This Important Bird Area is for the area designated as Critical Habitat Unit CP-14 for the Mexican spotted owl. This includes areas managed by four different federal agencies: 1. All of Canyonlands National Park; 2. The northern portion of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area; 3. The portion of the Manti-La Sal National Forest south of Canyonlands National Park; and, 4. BLM lands that are within the boundaries. Private and State Lands appear in the mapped areas, but are not included in the designation, which is also the case for the area designated as Critical Habitat Unit CP-14. See Map that accompanies this nomination form.

Ornithological Summary

This site is being nominated primarily due to its importance to Mexican spotted owl. However the area has additional value for birds as the information below demonstrates. The following was taken from the Canyonlands National Park website on 2-6-11. Birds are the most visible animals in Canyonlands. . . . Canyonlands owes much of this diversity to riparian corridors like the Colorado and Green rivers. In the desert, animal life tends to concentrate around riparian areas because of the abundance of food, water and shelter. During spring and summer, mornings along the rivers are filled with birdsong, including blue grosbeaks, yellow-breasted chats, spotted towhees and canyon wrens. Great blue herons are often seen hunting the shallows for fish, while Cooper's hawks deftly maneuver through the tangle of trees beyond the riverbanks. Many birds favor the upland areas where grasses, shrubs and small trees dominate. Say's phoebes, black-throated sparrows and western meadowlarks frequent grasslands. Pinyon jays, scrub jays, juniper titmice and black-throated gray warblers are usually seen in pinyon-juniper woodlands.

Mark Miller with Canyonlands National Park stated in Dec. 2013 that approximately 200 species are confirmed as having been seen in Canyonlands National Park.

The Intermountain West Joint Venture Coordinated Implementation Plan for Bird Conservation in Utah, completed in 2005 provides 57 Bird Habitat Conservation Areas (BHCA's) in Utah. These BHCAs have no official status. They are intended to display areas where priority birds and their habitats are located as well as where habitat conservation projects may take place. There are four BHCAs that are included in the CP-14. These four areas are: 37. Green River (lower portion; 42. Colorado and Dolores River (Colorado River running through the CP-14); 52. Indian Creek and Fable Valley; and 55 South Elk Ridge.

Conservation Issues

The Utah IBA Nomination form asks for different information than the National IBA data form. The Utah form seeks to rank conservation issues as low, medium, high or unknown. The information from the Utah Nomination Form is provided below. An attempt was then made to summarize the conservation threats in numbers from 1-10 as this format requests. Note: Where the response was low, no number was assigned. Also, since there are four different major landowners, with some various threats, the degree of threat in numerical format should be viewed as a rough estimate.

The following provides information from the Utah Nomination Form.

Primary Conservation Issues: Please note threats to the site as Low (L), Medium (M), High (H), or Unknown (U)

The following are for all four major land owners, except where noted.
__L____ Abandonment/reduction of land management
___L__ Afforestation
_L____ Agricultural intensification/expansion
__L___ Aquaculture/fisheries
_M____ Burning of vegetation ? low for Canyonlands and Glen Canyon
__M___ Consequences of animal/plant introductions
_L____ Construction/impact of dike/dam/barrage
__L___ Deforestation (Commercial)
__M___ Disturbance to birds ? low for Canyonlands
__L___ Drainage
__L___ Dredging/canalization
__M___ Extraction industry-depends on price of uranium, low for Canyonlands
_L____ Filling-in of wetlands
___L__ Firewood collection
__L___ Forest grazing
___L__ Groundwater abstraction
__L___ Industrialization/urbanization
___L__ Infrastructure
__L___ Intensified forest management
__M___ Natural events drought always an issue
__M in high use areas_ Recreation/tourism
___L__ Selective logging/cutting
__L___ Shifting agriculture
___M__ Other. Altered flow regimes for rivers for Canyonlands and Glen Canyon. Climate Change is a concern.
_____ No threats identified
_____ Unknown
___L__ Unsustainable exploitation


The federal land in Critical Habitat Unit CP-14 is managed by four different agencies of the federal government. They are listed below along with the approximate acreage:

Canyonlands National Park - 337,598 acres;

Northern portion of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA) - approximately 225,000 acres. (Estimate provided by John Spence on June 8, 2012.);

Portion of Manti-La Sal National Forest - 202,825 acres on Manti-La Sal National Forest (of that, the Forest Service has identified 116,215 acres as suitable canyon habitat) and,

Bureau of Land Management- 665,049 acres. This includes lands administered by the Monticello Field Office to the east of GCNRA and the Henry Mountain Field Station to the west of GCNRA.


The summary information on habitats was estimated from a map and table of the habitat types that is included with this nomination form. The habitat types are taken from the Southwest Regional Gap Analysis Project. Note: The habitat map includes sections of land of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands (and private lands), but these lands are not included in the nomination. Information on the habitat types, acreage and percent based upon this table is provided below.

Habitat Type Acres %
Water 5009 0.3,
Ponderosa Pine 2203 0.1,
Juniper 198991 13.5,
Pinyon 84068 5.7,
Pinyon-Juniper 185677 12.6,
Oak 79183 5.4,
Mt. Shrub 1556 0.1,
Sagebrush 94126 6.4,
Sagebrush/Perennial Grass 11775 0.8,
Grassland 52887 3.6,
Dry Meadow 1769 0.1,
Barren 858 0.1,
Ponderosa Pine/Mt. Shrub 2895 0.2,
Lowland Riparian 1005 0.1,
Salt Desert Scrub 271490 18.4,
Desert Grassland 46232 3.1,
Black Sagebrush 437800 29.6,
Greasewood 1159 0.1,
Total Acres 1478683.

Land Use

The following provides details for the four different federal agencies. The following are details for the Manti-La Sal National Forest (MLNF). 14% (202,825 acres) of Critical Habitat Unit CP-14 is on MLNF of which 23% (46,285 ac) is in the designated Dark Canyon Wilderness and a total of 100,250 acres (including the Dark Canyon Wilderness) are in Inventoried Roadless Areas which have management restrictions on road building and timber harvest. Within the designated critical habitat, 51,973 acres (26%) have a timber management emphasis. Other vegetation management such as fuels reduction in pinyon/juniper habitat and aspen restoration treatments, can occur on areas outside the designated wilderness.

For Canyonlands National Park: 95% is Nature Conservation/research and 100% is Tourism/recreation.

For BLM: major land uses are recreation, hunting, grazing and nature conservation/ research. The majority of the Henry Mountain Field Station is within wilderness study areas.

For Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: Major land uses include management for recreation and recreation utilization zone. Other major land uses include/ nature conservation research, hunting and grazing.

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