A vital and picturesque property near Zion National Park has been safeguarded for future generations thanks to a private land purchase along a stretch of the Virgin River in Utah.
Nature Conservancy buys Sheep Bridge to protect ‘pristine’ Virgin River habitat
The Nature Conservancy, one of the oldest nonprofit organisations dedicated to the preservation of lands, animals, and rivers, has just purchased a large tract adjacent to the majestic Zion National Park. The 419-acre Sheep Bridge property was bought from confidential private owners for approximately $4.3 million with funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its endangered species program.
Sheep Bridge is the third property The Nature Conservancy has purchased along the Virgin River
The 419-acre Sheep Bridge property, adjacent to the majestic Zion National Park, Utah, was bought from confidential private owners for approximately $4.3 million with funds from the US Fish and Wildlife Service through its endangered species program.
The Sheep Bridge area is a habitat for four of the Virgin River’s six at-risk native fish: the Virgin spinedace, flannelmouth sucker, desert sucker, and speckled dace.
The Virgin River is also a source of drinking, agricultural, recreational water for all of Washington County. According to the Nature Conservancy, the river at large supports 40 state “sensitive” species, 12 federally-listed endangered species and the six native fish.
While the property will continue to be private and taxed on the county level, it will be managed by The Nature Conservancy and the state Department of Natural Resources. The popular JEM bike trail will still be open for the public.
Sheep Bridge is the third property The Nature Conservancy has purchased along the Virgin River.
“So much is expected out of this little river,” Elaine York, Nature Conservancy’s West Desert Regional Director, said. “We’re protecting nature for people and wildlife.”
The purchase was also made with funds from many state foundations, philanthropies and federal contributions such as the Dr. Ezekiel R. Dumke and Edna Wattis Dumke Foundation, George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation, The Virgin River Land Preservation Association, The Washington County Water Conservancy District and Zion Forever.
Check out the Nature Conservancy: their website is truly amazing!
The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental nonprofit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. Check out their work, photos, interactive pages, live wild webcams, and find out what they are doing around the world, and how you can get involved in projects near and far. Only by working together can we give people hope, keep our wildlife wild and keep our home whole. And ensure the future of a world that sustains us all.