Friends of Utah: Parks & Protected Area Management

In August 2017, Department of State Liaison Linda Harris accompanied International Visitors with the Parks and Protected Area Management program during their trip to Utah. Their purpose in visiting was to explore the U.S. national park and protected area management systems, trends in biodiversity conservation and wildlife management, and tourism standards and practices.

Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 3 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
Parks and Protected Area Management International Visitors

The group met with Ms. Maura Olivos, Sustainability Coordinator, who gave a presentation centered around sustainability efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and negative impact on water sources. Dave Bastian also spoke, focusing on hiring and training young people to do conservation work such as building trails. Our International Visitors helped restore a decommissioned trail by planting native plants alongside other volunteers.

Alta Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 3 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Alta Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 4 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
Alta Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 11 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
Restoration Project


The group also met with Mr. Rory Reynolds, Assistant Director of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Robin Cahoon, Conservation Section Chief. Linda shared, “This meeting was of particular interest to the group, as it addressed many of their responsibilities in the management of wildlife throughout the state… This was an excellent meeting for the entire group as there was a lot of interaction among the Interlocutors and our Visitors.” 

Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 16 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
Meeting with Professional Resources

Prior to leaving Salt Lake, our Visitors spent an evening with their home hospitality hosts. Linda observed, “For all of them, it was a most enjoyable evening and they were very happy that the hosts took a great interest in their fields of work.  All shared they will remain in contact with their new friends.”

Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 8 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
International Visitors enjoying a hike in Zion National Park

Afterwards, our Visitors had the rare opportunity to visit Zion National Park where they stopped at Kolob Canyon to enjoy “breathtaking views.” Linda remarked that visiting Zion National Park was a wonderful opportunity to visit a national treasure. While in Southern Utah, the group met with representatives of Zion National Park, Cindy Purcell and Aly Blatrus who covered many areas that pertained to the visitors’ backgrounds and fields of expertise. Also present was Mr. Lyman Hafen, who was instrumental in creating the Zion Forever Project. On a hike with representative Dawna Ferris-Rowley, our International Visitors discussed and observed conservation projects underway, including protecting the desert tortoise. “Dawna was so delightful and interesting and passionate about her work… it was a wonderful experience.”

 Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 27 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 32 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 29 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
International Visitors in Zion National Park

Before departing from Utah, the group’s final visit was in St. George, where they met with stakeholders within Washington County. Their discussion was on creating areas for tourists and locals while protecting and preserving the land with as little impact as possible. They also focused on population growth and preserving natural resources, protecting endangered species and water conservation. All agreed that communication amongst the different agencies and working towards the same goal is the key to preservation and conservation.

Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 14 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 5 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
  Meeting with Professional Resources                                                      Departing from Zion National Park       

 

We hope our Visitors with the Parks and Protected Area Management program found their experience in Utah to be both enjoyable and educational. We wish them the best in their endeavors to improve preservation and conservation within their own countries.

Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 31 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 4 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Zion Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 20 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
International Visitors in Zion National Park

Alta Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 12 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy   Alta Save The Planet August 2017 Photo by Allison 13 Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy
International Visitors participating in Restoration Project