Feel small amidst the towering, red-rocked cliffs of Zion, be amazed at the lip of the gaping Grand Canyon, or contemplate the ingenuity of the ancestral Pueblo people at Chaco Canyon. These experiences are at your fingertips in America’s Southwest, a region of exquisite beauty as well as stark contrast. You can travel from the peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the vast expanse of the Sonoran desert in this region that also memorializes and protects the stories, sacred sites, and unique heritage of indigenous cultures. Preserving the diverse, culturally-rich, and spectacular parks of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah is the priority of NPCA’s Southwest Regional Office and associated field offices.
The Southwest team works avidly with a varied and complex set of stakeholders to champion the region’s national parks. The area’s booming population poses threats to parks through increased tourism and recreation, heightened development pressure, and expanded energy infrastructure. Addressing oil and gas activities, which impact the air quality, viewsheds and night skies of magnificent parks like Arches and Mesa Verde, is one of the priorities of the Southwest office. Another focus for the team is the protection of sites like Canyonlands from the massive, coal-fired power plants that churn out both power and pollution. The staff of the Southwest raise awareness of the impacts that climate change and extreme drought are having on the Colorado River system and the parks and people that depend on this critical waterway. They also work to rally opposition to two ill-conceived developments near the rim of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most iconic parks.
In addition to their current work, the Southwest team collaborates with parks and communities on innovative remedies to their traffic congestion issues and pushes for the judicious use of Master Leasing Plans. As we consider the centennial of the National Park System in 2016, they’ll seek to reinforce community relationships and endeavor to engage a broader base of park supporters.
New Mexico's Rock Art
Visit New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument for a rare opportunity to see centuries-old art emblazoned on the volcanic rocks of this arid landscape. Carved by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers, these enduring images tell a unique story.
Field Offices in the Southwest Region
More about the Southwest region
climate ride 2017 Climate Ride Events Join the movement and pedal or hike for our national parks at one of this year's Climate Ride events.
Regional Events Greater Black Canyon Momentum Workshop You’re invited to join in a workshop to kick-off the Greater Black Canyon Momentum Initiative, part of a statewide network of gateway community development initiatives. The Momentum Initiative will explore how community leaders, businesses, industries, local governments, and land managers can work together to attract and accommodate future visitation, recreation and growth, while preserving the area’s unique, rural characteristics, and natural resources.
Regional Events National Public Lands Day at Petrified Forest Join us in Arizona for National Public Lands Day on Sep. 30!
Regional Events Greater Rocky Momentum Workshop Taking a regional perspective, the Greater Rocky Momentum Initiative aims to foster coordination between the various gateway communities whose economies are closely dependent on the national park, as well as surrounding outdoor and tourist destinations.
They are wonderful places to share experiences with family near and far :) — Brynne
Blog Post Working Like a Dog: See How Pups Help Park Rangers in These 12 Unusual Jobs From sniffing out turtle eggs to keeping mountain goats out of parking lots, four-legged rangers carry out many duties that help preserve national park resources and make sure visitors have a pleasant and safe park experience.
Press Release Zinke Proposes Reductions for Some of America’s Public Lands Based on a news interview that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke conducted today, he is recommending that several national monuments be reduced in size.
Comment NPCA's position on visitor management strategies at Zion National Park. Download a PDF of NPCA's scoping comments on NPS visitor management strategies.
Blog Post What Happens When the Water Runs Out? A short visit to a narrow canyon reveals stories from the distant past on water and climate that feel surprisingly relevant today
Blog Post Staff Picks: 11 Spectacular Roads for Riding Your Bike From leisurely rides to challenging climbs, national parks offer riding opportunities for cyclists of all abilities. Check out top recommendations and advice from NPCA enthusiasts on where to go and what to see.
Press Release Trump Administration Action Puts National Parks at Risk, Moves to Derail Clean Water Protections Today, in a devastating blow to national parks and communities that depend on clean water, the Trump Administration calls for the repeal of the Clean Water Rule.
Press Release Trump Administration Puts Important Federal Land at Risk In disappointing move, Interior recommends presidential and Congressional action to reduce protections for Bears Ears National Monument
Magazine Article Desert Gator The life and times of an unlikely resident of Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument.
Magazine Article True Colors What can the rapidly evolving white lizards of White Sands National Monument tell us about how animals can survive environmental change?
Press Release Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks New report details dangers of development near park lands.
Report Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks New report details dangers of development near park lands
Press Release BLM Removes Lands Near Zion from Oil, Gas Lease Sale Move will protect national park resources from impacts of energy production.
Fact Sheet How to Host a Park Volunteer Event Hosting a park volunteer event is an empowering act that flexes your leadership skills, helps our parks and engages new people. Learn how with this step-by-step guide.
Report Southwest Regional Office Field Reports NPCA’s Southwest Regional Office prepares a field report twice a year that focuses on the parks and people of this special part of the country. We also highlight some of the very complex and challenging threats our parks face.
Fact Sheet Planning 2.0 Protects Park Landscapes The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is tasked with managing millions of acres of public lands in the West. In order to ensure they are exercising good stewardship and balancing their dual mandate for managing public lands, each BLM Field Office is required by law to complete a Resource Management Plan (RMP).
Trip Colorado’s Historic Lands, Landmarks & Locomotives (Black Sheep) The national parks within Colorado feature mountainous splendor of alpine lakes, towering peaks, rolling meadows, and captivating wildlife. Along the way, we will ride aboard the famous Durango & Silverton and Cumbres & Toltec narrow-gauge railroads through breathtaking viewsheds in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains.
Trip Hiking Utah's National Parks This active hiking journey will take you to five of Utah's National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, and Zion with adventures each day into the heart of each park.
Video Youthworks in the Parks An innovative partnership is connecting urban youth with public lands
Resource Protecting Sensitive Resources near Mesa Verde National Park The serene, semi-arid landscape of the Four Corners region of southwestern Colorado once housed an early Native American civilization of ancestral Puebloan people. These ancient inhabitants left behind remnants of their culture that tell the story of a complex society that existed here for hundreds of years.
StoryMap Protecting Sensitive Resources near Mesa Verde National Park NPCA and our partners at FracTracker invite you to explore this interactive map documenting some of the wildlife habitat, scenic views, recreational opportunities, and cultural sites that deserve protection under the Master Leasing Plan.
Staff Ernie Atencio Ernie Atencio fell in love with parks and wild places at a young age and has spent most of his career working in and for those places.
Infographic Two Plans, Only ONE Choice for Cleaner Air in Southwestern National Parks EPA has proposed two plans for Utah to address air pollution in national parks in the Southwest. Only one of these plans will reduce emissions from four units at two of the state’s dirtiest coal plants: Rocky Mountain Power’s Hunter and Huntington. Thousands asked the State of Utah to clean up these plants. Utah ignored us. Now EPA must make the right choice—the “Clean Parks” plan.
Trip Puebloan Mystery: Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly Venture into the Four Corners region of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah as we journey through the history and mystery of the Ancestral Puebloans.
Trip Classic Canyon Medley With Grand Canyon and Zion anchoring this journey with full days to hike and explore at each along with a float on the Colorado River and a visit to the Cameron Trading Post this tour is a true medley of the area.
Trip Grand Canyon New Year Put time in perspective by ringing in the New Year on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim—millions of years in the making. Spend a couple days in the red-rock wonderland of Sedona, with a jeep tour and a spectacular night of stargazing.
Staff Jerry Otero Jerry is the Four Corners Program Manager in our Southwest region.
Staff David Nimkin David is the Senior Regional Director for NPCA's Southwest region. Alongside his team, he helps protect the parks of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.
Staff Vanessa Mazal Vanessa is the Colorado Senior Program Manager for the Southwest Regional Office and can often be found traipsing through the diverse and beautiful parks of this state.
Staff Erika Pollard Erika is a Senior Program Manager in the Southwest region. She focuses primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
Staff Britte Kirsch Serving as the Regional Coordinator for the Southwest office, Britte organizes and assists with special events throughout the Southwest and acts as an administrative liaison for the regional office.
Staff Cory MacNulty Cory’s focus as Senior Program Manager in the Southwest Region is primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
Staff Kevin Dahl Kevin Dahl works as Arizona's Senior Program Manager in the Southwest region. He focuses on issues concerning Arizona's national parks, including such well-known places as Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Saguaro.
Letter Best Available Retrofit Technology at the Cholla Power Plant On behalf of National Parks Conservation Association and Sierra Club, Earthjustice respectfully submits the following comments regarding the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) proposed Best Available Retrofit Technology (BART) “reassessment” for the Cholla Power Plant.
Fact Sheet Valles Caldera National Preserve The Valles Caldera National Preserve’s unmatched combination of geological wonders and superb recreational values make it worthy of inclusion in our National Park System, with interpretation by America’s elite storytellers—our national park rangers.
Explore Our Parks
- Arches National Park ›
- Aztec Ruins National Monument ›
- Bandelier National Monument ›
- Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site ›
- Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park ›
- Bryce Canyon National Park ›
- Canyon De Chelly National Monument ›
- Canyonlands National Park ›
- Capitol Reef National Park ›
- Capulin Volcano National Monument ›
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park ›
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument ›
- Cedar Breaks National Monument ›
- Chaco Culture National Historical Park ›
- Chiricahua National Monument ›
- Colorado National Monument ›
- Coronado National Memorial ›
- Curecanti National Recreation Area ›
- Dinosaur National Monument ›
- El Malpais National Monument ›
- El Morro National Monument ›
- Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument ›
- Fort Bowie National Historic Site ›
- Fort Union National Monument ›
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument ›
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area ›
- Golden Spike National Historic Site ›
- Grand Canyon National Park ›
- Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve ›
- Hohokam Pima National Monument ›
- Hovenweep National Monument ›
- Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site ›
- Manhattan Project National Historical Park ›
- Mesa Verde National Park ›
- Montezuma Castle National Monument ›
- Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail ›
- Natural Bridges National Monument ›
- Navajo National Monument ›
- Old Spanish National Historic Trail ›
- Oregon National Historic Trail ›
- Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument ›
- Pecos National Historical Park ›
- Petrified Forest National Park ›
- Petroglyph National Monument ›
- Pipe Spring National Monument ›
- Pony Express National Historic Trail ›
- Rainbow Bridge National Monument ›
- Rocky Mountain National Park ›
- Saguaro National Park ›
- Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument ›
- Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site ›
- Santa Fe National Historic Trail ›
- Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument ›
- Timpanogos Cave National Monument ›
- Tonto National Monument ›
- Tumacacori National Historical Park ›
- Tuzigoot National Monument ›
- Valles Caldera National Preserve ›
- Walnut Canyon National Monument ›
- White Sands National Monument ›
- Wupatki National Monument ›
- Yucca House National Monument ›
- Zion National Park ›