concern about the impacts of increased visitation

Challenges and Opportunities

Challenges

  • Mediating the sometimes conflicting interests of preservation for traditional living communities and enjoyment by visitors

  • Logistical and infrastructure challenges continue in the management of Rainbow Bridge National Monument These challenges may be increasing with climate change-related impacts and the unpredictable nature of stream flows and lake levels

  • Voluntary compliance with the expressed tribal preference that visitors not walk under Rainbow Bridge

Opportunities

  • Improve relationships with associated tribes, including the Navajo Nation related to access on both sides of the bridge and the development of trails for tribal and public access

  • Inform visitors on the sensitivity and sacredness of the site

  • Seek designation as a World Heritage Site

  • Work collaboratively with Facilities staff and the Rainbow Bridge National Monument Native American Consultation Committee to use mutually agreeable materials associated with infrastructure, e g , the trail and the ramada building

  • Refine and fully implement the long-range interpretive plan

  • Work with tribes on service projects (i e , Native Conservation Corps)

  • More fully engage tribes in visitor education associated with Rainbow Bridge

  • Increase opportunities for native peoples to visit the site

  • Increase access and interpretive/educational programming for students

  • Work with air tour operators to avoid or reduce adverse effects on the traditional cultural property

Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV

  • Rainbow Bridge National Monument General Management Plan, Development Concept Plan, Resource Management Plan, Interpretive Prospectus (1993)

  • Resource management plan (1995)

  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)

Data and/or GIS Needs

  • Complete documentation for the traditional cultural property and the national register nomination

  • Complete archeological inventory

  • Soundscape/sound baseline and monitoring data

  • Historic structures report

  • Traditional ecological knowledge assessment

Planning Needs

  • Air tour management plan or voluntary agreement to address commercial air tours

  • General management plan

  • Comprehensive interpretive plan

  • Commercial visitor services plan

  • Vegetation management plan

Fundamental
Resource or Value

Traditional Cultural Properties and Values


Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance

Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the FRV

  • Rainbow Bridge Proclamation

  • Programmatic Agreement with Native American Consultation Committee

  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act

  • Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979

  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990

  • Executive Order 11593, “Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment”

  • Executive Order 13007, “Indian Sacred Sites”

  • Executive Order 13175, “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”

  • Secretarial Order 3289, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources”

  • 36 CFR 800 “Protection of Historic Properties”

  • Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation, November 2009

NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)

  • 2008 Programmatic Agreement among the National Park Service, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the National Conference on State Historic Preservation Officers

  • NPS Management Policies 2006

  • Director’s Order 28: Cultural Resource Management

  • Director’s Order 28A: Archeology

  • The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation

Analysis of Other Important Resources and Values

Other Important Resource or Value Wilderness
Related Significance Statements The Colorado River and its many tributaries, including the Dirty Devil, Paria, Escalante, and San Juan rivers, carve through the Colorado Plateau to form a landscape of dynamic and complex desert and water environments
The vast, rugged landscapes of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area provide an unparalleled spectrum of diverse land- and water-based recreational opportunities for visitors of wide- ranging interests and abilities
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area preserves a record of more than 10,000 years of human presence, adaptation, and exploration This place remains significant for many descendant communities, providing opportunities for people to connect with cultural values and associations that are both ancient and contemporary
The deep, 15-mile-long, narrow gorge below the dam provides a glimpse of the high canyon walls, ancient rock art, and a vestige of the riparian and beach terrace environments that were seen by John Wesley Powell’s Colorado River expedition, providing a stark contrast to the impounded canyons of Lake Powell
Current Conditions and Trends Conditions
  • Limited developed access to many areas
  • Damage to some archeological sites due to increased visitation
  • Large area, much unvisited although some popular areas receive intense use and visitation (Coyote Gulch)
  • Currently no visitor use limits in place within proposed wilderness areas
Trends
  • Increase in people accessing wilderness areas
  • Increased visitor use-related impacts in popular areas such as Coyote Gulch.
Challenges and Opportunities Challenges
  • Off-road vehicle use / requests from counties to open roads adjacent to or within proposed wilderness
  • Grazing-related impacts on water quality, vegetation, soils, visitor experience, and cultural sites
  • Air quality is affected by sources inside and outside park boundaries Resources impacted by air quality include plant communities and wildlife
  • Climate change and associated effects on ecological processes, including hydrologic patterns and biological communities
  • Challenges associated with protecting wilderness character
  • Managing air tours to avoid or minimize noise and visual impacts on proposed wilderness areas
  • Lack of staff to adequately manage wilderness resources and visitor use
  • Protection of night sky resources as development outside proposed wilderness increases over time
  • Differing land management perspectives among federal, state, and local agencies and elected officials, including potential claims under R S 2477
  • BOR right-of-way / jurisdictional area adjacent to or overlapping proposed wilderness area
  • Extent of management within proposed wilderness that requires administrative use of installations, motorized or mechanical access, motorized equipment, and landing of aircraft
Other Important Resource or Value Wilderness
Challenges and Opportunities Opportunities
  • Incredible visitor opportunities to experience solitude, primitive recreation, undeveloped desert landscapes, night skies, and open vistas within wilderness areas
  • Opportunity to attract or cultivate visitors with a wilderness ethic not traditionally associated with recreation areas
  • Opportunity to provide increased range of recreation opportunities, including hiking and backpacking opportunities that are different from dominant lake-based recreation at Glen Canyon
  • Develop partnerships for promoting wilderness stewardship and education
  • Develop partnerships in monitoring and restoring wilderness resources
  • Wilderness character monitoring framework recently developed, needs implementation
  • Opportunity to increase use of minimum requirement decision guidelines to inform park decisions and management actions.
Existing Data and Plans Related to the FRV
  • Wilderness character narrative
  • Visitor study (2007)
  • Fire management plan (2004)
  • Strategic plan (1997)
  • Resource management plan (1995)
  • Backcountry management plan (1992)
  • General management plan (1979)
  • Cultural resource management plan (1987)
Data and/or GIS Needs
  • Visitor use data are needed, but limited or nonexistent for much of the proposed wilderness area, including but not limited to visitor demographics and kinds and amounts of visitor use
  • Collection of baseline data through implementation of wilderness character monitoring program
  • Uplake boater access feasibility study
  • Inventory and monitoring of paleontological resources
  • Inventory and monitoring of tributaries, groundwater, seeps, springs, and water pockets
  • Natural resources condition assessment and development of indicators and standards
  • Cultural landscape and historic structures inventories and reports for Lees Ferry and Hole- in-the-Rock Road
  • Cultural resources condition assessment
  • Archeological and rock art surveys / overview and assessment
Planning Needs
  • Backcountry/wilderness management plan
  • Coyote Gulch visitor use management plan needed to address visitor use-related adverse impacts on park resources and values
  • River resources stewardship plans for the Colorado River and tributaries (e g , Escalante River, San Juan River, and Glen Canyon reach)
  • Air tour management plan or voluntary agreement pursuant to the National Parks Air Tour Management Act
  • Lake use and access plan
  • Paleontological resources stewardship plan
Other Important Resource or Value Wilderness
Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the OIRV, and NPS Policy-level Guidance Laws, Executive Orders, and Regulations That Apply to the OIRV
  • Wilderness Act, 1964;
  • Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (pending, Senate Bill S 263), USC Title 9, Chapter 79, 5937
  • Glen Canyon Wilderness Recommendation (1980)
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area wilderness character monitoring framework
  • Secretarial Order 3289, “Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on America’s Water, Land, and Other Natural and Cultural Resources”
NPS Policy-level Guidance (NPS Management Policies 2006 and Director’s Orders)
  • NPS Management Policies 2006, chapter 6
  • Director’s Order 41: Wilderness Stewardship
  • NPS Reference Manual 41: Wilderness Stewardship

Identification of Key Issues and Associated Planning and Data Needs


This section considers key issues to be addressed in planning and management and therefore takes a broader view over the primary focus of part 1. A key issue focuses on a question that is important for a park. Key issues often raise questions regarding park purpose and significance and fundamental and other important resources and values. For example, a key issue may pertain to the potential for a fundamental or other important resource or value in a park to be detrimentally affected by discretionary management decisions. A key issue may also address crucial questions not directly related to purpose and significance, but still indirectly affects them. Usually, a key issue is one that a future planning effort or data collection needs to address and requires a decision by NPS managers.

  • The 1979 general management plan is outdated and a new long-term general management plan is needed.
  • Development and resource management priorities identified in the 1979 general management plan do not adequately reflect updated legal guidance and existing conditions of park resource protection and visitor use management needs. Zoning designations are geographically ambiguous in some key locations that contribute to management and visitor use conflicts.
  • Several long-term agreements between the park and the Navajo Nation describing coordination and cooperation to further economic development will be expiring beginning in 2020. The park should begin to revisit these agreements prior to, or as part of developing an updated general management plan or commercial services strategy.
  • The park and the City of Page need to develop a joint implementation strategy regarding frontcountry trail development (e.g., Horseshoe Bend and the Rim Trail).
  • The operation of the Glen Canyon Dam has effects on Glen Canyon National Recreation Area resources and values both above and below the dam. Management needs to continue to participate in interagency efforts to influence dam operations, such as the DOI Adaptive Management Program and DOI Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan (in process). Improved monitoring and mitigation are also needed. Data needs are covered in the prioritized table (e.g., study to assess flow impacts on sediment in Glen Canyon reach).
  • Fluctuating lake levels and sedimentation in key areas have eliminated or complicated visitor access to the lake in multiple locations. An updated strategy to provide and maintain visitor access and commercial services is needed. Examples include lake access and commercial visitor services plan.
  • Visitor use in some areas is resulting in substantial resource impacts and seasonal crowding. This includes, but is not limited to, Coyote Gulch in the Escalante Canyons area and at heritage resources that may be accessed from Lake Powell. Additional data are needed to support planning.
  • Natural resources inventory and monitoring data is lacking for several key resources and locations within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. These data are needed to inform management decisions related to resource protection and visitor use management. Examples from the table: Natural resources condition assessment, development of indicators and standards and associated monitoring plan.
  • Aquatic invasive species threaten aquatic ecosystems, recreational use, and key infrastructure in Lake Powell and adjacent river habitats. Park management needs to develop a long-term sustainable strategy to address this concern. Examples include development of river management plans and lake-based operation and management plans.
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s enabling legislation designates the Bureau of Land Management as the administering agency for grazing and mineral leases within the park while requiring that the National Park Service ensure that the administration of these leases is consistent with the 1916 Organic Act and other requirements in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area enabling legislation related to resource protection. Closer interagency coordination of this effort is needed as well as data. Example from the table: natural resource condition assessment, development of indicators and standards, and associated monitoring plan.
  • Visitor and employee safety / risk management and quality of life are ongoing priorities at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Planning and data needs will be identified as appropriate.
  • Air tours over Glen Canyon National Recreation Area have the potential to affect park resources and values. An air tour management plan or voluntary agreement is needed to manage air tours in a manner that protects or improves resource conditions in compliance with the National Parks Air Tour Management Act, as amended.
  • Many river segments contained within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are listed on the National River Inventory and have been assigned potential classifications under the wild and scenic rivers criteria. The park may want to pursue wild and scenic river status in the future. In addition, the National Park Service cooperates with the Bureau of Land Management to manage recreational use on tributary rivers such as the San Juan River.
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has the third largest concession operation in the National Park Service. Business partners (concessioners) operate all marinas, lodging, restaurant, retail, and many other visitor services at the recreation area.
  • New contracts are needed to update existing concession operations. Several commercial services that are provided by commercial use authorizations may be more appropriately managed via concession contract. An updated strategy is needed to conform with the NPS Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998, and to make informed decisions that continue a high level of visitor service in accordance with applicable law and policy.
  • Climate change models project an increase in average annual temperature between 5.2°F and 8.6°F (2.9°C–4.8°C) with almost no change in precipitation by 2100. This would result in a dryer landscape, impacting water levels in Lake Powell and associated municipal and recreational uses. Climate change models project a decrease in run-off of 10%–30% by 2100 and half of the live storage in Lake Powell could be gone by 2021 from human use and climate change. Climate change will be considered as part of scenario planning and in other park planning efforts as necessary.
  • Maintaining visitor access and visitor experience is especially challenging due to fluctuating lake levels that require frequent management actions to maintain access from Lake Powell. This includes adjusting the location of the public dock and associated infrastructure and the rehabilitation or rebuilding of affected segments of the public access trail from the lake.
  • Primary access to Rainbow Bridge requires travel on a trail that exists primarily on a terrace above the Bridge Creek floodplain. Floods in this drainage periodically damage or obliterate portions of the trail.
  • Seasonal crowding may occur at Rainbow Bridge, occasionally exceeding visitor capacity as described in the Rainbow Bridge general management plan. Visitor use impacts may also occur due to high levels of air tour activity over Rainbow Bridge. Similar to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the development of an air tour management plan or voluntary agreement is needed to comply with the National Parks Air Tour Management Act, as amended.
  • Providing universal accessibility has not been possible due to geologic and topographic challenges and the presence of sensitive resources. A more thorough assessment of the potential to improve accessibility is needed.
  • Invasive nonnative plants require active management to prevent displacement of native plants, including species that are listed at the Utah state level.

Planning and Data Needs

The planning and data needs listed here are directly related to protecting fundamental resources and values, park significance, and park purpose, as well as addressing key issues. To successfully undertake a planning effort, information from sources such as inventories, studies, research activities, and analyses may be required to provide adequate knowledge of park resources and visitor information. Such information sources have been identified as data needs. Geospatial mapping tasks and products are included in data needs.

Items considered of the utmost importance were identified as high priority, and other items identified, but not rising to the level of high priority, were listed as either medium- or low- priority needs. These priorities inform park management efforts to secure funding and support for planning projects.

Some research, annotations, and appendices cannot be translated to digital use.
Non machine-readable versions of the entire document with annotations are available by request.

Document approved by National Park Service, Intermountain Region (now Region 7,8) September 2014.

Last updated: March 16, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page, AZ 86040

Phone:

(928) 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed.

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