The top-down hike through the Narrows, which was shut off after private landowners posted no trespassing signs, will reopen temporarily after an agreement was reached between the landowners and Washington County.
The Narrows will open up for public access starting Saturday and run through the end of the year with an easement, stated Zachary Renstrom, the Chairman of the Washington County Commissions.
“It is a temporary agreement, but at least it opens it right now and gives us additional time,” Renstrom said.
Zion National Park officials announced that they would no longer be issuing permits for the 16-mile top-down hike after property owners placed signs which read “Private property, no trespassing.”
According to Renstrom, who met with the landowners to arrange the agreement, stated that the landowners were planning to remove the “no trespassing” signs Friday afternoon, which would allow Zion National Park to start issuing permits again once they signed the agreement, hopefully by Saturday.
The landowner’s move to restrict access to the Narrows upset many who traveled to hike through the canyon. The landowners comprehend the impact that the news had and want to allow visitors to continue to pass through their property along the Narrows trail each year.
While the temporary agreement will only allows hikers to go through their property until the end of the year, Renstrom is hopeful that the federal government will work towards a permanent agreement with the Bulloch family and move to purchase a conservation easement through their property.
The conservation easement that the Bullochs are looking for would allow public access through the Narrows while preventing the placing of buildings or any future development on the land. The Bullochs hope tocontinue using their property for hunting and cattle.
Renstrom stated, “I think that’s the best solution, (Zion National Park) thinks it’s the best solution, the landowners think it’s the best solution – it’s just the other federal bureaucrats that have been holding up the process.”