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
- 738 N. Fifth Avenue Suite 222 Tucson, AZ 85705
- 850 Grand Avenue Grand Junction, CO 81501
- PO Box 537 Arroyo Hondo, NM 87513
- 1855 Gaylord St., Ste. 504 Denver, CO 80206
More about the Southwest region
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 The Milestone for Public Lands You’ve Never Heard of, and Why It Matters Today
Blog Post The Milestone for Public Lands You’ve Never Heard of, and Why It Matters Today 50 years later, the Blue Lake Act marks a critical shift for Indigenous communities and their lands.
Read more about Natural Fortunes of the Four Corners
Land Based Trip Natural Fortunes of the Four Corners Welcome to the Four Corners region, known for sweeping vistas, internationally recognized dark skies, diverse plant and animal species, and remains of the homes left behind by the Ancestral Puebloan culture, whose sites are sacred to modern Pueblo descendants. Compare the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde to the structures in Chaco Culture National Historical Park and Aztec Ruins National Monument. This unique and beautiful area is increasingly at risk of oil and gas development, which threatens priceless sacred lands and archeological sites. On this trip, journey alongside NPCA experts to experience these unique places firsthand and get a behind-the-scenes look at how NPCA is fighting to protect them.
Read more about Seeing Stars
Blog Post Seeing Stars A former national park ranger shares how staff and partners at Timpanogos Cave are bringing the dark-sky experience to thousands of people in the most populous part of Utah.
This backcountry trip in Yosemite was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Witnessing the most natural beauty of this world in person could not possibly be something I could easily forget, ever. — Primo
Read more about Regional haze plan calls for earlier retirement for Colorado coal-fired power plants
Press Release Regional haze plan calls for earlier retirement for Colorado coal-fired power plants National Parks Conservation Association and Sierra Club proposal reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants, improving public health and visibility at parks
Read more about EPA and State Regulators Slash Plan to Limit Coal Pollution in Utah
Press Release EPA and State Regulators Slash Plan to Limit Coal Pollution in Utah Latest business-as-usual plan by EPA and Utah officials fails to limit haze-causing emissions
Read more about Prehistoric Sharks Discovered at Mammoth Cave, Among Other Scientific Surprises
Blog Post Prehistoric Sharks Discovered at Mammoth Cave, Among Other Scientific Surprises Paleontologists uncover remarkable findings at three separate park sites, with potential for more new discoveries
Read more about This Land Is Their Land
Blog Post This Land Is Their Land Honor Indigenous history at these 15 sites where visitors can learn about the extensive connections tribes have with today’s national parks.
Read more about Advocates Save 85,000 Acres in Utah from Oil and Gas Development — for Now
Blog Post Advocates Save 85,000 Acres in Utah from Oil and Gas Development — for Now A coalition of elected officials, tribal leaders, business owners, outdoor enthusiasts and public land advocates successfully pressured the Bureau of Land Management to remove Moab-area parcels from its oil and gas lease sales next month.
Read more about Administration pulls plans to allow oil and gas drilling near Arches and Canyonlands
Press Release Administration pulls plans to allow oil and gas drilling near Arches and Canyonlands After months of pressure, agency defers plan to lease more than 80,000 acres of land to oil and gas corporations
Read more about Slowing Energy Development on Public Lands While the Nation Is in Turmoil
Blog Post Slowing Energy Development on Public Lands While the Nation Is in Turmoil The Bureau of Land Management recently extended comment periods for a land management planning process in New Mexico due to the pandemic. We must do this in other parts of the country, too.
Read more about Amid Pandemic, Interior Moves Forward With Enormous Oil And Gas Drilling Plan Near National Parks
Press Release Amid Pandemic, Interior Moves Forward With Enormous Oil And Gas Drilling Plan Near National Parks The 110,000+ acre proposal would include oil and gas drilling within a mile of Canyonlands National Park and the original boundaries of Bears Ears National Monument
Read more about 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 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 Amache Deserves to Become a National Park Site
Fact Sheet Amache Deserves to Become a National Park Site Our parks have the power to fill in the gaps of our history that are deliberately or carelessly forgotten. What happened to the people incarcerated at Amache is an American story that must not be forgotten. It's a story of failure by the U.S. government to protect its own citizens. And it's a story that remains relevant to how America treats its immigrant communities.
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 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 Program Manager
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.
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 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
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.
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 Arizona Senior Program Manager
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.
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
- 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 ›