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.
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…See more ›
In addition to their current work, the Southwest team collaborates with parks and communities on innovative remedies to their traffic congestion issues and fights recent attempts to limit public involvement in park-adjacent oil and gas development. As NPCA celebrates its centennial in 2019, they seek to reinforce community relationships and endeavor to engage a broader base of park supporters.
Protect Chaco Culture from oil and gas drilling!
Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves five Chacoan "great houses" where people from various clans congregated to trade goods, share ideas and celebrate events a thousand years ago. This area is special, sacred.Send Email
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
- 2059 S Columbine St., Denver, CO 80210
- 307 West 200 South, Suite 4004, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
- 7864 S Alicia Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364
- PO Box 537, Arroyo Hondo, NM 87513
- PO Box 2896, Santa Fe, NM 87504
More about the Southwest region
Read more about Protect Chaco Culture from oil and gas drilling!
ActiveAction Protect Chaco Culture from oil and gas drilling! Chaco Culture National Historical Park preserves five Chacoan "great houses" where people from various clans congregated to trade goods, share ideas and celebrate events a thousand years ago. This area is special, sacred.
Read more about Amache Preserved as Part of the National Park System
Victory Amache Preserved as Part of the National Park System NPCA helped advocate for a national park site preserving the story of Amache, where thousands of people of Japanese descent were unconstitutionally incarcerated.
Read more about Don't Divide Our Habitats, Ecosystems and Communities
NPCA at Work Don't Divide Our Habitats, Ecosystems and Communities Oppose new walls and fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Read more about Our Southwestern National Parks Deserve Cleaner Air
NPCA at Work Our Southwestern National Parks Deserve Cleaner Air Clean air is still out of reach for our Southwestern national parks.
Visiting the national parks brings us back to our center, as human beings sustained and nurtured by the Earth. As civilization tends to specialize itself, we forget that we are dependent upon our environment. Visiting these pristine, natural surroundings recalls us to the need to nurture and revitalize the Earth that gives us life. — Kathryn
Read more about Navajo Citizens Stop Developers from Building an Egregious Resort and Tramway on the Rim of the Grand Canyon
Victory Navajo Citizens Stop Developers from Building an Egregious Resort and Tramway on the Rim of the Grand Canyon Developers have been attempting for years to build a massive 420-acre resort hotel and aerial tramway right on the rim of the Grand Canyon. In February 2018, Western Navajo citizens unanimously opposed allowing this destructive project on their land, effectively ending the threat to this landmark national park and its deeply significant cultural sites.
Read more about Don't Drill Near Dinosaur
NPCA at Work Don't Drill Near Dinosaur The Bureau of Land Management is considering offering oil and gas leases within 5 miles of Dinosaur National Monument, but drilling has no place at the doorstep of this Southwestern park and its world-class fossils.
Read more about Local Stakeholders Give Strong Protections to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Victory Local Stakeholders Give Strong Protections to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks Plan finds a unique balance between conservation, recreation, and energy development, and shows just how much Utahans love their national parks.
Read more about Grand Canyon Protected from Threat of Mega-Development
Victory Grand Canyon Protected from Threat of Mega-Development You helped to stop a massive development proposed just outside the boundary of Grand Canyon National Park that had the Park Service and park supporters worried about negative effects on the park—especially the dozens of fragile creeks, springs, and seeps that rely on underground water sources the development could have legally tapped.
Read more about Troubled Waters
Magazine Article Troubled Waters For decades, biologists and anglers stocked national parks with nonnative trout. What will it take to undo the ecological damage?
Read more about Tips for Seeing Arches During Peak Season
Blog Post Tips for Seeing Arches During Peak Season After years of frustrating overcrowding problems, staff at Arches National Park launched a timed-entry reservation system last month to ensure more reliable access for park visitors. Here's what to know before you go.
Read more about Arizona OKs Uranium Mining Permit in the Grand Canyon Watershed
Press Release Arizona OKs Uranium Mining Permit in the Grand Canyon Watershed “Mining uranium in the Grand Canyon watershed threatens the enduring legacy of this landscape and jeopardizes the entire water supply of the Havasupai people" -- Michè Lozano, NPCA's Arizona Program Manager
Read more about See a Sky Full of Stars at These Certified Dark-Sky Parks
Blog Post See a Sky Full of Stars at These Certified Dark-Sky Parks Lay out a blanket after the sun goes down and see a clearer view of the galaxy at these designated dark-sky parks.
Read more about Southwest Regional Office Field Reports
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.
Read more about Victory: President Biden, Parks Leaders Welcome Amache National Historic Site
Press Release Victory: President Biden, Parks Leaders Welcome Amache National Historic Site "By preserving Amache, we can ensure that as a country we confront our mistakes, honor the stories of those who were unjustly imprisoned, and protect the site for future generations" -- NPCA's President and CEO Theresa Pierno
Read more about Full Circle
Magazine Article Full Circle At Bears Ears National Monument, a crew of young men from the Pueblo of Zuni is caring for the cliff dwellings their ancestors built 800 years ago.
Read more about Amache Japanese American incarceration site on verge of becoming national park site
Press Release Amache Japanese American incarceration site on verge of becoming national park site Unanimous Senate and House passage puts preservation campaign waged by survivors, descendants and advocates near completion
Read more about A Win for Wolves and National Parks
Press Release A Win for Wolves and National Parks Today’s court ruling restores federal protections for gray wolves in 44 states, including those roaming in North Cascades, Lassen and other national parks. NPCA and partners were plaintiffs in the case.
Read more about Natural Fortunes of the Four Corners
Land Based Trip Natural Fortunes of the Four Corners Known for sweeping vistas, culturally rich Ancestral Puebloan settlements and internationally recognized dark skies, the Four Corners, connecting NM, CO, UT and AZ, is unlike anywhere else in the world. Journey alongside NPCA experts to experience extraordinary ancient structures at Chaco Culture National Historical Park. You’ll also experience the mystifying cultural sites within Mesa Verde, Aztec Ruins and Hovenweep while learning about NPCA’s important contributions in the region.
Read more about Out with the Old, In with the New
Magazine Article Out with the Old, In with the New A generation ago, thousands of people gathered in a remote corner of New Mexico to usher in a gentler, kinder age. Did it work?
Read more about Finders Weepers
Magazine Article Finders Weepers Every year, national parks receive dozens of rocks and artifacts returned by remorseful visitors. What are parks to do with the stuff?
Read more about Chaco Canyon: A journey through land and time
Video Chaco Canyon: A journey through land and time Explore and learn about Chaco Culture National Historical Park, its uniqueness and formation, and the ways we can work to protect it.
Read more about Ask Congress to Support the Amache National Historic Site Act (H.R. 2497/S.1284)
Fact Sheet Ask Congress to Support the Amache National Historic Site Act (H.R. 2497/S.1284) Introduced by Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Ken Buck (R-CO) and Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper, the bipartisan Amache National Historic Site Act (H.R. 2497/S.1284) would make the Granada Relocation Center, a World War II Japanese incarceration site in Colorado known as “Amache”, a National Park. The legislation has passed in the House and will be up for a vote in the Senate.
Read more about Park Talks
Regional Events Park Talks Join our NPCA community for virtual "Park Talks" to learn about our work and ways you can get involved.
Read more about Senior Communications Manager
Staff and Media Personnel Liam Kelly Liam is the communications manager for NPCA’s national energy program as well as the organization’s southwest, northwest and Pacific regions.
Read more about Laws Waived for Border Wall Construction
Resource Laws Waived for Border Wall Construction The Department of Homeland Security is waiving the following laws to build proposed sections of border wall in Arizona and California near national park lands.
Read more about Senior Director, Energy and Landscape Conservation
Staff Matthew Kirby Matt has spent the last decade running campaigns to protect the public lands he loves. Currently he oversees NPCA's work to protect parks and the landscapes that surround them from energy development.
Read more about Colorado Senior Program Manager
Staff Tracy Coppola Tracy Coppola is based in Denver and serves as the Colorado Senior Program Manager for the Southwest Regional Office. She is proud to have the opportunity to celebrate her state's incredible parks and advocates.
Read more about Ozone Fact Sheet
Fact Sheet Ozone Fact Sheet Ozone threatens the health of park visitors and contributes to the disease and death of park species such as the black cherry tree in the East and aspen and ponderosa pine in the West. National park ecosystems across the country are already showing damage from ground-level ozone pollution.
Read more about 10 Ways to Be a Park Advocate
Resource 10 Ways to Be a Park Advocate Want to be an advocate for parks, but don't know where to start?
Read more about Senior Outreach and Engagement Manager
Staff Cassidy Jones Born and raised in Utah, Cassidy comes to NPCA with an inborn interest in parks, public lands, and political-cultural conflict.
Read more about NPCA's position on visitor management strategies at Zion National Park.
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.
Read more about Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks
Report Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks New report details dangers of development near park lands
Read more about Planning 2.0 Protects Park Landscapes
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).
Read more about Youthworks in the Parks
Video Youthworks in the Parks An innovative partnership is connecting urban youth with public lands
Read more about Protecting Sensitive Resources near Mesa Verde National Park
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.
Read more about Southwest Regional Director
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.
Read more about Associate Director, Southwest Region
Staff Erika Pollard Erika is a Senior Program Manager in the Southwest region. She focuses primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
Read more about Associate Director, Southwest Region
Staff Cory MacNulty Cory’s focus as associate director in the Southwest region is primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
Read more about Director, Communications
Staff and Media Personnel Kati Schmidt Kati Schmidt is based in Oakland, CA, and leads media outreach and communications for the Pacific, Northwest, Northern Rockies, Alaska, and Southwest regions, along with NPCA's national wildlife initiatives.
Explore Our Parks
- Amache National Historic Site ›
- 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 Historical Park ›
- 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 Park ›
- Wupatki National Monument ›
- Yucca House National Monument ›
- Zion National Park ›