CNHA Publishes Children's Book for Canyonlands

In 2019 CNHA published a children’s book for Arches National Park titled Torry in the Land of Arches. The lead character, Torry, is a Southern Grasshopper Mouse, also known as a Wolf Mouse because they howl, especially before they eat.

Torry is back with his tour guide Jackrabbit Slim to explore Canyonlands National Park. Wolf mice are nocturnal, but Canyonlands is so big Torry and Slim must travel during the daytime to visit the three districts of the park. Torry’s grandparents give him a stylish cowboy hat to help keep him cool and protect him from the sun.

Do not lose your hat!” warn Torry’s grandparents. Will Torry keep his promise or will a series of unfortunate events, set off by a careless hat toss, test Torry’s will as he travels with Jackrabbit Slim across the vast Canyonlands National Park?

Award winning author and illustrator Lisa Horstman has a unique process for developing her books. In creating the unique illustrations for Torry’s Canyonlands Adventure, Horstman made stop-motion puppets with wire armatures covered by felted wool. The puppet characters—wolf mice, a jackrabbit, blue herons, a beaver, and a raven—were photographed in various poses and then digitally positioned against a digitally painted backdrop.

Join Torry in this adventurous companion book as he is introduced to the wonders of Canyonlands and makes a few new friends along the way. 

My name is Torry. I'm a Southern Grasshopper Mouse. Another name for me is Wolf Mouse because I like to howl. I have special proteins in my body that make me resistant to scorpion stings. Scorpions are one of my favorite foods along with insects. It's hot in the desert where I live, so I sleep during the day and am most active at night. This means I'm nocturnal.

Author / Illustrator Lisa Horstman at the Gooseneck Overlook on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park. Lisa spent 5 days in the Moab area in May of 2022 visiting the Needles and Island in the Sky Districts of the park to experience the vastness of Canyonlands as research for our new book, Torry's Canyonlands Adventure.

When a young wolf mouse named Torry visits his grandparents at Wolfe Ranch in the land of Arches, he sees all sorts of unusual sights. There are mysterious markings on stone walls. There's a jackrabbit named Slim who taxis customers across the rocky land - fast!. But the most unusual and dangerous experience during Torry's visit involves a tradition passed down from generation to generation in the wolf mouse family. Now Torry must learn these traditions to survive.

Arches Volunteer Team Receives Regional Award 

Arches National Park congratulates our local volunteer Sticker Club for receiving a Regional 2022 George and Helen Hartzog Award for Outstanding Volunteer Team Service. 

The volunteer Sticker Club consists of Moab residents who gather weekly to put colored stickers on the park maps distributed at Arches’ entrance stations. The stickers are part of the park’s Timed Entry reservation system, which first piloted in 2022. Over the course of last year’s six-month pilot, Sticker Club volunteers prepared over 285,000 maps—five pallets worth, enough to fill a one-car garage. And they're back at it again this year.   

While an action as small as applying a sticker seems minor, the collective impact of this task adds up quickly. Having dedicated volunteers who maintain a supply of pre-stickered maps frees up park staff to focus on providing visitor services, roving trails, giving ranger-led programs, and more. It also helps keep the entrance booth lines moving as smoothly as possible. 

In her nomination letter for this award, Acting Program Manager for Interpretation, Education, and Visitor Services Jori Welchans wrote, “It is difficult to explain how impactful the actions of the Sticker Club were on staff morale. ...Oftentimes the volunteers who receive the most recognition and awards are those who complete major projects. However, sometimes it is those volunteers toiling behind the scenes making work conditions more tolerable for their peers that have the biggest impact.” 

The George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service are given annually to recognize the exemplary contributions National Park Service volunteers make to their parks and to their communities. George B. Hartzog, Jr. created the Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) program in 1970 while serving as Director of the National Park Service. After retiring, he and his wife, Helen, established the award program to honor volunteers’ contributions. 

Arches National Park is part of Regions 6, 7, and 8 of the National Park Service, which includes 85 park units in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona, and parts of Montana. The full list and descriptions of this year’s Hartzog Award Regional winners from parks across the country can be read here: 2022 George and Helen Hartzog Awards for Outstanding Volunteer Service (U.S. National Park Service) (

To learn about volunteer opportunities at national parks and other public lands, please visit

Pictured left to right: Marlene Huckabay, Scott Brown, Mark Shapiro, Lynn Anderson, and Shar Trim. NPS/Veronica Verdin

BLM Partners With Local Organizations to get Youth Outdoors

On June 28, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and OARS continued their partnership with the Moab Valley Multicultural Center (MVMC) on a one day river trip on the Colorado River. For the second year, Canyonlands Natural History Association joined their partnership and produced a video documenting the fun! A huge thank you to Noel Blanc, CNHA Outreach Coordinator for documenting the adventure.

The aim of the trip is to get local Moab residents on the river to experience their public lands and the myriad of opportunities for recreation, as well as job and career options within the community.

The 13 mile trip down the Moab Daily, one of Utah’s most popular river trips, provided an unforgettable experience for many participants who had never ventured on the river before. “We have lifelong, 17 year residents in Moab that have never been on the river. This trip gives us the opportunity to show them that this space isn’t just for outdoor tourism, it’s for them and their community,” said Molly Clark, Community Coordinator at MVMC.

“We look forward to this trip every year. For a lot of folks, it’s the only time they get to go on the river,” said Bradia Holmes, Education Coordinator at MVMC.

You can learn more about the trip here. We look forward to partnering again next year!

BLM Seeks Public Comment on Proposal for Exploratory Drilling West of Moab

The Bureau of Land Management opened a 30-day comment period for an updated A1 Lithium Incorporated Mineral Exploration Project Environmental Assessment, which analyzes a proposal to re-enter two plugged and abandoned wellbores and assess potentially valuable lithium and associated mineral salt deposits on federal lands approximately eight miles west of Moab in Grand County.

If approved, the project is expected to be completed within two years and include plugging and abandonment of the reentered holes and reclamation of the disturbed area. Lithium is listed on the 2022 DOI USGS Critical Minerals List. The BLM previously sought public comments for this environmental assessment in the summer of 2022, and after further review has included updated review of alternatives considered and cumulative impacts on water quantity from potential future fluid and solid mineral development in the analysis area.

“The BLM manages lands for multiple use and sustained yield, including providing opportunities for responsible mineral and energy development,” said Moab Field Manager Dave Pals. “The public can help inform mineral development by providing detailed comments on environmental analyses for proposals like this one.”  

Interested members of the public, local governments, Tribal Nations, organizations and other stakeholders are encouraged to provide written comments during this comment period to help refine the environmental analysis and clarify issues. Comments on the cumulative impacts on water quantity from potential future fluid and solid mineral development will be especially helpful.

Please reference “A1 Lithium Mineral Exploration Project” when submitting comments. Written comments may be submitted through the BLM National NEPA Register (preferred), emailed to, or mailed/hand delivered to BLM Moab Field Office, Attn: A1 Lithium Mineral Exploration Project, 82 East Dogwood Moab, UT 84532. All comments must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MDT on August 26, 2023, to be considered.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Whittington at

USFS Hydrology Highlights

The Moab Ranger District watershed program was able to bring in eight crew members with the Utah Conservation Crew (UCC) through a Watershed Restoration Initiative grant. The Moab watershed crew joined forces with the UCC crew to complete some of the range development/spring protection projects that were pending completion since last year in the La Sal Mountains. These projects consisted of building non-ground disturbing log-worm fences around spring sources while maintaining water uses for cattle away from spring sources. Areas of erosion and high disturbance within the spring source area were also seeded and planted with willow species for site/soil stability.


The watershed crew also joined forces with a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

volunteer crew and the Moab recreation crew to fix dilapidated fencing around

the Warner Campground. The fencing, which keeps cattle out of the Warner

Campground and Warner Lake, was destroyed by the unusually deep snowpack this

year. In addition, the district has signed a volunteer agreement with a Grand

Canyon Trust volunteer crew to build an enclosure around a fen (peat forming) wetland near La

Sal Pass next month. The fence will block illegal motorized vehicles from

driving onto the wetland and causing rutting, as well as keeping cattle out of

the important groundwater dependent ecosystem.


The Moab Watershed Program also has two Native Seed Materials interns through the

Chicago Botanic Garden that have started to collect native workhorse plant

species that will be propagated through an agreement with Forest Service

nurseries. These seedlings will be available for use in restoration projects.

Finally, the watershed program is in the final stages of finalizing a $750,000

agreement to restore a one-mile section of the perennial Pack Creek Stream.

We've got a lot going on!


The Monticello Ranger District watershed crew has also been busy inventorying new

spring sources, collecting water quality and quantity, and fixing destroyed

fencing at the Gold Queen wetland area.

Community Artist at Arches in August

The scenery within the national parks in southeast Utah inspired the creation of the Community Artist in the Parks program. The program began in 2009 as a way to highlight the connection between local artists and the landscapes contained within the parks of the National Park Service's Southeast Utah Group: Arches National Park, Canyonlands National ParkHovenweep National Monument, and Natural Bridges National Monument.

The program gives visitors from across the globe an opportunity to see first-hand the results of artistic inspiration from wild nature. It provides local artists an ability to teach and demonstrate their medium and passion for creative expression. Community artists host events throughout the summer where you can watch them in action, and even try your hand at some artwork. Click this link for the current artist Jess Hough

Sheep Skull Sticker by Jess Hough, 2023 Community Artist in the Park

Best-selling Image. Geocentric Sky

Delicate Arch

 Original Matted Print

August 4 is Great American Outdoors Day

Are you ready for #GreatAmericanOutdoorsDay? (Actually, every day is an outdoor day for us!) On Friday, August 4th, in honor of the third anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, park entrance fees will be waived.

What if there’s not a park near me? Chances are, there’s a park closer than you think. There are over 400 national park areas spread across the country. Check and search state by state to find one close to you. (Keep in mind the nearest park entrance may be behind you.)

What is the Great American Outdoors Act? The Great American Outdoors Act (#GAOA) provides funding to improve infrastructure, address extensive and long-overdue maintenance and repair needs, and expand recreation opportunities in national parks across the country. Learn more about current projects happening in parks from coast to coast at:

Courtesy of The National Park Service Facebook Page.

August Lectures at the MIC

Moab Information Center 

2023 Lecture Series

Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA)

Thursday’s @ 5:00 p.m. 


August 3 ~ Rhodes Smartt ~ Light Pollution Effects on the Colorado Plateau ~ Southeastern Utah is home to some of the darkest skies in the country with incredible nocturnal night life thriving under its stars. However, with urbanization and population growth there are threats on the horizon. Join Ranger Rhodes as we explore what makes the night skies of Canyonlands and Arches special, how we can continue to protect them, and what differences we can make at home to save our night skies for future generations. 


August 10 ~ Ash Hightower ~ Petroglyphs ~ Have you ever wondered about the meaning of petroglyphs? National Park Ranger Ash Hightower will not be translating these rock inscriptions or dissecting their existence. Instead, they will be presenting a wide array of rock markings across time, as well as the overlap of historic and modern graffiti. Join us for an evening of personal introspection on how we can leave our mark in the parks!

Find out more information on the Moab Information Center here.

Reservation Required to Enter Arches

From April 1 to October 31, 2023, between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, visitors will need to purchase a timed entry reservation in advance to enter Arches National Park. Visitors can purchase reservations on a first-come first-served basis on Reservations are released three months in advance in monthly blocks according to the following schedule:  


  • August reservations (August 1–31) opened May 1. 
  • September reservations (Sept. 1–30) opened June 1. 
  • October reservations (October 1–31) opened July 1.

For more information on Timed Entry at Arches National Park, click here.   

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