Notice! Care2 will go offline for site maintenance July 28 at 9pm PST. Thanks
START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x

Saving Beauty, One Ranch at a Time: New Addition Slated for Petrified Forest National Park


Environment  (tags: conservation, environment, GoodNews, government, nature, protection, Sustainabililty, wildlife )

JL
- 505 days ago - parkadvocate.org
Fortunately, after years of private ownership, more people will soon be able to experience the McCauley Ranch.Shortly, the property will officially become part of Petrified National Park, thanks to an elaborate deal brokered between the family who owned



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

Comments

JL A. (272)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 8:46 am
Saving Beauty, One Ranch at a Time: New Addition Slated for Petrified Forest National Park
0

Petroglyphs at the McCauley RanchThe first time NPCA’s Arizona Program Manager Kevin Dahl saw the McCauley Ranch at Petrified Forest National Park, he was with a group of scientists and park enthusiasts exploring private lands identified for eventual addition to the park. The spacious McCauley piece of high-elevation desert covers 4,265 acres near the famous fossilized trees that draw some 630,000 visitors each year to this dusty, quiet area an hour east of Winslow, Arizona.

Kevin was familiar enough with the wide-open skies of the Petrified Forest and the breathtaking views of its Painted Desert—how the captivating pinks and purples and all manner of blues, greens, and grays, seem to shift and brighten with every subtle change of sunlight. He was struck by the size of the ranch, though he wasn’t shocked; forage is so sparse in the desert, any cowhand needs a lot of land to graze just one or two steer.

What Kevin wasn’t expecting to see came at the end of the tour, when the group gathered in the waning daylight under a group of cottonwood trees. There, he spotted what at first glance appeared to be a large bird hunched quietly in a high branch. Kevin did a double-take as the lithe creature slowly uncurled and looked down at the group below. It was the first time he had ever seen a porcupine in the wild—a magical moment. The glimpse of a desert animal coming into view after a hot, dusty day is just one of those little surprises that makes this part of the country so special.

Fortunately, after years of private ownership, more people will soon be able to experience the McCauley Ranch. Shortly, the property will officially become part of Petrified National Park, thanks to an elaborate deal brokered between the family who owned the land, The Conservation Fund (an essential partner that now temporarily owns the ranch), and a generous anonymous donor. Oh, and Kevin, of course, who was there throughout the process as negotiations went back and forth, and back and forth again, over the value of this irreplaceable and mineral-rich slice of desert.

The Park Service has been waiting nearly nine years for the opportunity to acquire privately held pieces of land like the McCauley Ranch that are surrounded by the national park boundary, to fully incorporate them into the park. NPCA sometimes refers to these pockets of private land as “inholdings.” Inholdings often become sites for trophy homes and other incompatible development that can change the whole character of the surrounding parkland. In 2004, Congress voted to expand the boundaries of Petrified Forest National Park, but didn’t put any funding behind the expansion. As a result, some landowners have given up on future government funding, and have hitched their hopes for sale or lease to potash mining companies and other mineral development operations.

In this context, the effort to save the McCauley Ranch is a major victory. “The work I do is often about fighting battles that seem to never end, and even hard-earned victories can prove to be temporary,” Kevin told me. “It is just so satisfying to know we could come up with an agreement that worked for everyone, so that this land will be added to the park system forever.”

-Jennifer Errick, Editor, Online Communications
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 10:52 am

Thanks J L for sharing this wonderful story of good news. What is not protected, and well protected at that, will be one more ecosystem that is forever lost.
 

JL A. (272)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 10:58 am
You are welcome Kit. You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.
 

Carol D. (104)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 2:40 pm
This looks a really unusual place Nice to know that people will be able to see it in the future

Noted
 

Terry V. (30)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 2:50 pm
FANTASTIC NEWS!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THAN YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THAN YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THAN YOU THANK YOU
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THAN YOU THANK YOU
OH, did I say THANK YOU!!!?
 

SuSanne P. (181)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 3:20 pm
This is ESPECIALLY good news to me on a personal level, as I have been here to visit the miles of Beauty. Once you have visited the canyons and viewed the historic petroglyphs as in the photo you will never be the same.
 

JL A. (272)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 6:13 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Carol because you have done so within the last day. You are welcome, welcome, welcome...welcome Terry!
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to SuSanne because you have done so within the last day.
 

Angelika R. (146)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 7:41 pm
GREAT NEWS! Reminds me a bit of the Pe'Sla victory. Kudos and thanks to that anonymous donor and all involved in this! Thx JL.
 

John B. (215)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 8:04 pm
Thanks J.L. for posting this great news. The McCauley Ranch not only has Petroglyphs but many poteintial archeological sites on it and now that it will become a part of a National Park those can be better protected for future exploration and possible "digs". Read and noted.
 

JL A. (272)
Saturday March 9, 2013, 8:11 pm
You are welcome Angelika and John. That is so true John!
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last day.
 

Giana Peranio-Paz (379)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 1:05 am
Thanks for this great news. This beautiful location will be protected.
 

paul m. (93)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:21 am

Nice one..
 

Yvette S. (30)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:40 am
Thanks for sharing this good news
 

JL A. (272)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:59 am
You are welcome Giana and Yvette. Glad you found it nice Paul.
 

Ro H. (0)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 10:04 am
ty
 

Holly Lawrence (473)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 11:00 am
Good, good news! !!!!
 

JL A. (272)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 12:11 pm
You are welcome Ro
 

Suheyla C. (229)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 5:38 pm
Thank you
 

Jason S. (57)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:35 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

JL A. (272)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 6:38 pm
You are welcome Suheyla and Jason
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 9:48 pm
That's great. May it always be protected.
 

Fran away F. (110)
Sunday March 10, 2013, 11:43 pm
Fantastic! I look forward to going back there: it's been many years. Thanks for this post, JL.
 

Natasha Salgado (511)
Monday March 11, 2013, 10:21 pm
Great news for this stunningly beautiful and unique place!!! Love those colors!!! Thanks J.L
 

JL A. (272)
Tuesday March 12, 2013, 8:56 am
You cannot currently send a star to Natasha because you have done so within the last day.
 
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story


Loading Noted By...Please Wait

 

 
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.