Calf Creek land purchase: The heart of Grand Staircase ~ Escalante
During the spring of 2004, the Grand Canyon Trust completed an important land purchase. In the very heart of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Highway 12 descends the magnificent shoulder of Calf Creek Canyon to cross the Escalante River at its confluence with the spring-fed flow of Calf Creek. It is the only road access to the river in the monument and one of the grandest scenes of the canyon country. And it is exactly here that 34 acres of former state lands were carved up into 16 commercial lots for proposed motels and other tourist development along Highway 12.
Fortunately, a core group of the landowners agreed with the Trust that such development should never happen and that the area should become public land through transfer to the BLM. The Trust negotiated to purchase the 10 most endangered lots, completing the purchase thanks to a loan and gift from the George and Dolores Eccles Foundation. Early this year, private donors and the Willard Eccles Foundation joined to help us complete repayment of the loan.
Once we are assured that the land will be permanently protected, the Trust will work to place this critical piece of property in the hands of the BLM.