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.
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
- 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
- Denver, CO 80210
More about the Southwest region
Read more about Support the Chaco Culture Heritage Protection Act
ActiveAction Support the Chaco Culture Heritage Protection Act Chaco Canyon needs permanent protections. Urge Congress to support the Chaco Culture Heritage Protection Act.
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.
they maintain areas that provide an economical way for all of us to reconnect to nature and enjoy an active lifestyle, which has been shown to be important to the physical and mental health of our nation's citizens. — Jennifer
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 Communications Manager
Staff and Media Personnel Caitlyn Burford Caitlyn Burford joined NPCA in 2023 as a communications manager representing the Northwest, Southwest, and Pacific regions, along with NPCA’s work on national energy policy.
Read more about 5 More Great American Outdoors Act Success Stories
Blog Post 5 More Great American Outdoors Act Success Stories This historic, bipartisan 2020 legislation has made big improvements in our national parks. As NPCA calls on Congress to extend this critically needed source of funding for deferred maintenance and repairs, these five parks showcase how this investment makes a difference.
Read more about Planned Giving Officer
Staff Natalie Gupta Before joining NPCA, Natalie spent the majority of her career in client-facing roles, and defines herself as a true "people person."
Read more about Victory: Biden Administration Protects Chaco Canyon Cultural Landscape
Press Release Victory: Biden Administration Protects Chaco Canyon Cultural Landscape "We are grateful for today’s action, which is the latest move by the Biden administration that prioritizes preserving, instead of industrializing, Indigenous lands," -- NPCA CEO Theresa Pierno
Read more about Second Take
Magazine Article Second Take A decade ago, a flawed exhibit about the Sand Creek massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho angered the Tribes. This time, the museum took pains to get the story right.
Read more about Pristine No More
Magazine Article Pristine No More Researchers are detecting traces of human waste in some of the national parks’ most remote lakes and streams.
Read more about Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 9
Resource Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 9 Strong state regional haze plans are critical to restoring clean air and clear skies to treasured places like Grand Canyon, Redwood and Yosemite National Parks. Unfortunately, states in EPA’s Region 9 are failing to adequately cut air pollution affecting national parks and wilderness areas. EPA’s Region 9, also known as the Pacific Southwest region, includes California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Nevada.
Read more about Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 8
Resource Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 8 Strong state regional haze plans are critical to restoring clean air and clear skies for treasured places like Zion, Rocky Mountain, Theodore Roosevelt and Glacier National Parks. Unfortunately, states in this region are failing to adequately cut air pollution impacting these parks and wilderness areas and communities.
Read more about Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 6
Resource Regional Haze Pollution in EPA Region 6 Strong state regional haze plans are critical to restoring clean air and clear skies for treasured places like Carlsbad Caverns, Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend National Parks, and Caney Creek Wilderness Area. Unfortunately, states in EPA’s Region 6, also known as the South Central region, are failing to adequately cut air pollution impacting these parks and wilderness areas and our communities.
Read more about Arches National Park: 2022 Pilot Timed-Entry Visitor Experience Survey Technical Report
Report Arches National Park: 2022 Pilot Timed-Entry Visitor Experience Survey Technical Report This Utah State University report provides the findings of a study of visitor experiences with the pilot timed-entry system implemented in Arches National Park in 2022.
Read more about Utah State University Study Shows Broad Support for Arches National Park Timed Entry Systems
Press Release Utah State University Study Shows Broad Support for Arches National Park Timed Entry Systems 84% of respondents indicated they would like to have a reservation system in place for future visits to Arches
Read more about Amache Preservation Society Receives Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award
Press Release Amache Preservation Society Receives Marjory Stoneman Douglas Award Through their perseverance to protect Amache as a national park site, the Amache Preservation Society has helped create a place where generations of learning, reflection, and healing can continue.
Read more about Reaching For The Sky
Magazine Article Reaching For The Sky A photographer and Yellowstone staffer on the art of taking nighttime pictures
Read more about An Unexpected Find
Magazine Article An Unexpected Find Paleontologists unveil a new reptile at Petrified Forest National Park.
Read more about The Little Jewel Box
Podcast Episode The Little Jewel Box Winter can be an ideal time to travel. These 5 stories offer inspiration to put on a coat and explore.
Read more about 8 Park Bills Congress Should Pass
Blog Post 8 Park Bills Congress Should Pass EDITOR’S NOTE: Five of these bills received congressional approval on Dec. 23, 2022, at the end of the 117th Congress. Read below for updates. NPCA is pushing to get national park bills through Congress this year. Here’s a list of some of the bills that have received bipartisan support — and we hope can get across the finish line.
Read more about Climate Change Forces Difficult Decisions Along the Colorado River
Blog Post Climate Change Forces Difficult Decisions Along the Colorado River Without enough water to go around, federal agencies and advocates weigh competing needs of people and threatened fish.
Read more about The Undiscovered Cave
Podcast Episode The Undiscovered Cave Explorers in a remote area of Grand Canyon National Park discovered a cave they believe human beings had never entered before. Inside this maze of limestone passageways, researchers found thousands of fossils that could change our understanding of one of the country’s quirkiest animals — bats!
Read more about The Healing Ceremony
Podcast Episode The Healing Ceremony For the last four years, Bears Ears National Monument has been at the center of a critical fight over Indigenous land rights. This awe-inspiring, culturally rich site was part of the largest removal of federal public land protections in U.S. history. But now that the monument is restored, could it serve as a model for Tribal collaboration in our parks?
Read more about New Mexico Program Manager
Staff Emily Wolf Emily is the New Mexico Program Manager in the Southwest region. With a background in hydrology and outdoor education, she works to advance policies and coordinate our advocacy to protect New Mexico’s parks, communities, and climate.
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 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 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 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 Visitation Program 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 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 Campaign Director, Southwest Region
Staff Erika Pollard Erika is a campaign director in the Southwest region. She focuses primarily on issues concerning the national parks in Utah.
Read more about Campaign Director, Southwest Region
Staff Cory MacNulty Cory’s focus as campaign 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 ›