Trails Center Marks 10th Anniversary of National Landscape Conservation System with Exhibit Showcasing Some of the West’s Natural Wonders

Saturday, May 01 2010 02:00   Trails
Helping to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS), a new exhibit showcasing some of the West's most spectacular landscapes is now on display at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper, Wyoming.

Captured by noted Bureau of Land Management (BLM) photographer Robert Wick, the images feature NLCS sites in Wyoming as well as locations in California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.

"The BLM's National Landscape Conservation System contains some of the most beautiful landscapes in the United States," said Trails Center Director Mike Abel. "The NLCS also preserves remaining traces of our nation's historic trails. We are pleased to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the NLCS with this exhibit."

On display now throughout the summer, the collection of 21 images by Wick are more than just photographs, said Alex Rose, an interpreter at the Trails Center.

"Wick is an incredible nature and landscape photographer, and our idea was to show the public some of these spectacular NLCS places," Rose said. "These are places that spark the imagination."

While the exhibit currently is available for the public to see at the Trails Center, plans are to move the images into an entire gallery by June 1.

With this article, Travel & History Magazine is including two of Wick's photographs being featured in the Trails Center exhibit.

The first image (shown at the top) was taken at the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area (CMPA) in Oregon.

Steens Mountain CMA contains 428,156 acres of public land offering diverse scenic and recreational experiences. It encompasses an extraordinary landscape with deep glacier carved gorges, stunning scenery, wilderness, wild rivers, a rich diversity of plant and animal species, and a way of life for all who live there.

The 52-mile Steens Mountain Backcountry Byway provides access to four campgrounds and the views from Kiger Gorge, East Rim, Big Indian Gorge, Wildhorse and Little Blitzen Gorge overlooks are not to be missed.

The second image (shown below) was taken by Wick at Buckskin Gulch in the Paria Canyon/Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness Area, 45 miles east of Kanab, Utah.

Buckskin Gulch is a large, very narrow, tributary of Paria, occurring wholly within Utah and connecting to Paria Canyon precisely and serendipitously at the Arizona state line. It is known as one of the longest slot canyons in the world, winding its way through the Navajo Sandstone for about 12 miles of contoured and sculpted, and some would say, convoluted stone walls surrounding hikers in their rocky grasp as they experience the walk through the rock.

The Bureau of Land Management's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) contains some of the West's most spectacular landscapes. The NLCS includes over 886 federally recognized areas and approximately 27 million acres of National Monuments, National Conservation Areas, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Scenic and Historic Trails, and Conservation Lands of the California Desert.

The BLM in Wyoming manages 42 wilderness study areas, five national historic trails, the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center, and one national scenic trail. These are all units of the NLCS. The 42 wilderness study areas encompass about 575,000 acres. The trails include the Oregon, Mormon, California, Pony Express, and Nez Perce National Historic Trails, along with the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

The Trails Center is a unit of the BLM's National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The areas of the NLCS are specifically designed to conserve, protect and restore the exceptional scientific, natural, cultural, ecological, historical and recreation values of these treasured landscapes.

The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center is a cooperative partnership between BLM, the National Historic Trails Center Foundation and the City of Casper. The Trails Center interprets the significant role of the area's historic trails in the history of the United States, and seeks to promote public understanding of both America's western Native Cultures and historic westward expansion while highlighting BLM's role as active stewards of public lands.

The Trails Center's Web site can be found at and the NLCS Web site can be found at


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