Each year, approximately 1.29 million tourists travel to Bryce Canyon National Park for the dark night skies, guided tours or to simply experience one of the most majestic landscapes in the world. This once-in-a-lifetime experience and the tourism-based economies that thrive on visitors are in jeopardy if Alton’s coal mine expansion is allowed.

 

Alton Coal Route

About Bryce Canyon National Park
(courtesy NPS.gov)

Bryce Canyon is famous for its worldly unique geology, consisting of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters carved from the eastern edge of the Paunsaugunt Plateau in southern Utah. The erosional force of frost-wedging and the dissolving power of rainwater have shaped the colorful limestone rock of the Claron Formation into bizarre shapes including slot canyons, windows, fins, and spires called "hoodoos." Tinted with colors too numerous and subtle to name, these whimsically arranged rocks create a wondrous landscape of mazes, offering some of the most exciting and memorable walks and hikes imaginable.

Ponderosa pines, high elevation meadows, and fir-spruce forests border the rim of the plateau and abound with wildlife. This area boasts some of the world's best air quality, offering panoramic views of three states and approaching 200 miles of visibility. This, coupled with the lack of nearby large light sources, creates unparalleled opportunities for stargazing.

Named after the Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce, Bryce Canyon became a national park in 1928.

For more about Bryce Canyon National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/brca/index.htm

 

Alton Coal Route

A Park in Peril

The things that make Bryce Canyon unique and irreplaceable – clean air and clear night skies -- are threatened by the Alton mine proposal.

Mining operations would pollute the air, reduce visibility and flood the night sky with light, corrupting the views of stargazers. Further, the transport route trucks will use to take coal away from the mine jeopardizes the Southern Utah economy.

 

Alton Coal Route Click To Download PDF

Coal Transport Route- A Threat to the Southern Utah’s Economy

The historic town of Panguitch, a tourist-magnet with shops, restaurants, motels and bed-and-breakfasts, is home to businesses that depend on tourists visiting Bryce Canyon.

Clogging historic Route 89 (a state-recognized “scenic byway”) with trucks transporting coal from the Alton mine seriously threatens businesses in Panguitch. Between the noise, vibrations and safety issues associated with large truck rumbling down Main Street, the Alton mining expansion could devastate the small town.

Alton’s secured private lease area (the Coal Hollow mine) is permitted to mine 2 million tons of coal each year for approximately three years, requiring up to 300 coal truck trips per day traveling 110 miles one-way from Alton to Cedar City, which means that one truck is leaving the site every 7 minutes. These huge coal transport trucks were not built for small mountain roads and their presence on historic Route 89 further threatens local business. Adding more trucks will only make this problem much worse.