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Cedar Breaks National Monument - Unique Places in North America

The Cedar Breaks National Monument, situated in Cedar City, Utah, is one of the most spectacular national parks of the United States of America.

The Cedar Breaks National Monument, situated in Cedar City, Utah, is one of the most spectacular national parks of the United States of America. With time, it has been designated a national monument in order to protect the endangered wildlife that calls it home. The actual park is a giant natural amphitheater, which is more than 5 kilometers in total width. The amphitheater's rim rises to about three thousand meters above the sea level at its highest point and the lowest depth is about six hundred meters.

Habitat

The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, many of which are included in the endangered species list. Geologically speaking, the area is a plateau and the canyon has been created by the weathering of limestone and shale. The weathering is still ongoing, with the top losing about 10 millimeters every year. Most of the rock in the area is volcanic, often termed the "rhyolitic tuff."

The most common species are the American Mule Deer and the Golden Squirrel. Although Mountain Lions and other large cats have been spotted, they seldom make their way onto well-traveled trails. One of the most important things about the area is that the balance created by the species is precarious, so human intervention has been prevented by limiting commercial development of the area. The entire area is the natural habitat of all local species and to date, exotic flora and fauna have had minimal influence. Local species, like the various varieties of spruce including the Engelmann spruce, a large number of pine species including the limber pine, and many species of birds are also found in the area.

Uniqueness

The park is unique among other national parks for a number of reasons. Among the wildlife, there are a number of birds and small animals that are not found anywhere else in the vicinity. The landscape is also unique. One of the most important elements which make this park unique is the existence of bristlecone pine, the longest living single organism on Earth.

Tourism

The park is a well-known tourist destination. It has three trails that are open to visitors. Camping locations are also provided and rangers can take tourists on guided hikes through the park. These are informative and fun, so many visiting families opt for guided hikes instead of going solo. Cedar Breaks also offers an annual stargazing party due to the clear skies free of air pollution and light pollution as well.

Threats

The biggest threats to the park are of two kinds. The first threat is from loss of habitat. This occurs when natural homes of animals are either disrupted or completely destroyed by human intervention. This is the biggest threat to wildlife in any park. The second biggest threat is from exotic plants and animals. When exotic species are somehow released in the wild, they have few or no predators, so the natural balance of the ecosystem is disrupted. This can create a major problem for the local species that cannot compete with the foreign one. So far, the park management has been successful in mitigating these threats and preventing any damage caused by them.

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