An $80,000 remodeling project is under way on the Bryce Canyon National Park visitor center.
The work will include expansion of the lobby and installation of a new desk to serve visitors which should be helpful, because officials expect the park to record its largest number of visitors ever this year, more than 1 million people.Funding is provided through the $700,000 in annual sales at the center by the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association.
The history association, a non-profit organization that operates with the approval of the National Park Service, sells interpretive books, guides, maps, videos and slides. All materials purchased for resale must be approved by the Park Service.
Publications are also printed by the history group, whose business manager is LaKay Quilter. Liaison officer between the Park Service and the association is Susan Colclazer, a National Park Service employee.
Sales increased by 32 percent in 1987 over 1986 at the visitor center.
The history association contributes about $200,000 annually for a variety of projects to promote natural history at the park. Members plan to remodel the park's museum and auditorium. They also want to sponsor studies that will include flowers and plants, potential fire hazards and the peregrine falcon.
The organization has an 11-member board of directors, with a four-member executive committee whose members live in Garfield County.
The committee includes Kent Wintch, chairman, Tropic; John Yardley and Patrick Nolan, both Panguitch; and Quilter, Henrieville.
Additional members of the general board are James Bowans, James Miller and Leslie Jones of Southern Utah State College in Cedar City; Gloria Wurst and Hayle Buchanan of Weber State College, Ogden; Morris Buchanan, Cedar City; Mayo Rich, Bryce Canyon; and J.L. Crawford, St. George.
Park Superintendent Bog Reynolds and District Ranger Clair Baldwin of the Dixie National Forest are ex-officio members.
An information specialist, Paula Henrie, Panguitch, three seasonal specialists and Quilter work at the visitor center as employees of the history association.