Imagine a McDonald's restaurant, a spread of new condos or a pizza joint despoiling the sweeping views at Utah’s Zion National Park. Well, park officials have taken another step to protect the national icon from private development, thanks to an anonymous $825,000 donation.
Park spokeswoman Alyssa Baltrus said that the 30 acres of private land at the base of Tabernacle Dome will be turned over to the National Park Service and saved from home-building. Preserving the area will also protect the red-rock views.
“We are extremely thankful to all that made this land donation possible,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “This land will help accomplish the original vision for Zion National Park – protecting the amazing geological formations and ecosystems within the boundaries approved by Congress.”
The acquisition, arranged with the help of the Trust for Public Land and the National Parks Conservation Assn., is part of a larger effort to seal off the approximately 3,400 privately owned acres inside the park from potential development, Baltrus said.