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 fights recent attempts to limit public involvement in park-adjacent oil and gas development. As we near NPCA’s centennial in 2019, 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
Regional Events International Uranium Film Festival NPCA is proud to co-sponsor this festival which features films that disclose the threats from and resistance to uranium mining.
Staff and Media Personnel Matt Abele Matt joined NPCA in November 2018 as the West Coast Communications Manager. He currently manages media outreach and communications for the Pacific, Northwest, Northern Rockies, Alaska, and Southwest regions, along with NPCA's energy initiatives.
Blog Post 10 Scenic National Park Drives These 10 parks offer incredible views of some of America's most beautiful places with plenty of opportunities to get out and explore along the way.
Press Release BLM Hits Pause on Leasing Nearly 1 Million Acres for Oil and Gas Development Responding to court orders, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) hit the pause button on lease sales for nearly one million acres of public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
these natural treasures hold some of the world's most abundant endemic life. — Angela
Trip Explore Utah (NPCA Trustees for the Parks) This special NPCA Trustees for the Parks (TFP) trip offers two incredible hiking journeys through the impressive national parks and monuments of Utah. Experience a behind-the-scenes look at how your support has made it possible for NPCA to defend Utah's most valuable places. This journey will be guided by NPCA park experts and local naturalists.
Press Release BLM Hits Pause on Leasing Nearly 150,000 Acres for Oil and Gas Development The temporary lease deferrals in Colorado were a result of federal court orders but reflect a commonsense need to provide the public time to consider oil and gas leasing proposals on public lands.
Press Release Group Lawsuit Challenges Oil and Gas Lease Sales on Public Lands in Colorado and Utah Development of the leases threatens public health and nearby Dinosaur National Monument.
Staff Tracy Coppola Tracy Coppola is based in Denver and serves as the Colorado Program Manager for the Southwest Regional Office. She is proud to have the opportunity to celebrate her state's incredible parks and advocates.
Blog Post Federal Government Unleashing a Flood of Oil and Gas Leases in the West, Leaving Parks Surrounded NPCA worked with an aerial photographer to document the spectacular beauty and serious threats to five national parks in the Southwest where oil and gas development is rapidly encroaching on the landscape.
Magazine Article Battling History Manuel Chaves was a Civil War hero. He also murdered and enslaved Native Americans. How should we remember him?
Press Release National Park Service greenlights lessened protections in favor of off-road vehicle use in Glen Canyon Increasing off-road vehicle use threatens park resources and remote solitude
Press Release Near Canyonlands, BLM Moves to Lease First and Ask Questions Later “Rather than striking a balance between energy development and national park protection, this administration continues to lease first, and ask questions later."
Press Release Oil and Gas Development Delayed Near Carlsbad Caverns National Park Bureau of Land Management temporarily deferred lease sales to study the local geology and its interaction with groundwater
Press Release Lease Sale Near Great Sand Dunes National Park Temporarily Delayed The Bureau of Land Management delayed the sale to allow for time to consult with Navajo Nation
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.
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.
Resource 10 Ways to Be a Park Advocate Want to be an advocate for parks, but don't know where to start?
Staff Cassidy Jones Born and raised in Utah, Cassidy comes to NPCA with an inborn interest in parks, public lands, and political-cultural conflict.
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.
Report Oil, Gas Leasing Threatens 7 Western National Parks New report details dangers of development near park lands
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.
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 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.
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 Winter and New Year Trips 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 Energy 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 Erika Pollard Erika is a Senior Program Manager in the Southwest region. She focuses primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
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.
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.
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.
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 ›