National Park Service

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The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the fourth installment of the series, we look at northern Arizona's Pipe Spring National Monument and its rich human history.

To many Colorado Plateau tourists, Pipe Spring National Monument is about as far from civilization as it gets—a 40-acre flyspeck tucked onto the vast Arizona Strip between the North Rim of Grand Canyon and the colorful canyon parks of southern Utah.


NPS/B. Sutton

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the second installment of the series, we hear about how Wupatki's population survived there a thousand years ago despite the area's extreme arid environment.

The region around Wupatki National Monument on the San Francisco Plateau is so dry it was called the Sierra Sin Agua, or “Mountains Without Water,” by early Spanish explorers. Yet from the 11th to 13th centuries this region supported a population of between several hundred and 2,000 people. How did they do it?


Authorities at the Grand Canyon are looking for vandals who defaced a rock near an overlook on the South Rim.

Park spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski says a visitor photographed the rock with “Evans 16” spray-painted in black, and a man and woman walking away from it on May 22.

The man was wearing a reddish-pink T-shirt and brown pants with a gray sweater tied around his waist. The woman had on jeans and a long-sleeve camouflage-print shirt.

Defacing a natural feature is a federal offense that carries jail time and fines.

Alexander Gardner, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, 1868

The Grand Canyon, Wupatki National Monument and Sunset Crater Volcano are some of the geologic and cultural gems of the National Park Service. This summer, KNAU's Earth Notes series will highlight these, and other special places across the Southwest in honor of the Park Service's 100th anniversary. In the first installment of the series, we hear about efforts to protect sandstone panels of petroglyphs and pictographs at El Morro National Monument in New Mexico.

In west-central New Mexico, a huge sandstone monolith looms above a perennial pool of fresh water that’s sustained thirsty travelers for centuries.


NPS

The superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park has announced his retirement. Dave Uberuaga will step down next month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move comes after a federal investigation of sexual abuse within the park’s river district.

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