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Know the West

What about Kane Gulch?


For 12 years my husband and I lived in Moab, Utah, and we volunteered and worked at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station, which is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management’s office in Monticello, Utah. In your most recent article regarding the Bears Ears National Monument, you are totally incorrect when you indicate there has not been a visitors center available to the public before they explore this fragile area (Bears Ears’ guerrilla visitor center,” HCN, 5/13/19). The ranger station has been located on Cedar Mesa since the early 1980s and has been continuously staffed by rangers and/or volunteers for nine months of each year. The rangers and the volunteers are very knowledgeable about conditions in the canyons, including trail conditions, water availability and the importance of the fragile archaeological resources. To indicate that there is no such facility available within the boundaries of the new Bears Ears National Monument is not only incorrect, but does a disservice to everyone who works tirelessly in this visitor center. On a daily basis, BLM rangers and/or volunteers spend time patrolling the canyons to ensure visitor safety and to protect fragile archaeological resources. We are very disappointed that your author did not visit this ranger station before he wrote the most recent article.

Janet Bartolomucci
Tucson, Arizona

Editor’s response: While the Kane Gulch Ranger Station is certainly a valuable resource for visitors to southern Utah’s Cedar Mesa area, including Grand Gulch and other ecologically and culturally significant canyons, it was not designed specifically for Bears Ears National Monument. Nor would it fall within the Trump administration’s diminished monument boundaries. The BLM rangers and volunteers at Kane Gulch are helpful, the book selection useful, but there is still no federally run visitors center specifically for the national monument. Until there is, readers are encouraged to learn more at Kane Gulch or the nearby Natural Bridges National Monument visitors center, run by the National Park Service, in addition to the Bears Ears Education Center.