A memorial service and tribute to the late writer and environmentalist Edward Abbey is planned for a desert area near Arches National Park on May 20.
Abbey became famous for such works as "The Monkey Wrench Gang," in which ecological saboteurs wreck road equipment in southern Utah and dream of blowing up Glen Canyon Dam; "Desert Solitaire," about his experiences as a ranger at what was then Arches National Monument; "The Lonesome Cowboy," which was adapted as a motion picture starring Gregory Peck, called "Lonely Are The Brave," and other books.On March 14, Abbey died of internal bleeding caused by a circulatory disorder.
Friends and admirers will gather for the memorial service at 7 a.m. on May 20.
Among those who will speak at the morning session are Wendell Berry, Ann Zwinger, Barry Lopez, Terry Tempest Williams, Doug Peacock, Dave Foreman and Ken Sleight.
To attend the service, drive half a mile to the north of the Arches entrance road on U.S. 191. Turn right on a crumbling road that runs parallel to U.S. 191, and then directly east to an overlook offering a view of Arches, the LaSals, and surrounding country.
An open house will be at Pack Creek ranch, a country inn and guest ranch 16 miles southeast of Moab on the LaSal Mountain loop road.
"Everyone is welcome," said Sleight, the owner of Pack Creek Ranch. "Those unable to attend may wish to send written thoughts and tributes," he said.
Sleight was Abbey's long-time friend and the model for Seldom Seen Smith in "The Monkey Wrench Gang."
"Among the proposals that have been made to honor the memory and achievements of Abbey include the naming of a wilderness area in the canyon country after him and the establishment of an environmental writers' scholarship in his name."
For more information, or to mail in tributes, address letters to Sleight, Pack Creek Ranch, Box 1270, Moab UT 84532, or telephone him at 259-5505.