The post on the lack of cougars resulting in damage to the ecology of Zion National Park has prompted a lot of comments.

I thought I’d post a photo I took of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon last March. The streambanks are trampled and bare or are calving off where the silt is deep. Some of the erosion is human, but the deer follow the human trails and vice versa.

Those high scenic photos you see of the Virgin are taken up in “The Narrows” where the walls close, leaving little riparian zone.

virgin-river.jpg
The eroding banks of the Virgin River in Zion Canyon. Zion NP. Photo by Ralph Maughan. March 2006

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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