Today was the 10th Anniversary celebration of Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermilion Cliffs National Monuments, held at Dixie college in St. George. It's a big deal because it's the first time BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and NPS (National Park Service- whoopity whoop!) have successfully managed land together. BLM puts land to use; NPS preserves it, generally speaking, so the two agencies went into this co-management with completely different strategies; and it has worked.
The events were free and open to the public, but if you work for the Park Service they paid you to go and provided transportation... so naturally I went. If ever an opportunity presents itself to attend a federal celebration of any kind do yourself a favor and go. No matter how many hours of planning are put into it, these events are always, without fail, utterly, comically, unorganized.
In a large room almost half full, there was a panel of BLM and NPS employees sharing their experiences-- from the beginning of the idea, up to it's fruition, until today.
One particular gentleman on the panel was dressed so well in his southwest vest over a yellow, 70's-era button up that I felt inspired to write a poem:
He with the sweater vest and glasses
Credit is given and applause is blasted
Two for one success
"Unite for these lands", cried the masses!
The rest of the morning included a flustered Paiute hunting dance, an ignored cake cutting event ("Okay guys, we're going to cut the cake. Hey, look over here, we're cutting the cake.") and a VIP lunch reserved for only the most important guests. Since I was not one of them someone from the Lake Mead branch managed to score me a ticket- sweet- which came with a giant goodie bag full of cool stuff. I rewrote the schedule of events in haiku form:
Greening up the BLM
Put substance to that.
Mountain Sheep Dancers
They're winding up the mountain
Next is cake cutting-
Rosie, would you like to speak?
Now we'll break for lunch.
St. George is so beautiful- who knew?! It's a delightful little town among the mountains, what a great place to hike. The scenery is top notch, red sandstone against a back drop of ancient limestone covered in snow. Mmm-mmm, good. I took lots of pictures but seem to have lost my camera, so please enjoy these, which I took from someone else's site without permission: