What You May Not Know About the Manti-La Sal National Forest

Mock Wedding

  • At the request of local citizens, the Manti Forest Reserve was created by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 and the La Sal Forest Reserve was created in 1906-1907.
  • The two forests merged in 1949.  The event was celebrated with a mock shotgun wedding at Joes Valley in 1950.  The Ranger from Moab was the bride, the Ranger from Ephraim was the groom; and a Monticello resident held the shotgun.
  • Later the Manti-La Sal took over management of the Sanpitch Division of the Uintah National Forest.
  • The Forest is named for:
    •  a Book of Mormon city, (Manti),
    • “white” mountain tops that reminded Spanish-speaking explorers of the salt (La Sal),
  • The Abajo mountain range was below the fords for the Colorado and Green Rivers so the Spanish named it Abajo, for “below.”
  • The Sanpitch mountains are named for a Ute leader who lived in the 1700s, originally called San Pedro, corrupted to San Pete and San Peesch -- the term eventually became Sanpitch.
  • The Forest contains over 5,000 known archeological sites dating from 10,000 years ago to the mid-1900s.
  • The Forest is home to the Great Basin Experimental Range, site of the longest continuous range research in the world.
  • Dark Canyon Wilderness is the only designated wilderness in southeastern Utah’s canyon country.
  • The Forest habitat provides for the densest black bear and largest elk population in Utah.
  • The Manti-La Sal National Forest is the source of 85% of the coal mined in Utah.