Colorado National Monument to National Park Gains Ground

 

Below is the latest Daily Sentinel article, by Gary Harmon and photographs by the talented Chris Tomlinson (reprinted with the Publisher’s express permission) regarding national park status.  Our sources tell us the 5 member committee Congressman Scott Tipton and Senator Mark Udall  appointed has signed off on final draft legislation and that draft is currently under review.  Grand Valley Region Citizens for a National Park can not thank  the committee and everyone who has signed the recent petition and shared it with family and friends enough.   Nor is it possible to express the depth of our  appreciation to the many local leaders, businesses and organizations who took the time to study this issue and weigh in with full support.  We are closer to national park status than at any time in the past 107 years when John Otto submitted the first petition for a national park.  We fully believe Congressman Scott Tipton and Senator Mark Udall will not fail the Grand Valley, but will announce official legislation to elevate the Colorado National Monument to a national park.  This is about our history and future and about recognizing our park with the title it deserves.   

 

Caption:  A visitor to Colorado National Monument stops at Independence Monument overlook to make a photograph Friday afternoon.The monument high country is 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley and is 32 square miles large.With the help of John Otto the monument was made a national monument in 1911.Otto was named the park’s caretaker, a job he held until 1927 with a salary of $1 a month.
 A visitor to Colorado National Monument stops at Independence Monument overlook to make a photograph Friday afternoon.The monument high country is 2,000 feet above the Grand Valley and is 32 square miles large.With the help of John Otto the monument was made a national monument in 1911.Otto was named the park’s caretaker, a job he held until 1927 with a salary of $1 a month.

 

 ADVOCATES GET SIGNATURES TO CHANGE MONUMENT TO A NATIONAL PARK By Gary Harmon
Friday, February 7, 2014

Elevating Colorado National Monument to a national park could reverse the economic slide of the Grand Valley, the chairman of the Junior College Baseball World Series said.

“With what I consider the slow death of western Colorado, it’s time to shake things up,” said Jamie Hamilton, who also chairs Home Loan State Bank. “We have to do something to shake up this economy. It’s something to drive additional tourism. It just makes sense.”

Backers of the upgrade of Colorado National Monument to a national park need to pipe up, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said.

He and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., are waiting to hear back from a committee drafted to write a bill promoting Colorado National Monument to a national park.

“Grand Junction, Fruita, Mesa County, we’ve got to see public support for it,” Tipton said Friday.

Tipton’s and Udall’s staffs have had several talks about the monument, but they have yet to see the bill drafted by the committee.

“We’ve heard they are making progress and we’re hoping to see the fruits of their work,” Udall spokesman Mike Saccone said.

An online petition, meanwhile, has topped 500 signatures in favor of a national park and signatures are being collected at several locations in downtown Grand Junction, and elsewhere.

Signatures of the online petition range from as far away as Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in a recent addition to signers representing several states, from California to Illinois.

The petition is at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/make-the-colorado-national-monument-the-nation-s-60th-n.html.

Udall made a promotion of the monument one of his first priorities in 2010, when he called for national park status for the monument in his first visit to Grand Junction as a newly elected senator.

As chairman of the Senate subcommittee on national parks, Udall is in a position to press a bill forward.

Udall and Tipton last year appointed a five-member committee to draft a measure that would give the 20,000-acre monument national park status and they had hoped to have legislation prepared by January.