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
Blog Post Finding Beauty and History in New Mexico’s Sandstone NPCA’s traveling parkie beats the heat at an ancient watering hole and reads messages from the past at El Morro, the country’s second national monument
Press Release Joint Agency Oil, Gas Planning Good Step for Protecting Chaco Culture Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management Collaboration will Benefit Historical Park
Blog Post Where to Touch a Dinosaur, and Other Incredible National Park Fossil Sites Cool creatures from the past and where to see them
Press Release New Agreement Means Cleaner Air for Rocky Mountain National Park and People in the Southwest Coal-Fired Power Plants to Reduce Substantial Pollution by 2022, 2025
They provide an escape from the everyday turmoil of an increasingly crowded, technology-dependent society. The parks preserve precious diverse ecological systems from human destruction. They are a source of education, inspiration, rejuvenation, conservation, and a way to save and respect planet Earth, the only planet in the universe we know of having life at the moment. We desperately need to stop our destruction of it, and supporting the parks is an important aspect of that. — Sarah
Press Release Navajo Nation Tribal Council Should Vote No to Escalade Proposal We Have Opportunity to Protect Grand Canyon from Incompatible Development
Blog Post Trivia Challenge: America’s First National Park Created to Protect Human History Q: In 1906, Congress established the first national park with the purpose of protecting man-made structures, not just natural features such as forests and canyons. Do you know which national park?
Blog Post The 14 Parks You Can't Get Enough Of The results of our recent poll are in, and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate the National Park Service centennial this month than to share what you, the parks’ biggest advocates, love most in our park system.
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.
Press Release Landmark Energy Plan Protects Arches, Canyonlands National Parks Plan underscores economic importance of national parks, provides model for coexistence of energy development and park visitation
Video Youthworks in the Parks An innovative partnership is connecting urban youth with public lands
Press Release New Report Shows Smart-from-the-Start Oil and Gas Plans Work for National Parks Parks group’s report, interactive map highlight advantages of Master Leasing Plans
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.
Press Release EPA Plan Paves the Way for Cleaner Air in Utah & Southwest National Parks Park, clean air and health advocates celebrate EPA decision
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 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.
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 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.
Fact Sheet Manhattan Project National Historical Park At the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the National Park Service will interpret and facilitate discussion surrounding the complex stories of the Manhattan Project and the resulting impacts of atomic power and nuclear technology in the three major park site areas.
Letter Position on Colorado National Monument Draft Bill NPCA’s position on a proposed citizens draft bill to elevate the venerable Colorado National Monument in Grand Junction to national park status.
Fact Sheet Oil and Gas Development Near Chaco Culture Ensure oil and gas development is compatible with conservation of Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Fact Sheet Strong Rules for Methane Tell the Bureau of Land Management to put strong rules in place to control methane leaks and emissions.
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 ›