Utah Avalanche Center Wraps up Big Season

by Eric Trenbeath- Avalanche Forecaster, Utah Avalanche Center Moab Zone

The Manti-La Sal National Forest (MLSNF), and the non-profit Utah Avalanche Center (UAC) wrapped up operations on April 16, with a La Sal Mountain snowpack well over 200% of normal. The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the UAC, provides daily avalanche and mountain weather forecasts, education, and community outreach for winter backcountry users on national forest lands throughout the state of Utah. 

Moab operations this season were greatly enhanced through CNHA’s financial support for a part-time Assistant Forecaster/Community Outreach Coordinator. The UAC hired local resident, Dave Garcia, a longtime contributor of snow and avalanche observations, to assist forecaster Eric Trenbeath, who has singularly handled the growing needs of the program for the past 10 seasons. Starting in early November, Eric and Dave posted daily avalanche forecasts that received more than 40,000 page views this season. They also gave a free Know Before You Go avalanche awareness presentation; taught a Backcountry 101 field course; held a Trailhead Awareness Day where they interacted directly with local users; and maintained an avalanche beacon training park near the Geyser Pass Winter Trailhead. In his role as community outreach coordinator, Dave also organized a successful ski waxing/fundraising party in November, and brought the Banff Mountain Film Festival to Star Hall for two nights in March.

As a winter recreation community resource, the MLSNF/UAC-Moab also provides the latest road conditions and plowing information, coordinates trail grooming with volunteers from the Lower Utah Nordic Alliance, and maintains winter trailhead facilities. They also serve as liaisons for the Grand County Search and Rescue Winter Rescue Team, providing expertise and current avalanche information should a rescue need to be undertaken.

CNHA’s support of this program greatly enhances the UAC’s ability to achieve their mission of keeping people safe in the winter backcountry, while meeting the demands of growing winter use in the La Sal and Abajo Mountains. 

Assistant Forecaster / Community Development Coordinator, Dave Garcia. Position funding provided by Canyonlands Natural History Association.

Ski tracks on the NE face of Mount Tukuhnikivatz during a period of stable conditions on April 10, 2023.

Students learn to assess snow stability at the Backcountry 101 course in the La Sal Mountains in January, 2023

BLM Mascots and Logos Through the Years

by Jeremy Buck - Park Ranger / Volunteer Coordinator Moab Field Office BLM

Unlike our counterparts over at the US Forest Service who have the resoundingly popular Smokey Bear, or the National Park Service with their iconic arrowhead insignia, the BLM has been searching for an iconic mascot and emblem to represent our agency. Our first logo after our agency’s creation was debuted in 1953, featuring five stern tradesmen who look on upon an industrialized or ‘civilized’ landscape, emphasizing our reputation as the ‘BLM: Bureau of Livestock and Mining’.

Fifteen years later, in 1968, the BLM unveiled its new mascot: Johnny Horizon. Johnny was featured by folk singers like Burl Ives who sang his theme song in 1970, and could be found on products such as wristwatches and ashtrays – in which royalties could be collected by the Department of Interior. Within a decade, he was retired as the BLM began shifting towards more multiple-use policies that emphasized conservation. Statements by Interior Secretary Cecil Andrus in 1977 stated before the National Wildlife Federation that ‘The initials BLM no longer stand for Bureau of Livestock and Mining’, and calls were made to introduce a female counterpart to complement Johnny. These efforts were not fully realized, and the BLM was left without a major mascot.

With the turn of the millennium and the addition of National Monuments to our land system, the BLM has shifted more towards recreation and multiple-use practices as a part of the mission. Years later, a new mascot was born. ‘Sey-mour!!!’ Despite mistaken naming conventions, a commonality between land agency mascots is that Seymour, an antelope, has a last name of Antelope, just like Smokey Bear the… bear. Seymour was originally adopted in 2008 by BLM New Mexico to help in a statewide restoration program, and just two years later in 2010, the BLM adopted Seymour as the official, nationwide mascot for our Youth Program to encourage folks to ‘Get Outside!’ and conserve, protect, and restore. Currently, a 24 page coloring book featuring Seymour recreating responsibly among iconic BLM landscapes provides a fun, mildly educational resource for kids and brave adults to complete. You can download the Seymour Antelope Coloring Book from the BLM's website.

Johnny Horizon was unveiled as the BLM mascot in 1968.

Seymour Antelope is the current national mascot for the Bureau of Land Management

Burl Ives promotes recreating responsibly on public lands in the 1970s.

White Rim Road Expected to Flood in Canyonlands

Our wet and snowy winter is bringing lots of spring runoff which may complicate travel in Canyonlands National Park, particularly on the White Rim Road. The White Rim can become impassable between Labyrinth and Hardscrabble campsites when the Green River is above 14,000 CFS. The Green is expected to exceed 15,000 CFS in early May. Other low areas on the road can be flooded if the river continues to rise.

Always check conditions before heading into the backcountry and carry extra fuel when traveling the White Rim. Check the Canyonlands website for updates on current road conditions. www.nps.gov/cany/planyourvisit/conditions.htm

For more photos and conditions: http://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?pg=1914600...For a reel of the flooding, head over to the park's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cri6WhELZ9E/

May Free Lecture Schedule at the MIC

Moab Information Center 

2023 Lecture Series

Canyonlands Natural History Association (CNHA)

Thursday’s @ 5:00 p.m. 


May 4 ~ Robert Anderson ~ Founding Fathers: The Creation of Canyonlands National Park ~ The vision of Charlie Steen, Bates Wilson and Stewart Udall paved the way for the creation of Canyonlands National Park. Join Park Ranger, Robert Anderson, as he discusses each of these men and their vision for Canyonlands National Park.


May 11 ~ Rhodes Smartt ~ Geology of Canyonlands ~ Rhodes will discuss the geology of the greater Colorado Plateau area and the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands, and how its unique geology led to uranium mining. Join us for an evening of geologic exploration!  


May 18 ~ Beth Karpinski ~ The Civilian Conservation Corps and Erosion Control in the Spanish Valley ~ The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) contributed significantly to the landscape of southeastern Utah in the 1930s and 1940s. From constructing roads to bridges to infrastructure in the soon to be National Parks, the four CCC camps located within and near Moab were vital to the growth of the region and stabilization of the land.


May 25 ~ Jody Patterson ~ Fremont Keeps and Fortifications in Eastern Utah, An Aerial Perspective ~ The Fremont people built keeps and citadels in relatively inaccessible locations throughout Eastern Utah. Jody will explore the history of anthropological thought surrounding the structures, draw comparisons with similar Ancestral Puebloan defensive locations, and examine how an aerial perspective may shed some light on their use and significance.


June 1 ~ Joel Pederson ~ Moab Is Sinking From a Wave of Incision ~ It should be no surprise that geologically youthful canyon incision is a hallmark of Utah’s canyonlands. Yet, the timing and patterns of canyon cutting are only starting to be understood, revealing a connection to the formation of Moab-Spanish valley and other graben along exposures of Paradox Formation salt. Joel Pederson is a CNHA Discovery Pool Grant recipient for 2023. 

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 Recreation.gov. Reservations are released three months in advance in monthly blocks according to the following schedule:  


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

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

Community Artist Program

Community Artist Product

Canyonlands National Park

Sunday May 14, Great Gallery Horseshoe Canyon Unit 9:00am – 3:00pm

Monday May 15, Horseshoe Canyon Trail

9:00am – 3:00pm

Arches National Park

Sunday May 21, Arches Visitor Center

9:00am – 1:00pm

Sunday May 21, Sand Dune Arch 2:00 – 4:00pm

Plan Your Summer Trip at CNHA.ORG

Latitude 40 Classic Moab Topographic Map

A Kid's Guide to America's Parks Monuments and Landmarks (best-seller)

Arches 32oz. Nalgene Sustain Water bottle

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