Color Country Podcast delves into public lands and destinations in Southern Utah

A rainstorm looms over Bryce Canyon National Park's distinctive hoodoos, the park is featured in the recently launched Color Country Podcast, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A new podcast that speaks to those hearts drawn to wide-open spaces and their rich histories has been launched in Southern Utah. 

Zion National Park in the fall, Springdale, Utah, Oct. 2023 | Photo by Stephanie DeGraw, St. George News

The Color Country Podcast has released four captivating episodes, with more to come bimonthly. Hosted by seasoned journalist Stephanie DeGraw, each episode features insightful interviews with guests, delving into the public lands and tourism destinations.

 “When it comes to information and stories about these lands here in the West, having a local perspective is the only way to truly appreciate the topics surrounding these unique places,” Zachary Almaguer, Director of Communications, Zion National Park Forever Project, said. “The Color Country Podcast is that local voice and perspective telling the story of Southern Utah from the voices of Southern Utah.”

DeGraw said she is passionate about nature and spreading understanding of how public lands are managed. She hopes her listeners will be informed, entertained and inspired to respect both the surrounding land and wildlife.

“The Color Country Podcast is your passport to the breathtaking public lands and tourism destinations in Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and parts of Nevada. I am passionate about the region’s beauty, diversity and richness,” DeGraw said. “And I’m open to ideas on topics to cover.”

Hikers on the Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Bruce Grubbs, St. George News

The podcast will explore national parks and monuments along with local state parks. DeGraw will explore famous and lesser-known areas managed by government agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service and Utah Division of State Parks.

DeGraw states that the Color Country Podcast is not just about exploration but also education and advocacy. It’s a platform where listeners can learn together how to appreciate, respect and conserve these incredible sites for future generations. Some of the topics covered so far include 101 Classic Hikes of the Southwest, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Management, Zion National Park Forever Project’s endeavors to improve public lands and Bryce Canyon National Park’s increase in visitation and how they are tackling it.

“We’ll learn together how to appreciate, respect and conserve these incredible sites for future generations, so pack your virtual backpack and join us,” DeGraw said.

Bighorn sheep in Zion National Park, monitoring the herd is part of the Zion Forever Project’s 2019 projects, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

As a child, DeGraw has fond memories of her parents managing the lodges at some of the West’s National Parks. She spent many summers in Bryce Canyon National Park and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park.

DeGraw also credits her stint as the Public Affairs Director for the Bureau of Land Management in Idaho years ago, opening her eyes to the challenges of managing public lands.

DeGraw is an award-winning journalist. She has been involved in journalism, broadcasting and public relations for 25 years. Before her job as national parks reporter for St. George News, DeGraw worked for the Salt Lake Tribune, Associated Press and The City Journals. She was a reporter for a CBS television station in Twin Falls, Idaho. She graduated from Weber State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and broadcasting.

Subscribe to the Color Country Podcast on the website or podcast platforms Apple or Spotify. To submit topics or to be a guest contact here.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2024, all rights reserved.

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