Friday, November 02, 2007

Petrified Forest and Taliesin West move toward recognition as world treasures

[Source: Eric Graf, Cronkite News Service] -- Petrified Forest National Park and Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West have taken a first step toward being recognized among the world's most significant cultural and natural treasures. The National Park Service has recommended that the northern Arizona park and Wright-designed buildings in Arizona and other states be included in a tentative list for consideration to join the UNESCO World Heritage List. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization already lists the Grand Canyon and 19 other U.S. sites among 851 treasures worldwide. Among the others: Yellowstone National Park, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Taj Mahal in India and Stonehenge in the United Kingdom. Based on applications from around the country, the Park Service on Wednesday posted 35 sites on the Federal Register, providing 30 days for public comment. That begins a process that could take a decade. Brad Traver, acting superintendent at Petrified Forest National Park, said getting on the worldwide list would give the park the recognition it deserves. "We think this park has world-class resources," he said. "They are unique in the United States." The designation could also help boost interest in the Petrified Forest, said Bill Parker, a paleontologist at the park. "This would raise our visibility with international travelers," he said. "Also, it would raise our visibility to donors." Following the 30-day comment period, the Petrified Forest would be included on a new U.S. World Heritage Tentative List considered for formal nomination by the United States as a World Heritage Site.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: National Parks Service.]