It has been a pleasure for me to participate in the community of caring, dedicated people who want to save what is left of Grafton.
This community stretches from Rockville to Los Angeles and St. George to Salt Lake City. Some of us are bound to this awe-inspiring and once-bustling pioneer town by family ties or a love of Grafton’s history. Some of us are simply fans of its stunning scenery.
During the Partnership’s nearly four years, I have been pleased to see how this community embodies a notion that pioneering ecologist Aldo Leopold expressed in his landmark book, Sand County Almanac: When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.
To all of you in this community, I extend heartfelt gratitude. Your donated time, talent and dollars have made everything mentioned in this newsletter possible. I trust that the spirit of cooperation will persist and the Partnership will continue with its accomplishments.
Much of this cooperative spirit was fostered by the leadership of David Hatfield who served as the Partnership’s president from its inception in 1997 until December 2000. I want to especially thank him for heading us in the right direction and continuing on as a trustee.
As the Partnership enters its fourth year, we are faced with an opportunity to rethink a key portion of what we originally set out to accomplish. Our original plan was to re-direct visitors to the townsite via a National Park Service sponsored contact station next to Highway 9 and a walking bridge that spanned the Virgin River.
At the time, Zion National Park officials believed that the Park’s new shuttle bus system would benefit from signs posted at the contact station. After a year of experience with the new transportation system, however, Park officials realized that they didn’t need the visitor contact station at this location.
Additionally, after investigating the proposed site, the Partnership found that we would need to build a 1,000-foot turnout lane on both sides of the highway, move 60,000 yards of gravel and place the contact station out of the highway right-of-way.
Then the Army Corp of Engineers expressed serious concerns about our proposed 300 foot-long bridge that required a supporting pier in the river. The Corps did not see a compelling need for a bridge since visitors can easily reach Grafton on the existing gravel road. These additional costs put the proposal beyond the Partnership’s financial reach. As a result, the Partnership decided to abandon the bridge/contact station and pursue other projects in Grafton instead.
As we embark on these other efforts, I want to again thank all of you who support our efforts to preserve Grafton. If you have any questions regarding our work, please call me at (435) 635-2133 or send an email to email@example.com.