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Contact: John Hiscock, Superintendent, 928-643-7105
The National Park Service is pleased to announce the completion of the first phase of a vegetation management plan for Pipe Spring National Monument, compiled by Park Service staff and park cooperator, the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning of Utah State University.
The plan identifies five vegetation management zones on the Monument, each zone with differing management and visitor purposes. An additional vegetation management zone immediately around the National Park Service – Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians partnership visitor center. The report includes a description of existing vegetative conditions in each zone, evaluates the appropriateness of those conditions, and provides long term alternative recommendations for changes to and/or management of the vegetation.
Pipe Spring National Monument has an extremely long cultural history. The area was first occupied by Ancestral Puebloan people who undoubtedly irrigated small plots, cultivated crops, and most likely encouraged or discouraged native plants on a limited basis. These practices were continued by the Southern Paiute people. With the arrival of Mormon settlers in the mid-1800’s, the vegetative environment was more extensively altered. Non-native trees, shrubs, and plants were introduced. Native trees and shrubs were removed in the immediate vicinity of the Pipe Spring fort and ranch facilities. The large scale grazing of thousands of cattle and sheep, and cyclical drought, in the latter 1800’s greatly diminished predominant native grasses. After the designation of Pipe Spring as a national monument in 1923, further significant changes to the vegetative landscape were made by the National Park Service. Many more shade trees were planted, and the Service attempted to reestablish historic orchards and gardens. Long term and consistent approaches to vegetation management at the Monument have been lacking.
The vegetation management plan will establish a firm plan guiding the wise management of vegetation at the Monument for many years into the future. It seeks to maintain the 19th century historic conditions of the historic district surrounding the Pipe Spring fort or Winsor Castle and associated out-buildings. It sets forth a goal of maintaining other visitor use areas of the Monument in a pleasant, comfortable way (such as the Monument’s small picnic area and around the visitor center), or in ways that support the historic district (such as with the reestablished orchard, and vegetable gardens), and preserves and enhances natural vegetation areas (such as in native vegetation/grassland restoration areas).
The vegetation management plan can be accessed via the internet at the Pipe Spring National Monument website – www.nps.gov/pisp , under the “Management” tab, and then “Park Planning” section. On request, copies can also be made available by contacting the Monument by mail at the address that follows, or by telephone at (928)643-7105. Comments on the plan can be submitted through July 31, 2009 to:
Pipe Spring National Monument
HC 65 Box 5
Fredonia, AZ 86022.