Our grassroots group is comprised of both longtime and new citizen’s, businesses, and organizations whose members passionately believe our national monument is worthy of ascending the ranks to become our Nation’s 60th national park. Re-designation as a national park further protects the oldest stand of Juniper forest in the world, ensures our community’s quality of life for generations to come and is a compelling element to help stabilize and enhance our regional economy.
Re-designation would attract domestic and international tour groups who currently travel directly through the Grand Valley on a weekly basis, but intentionally bypass the Colorado National Monument simply because it is not designated a national park. Last year, the loss of just one company’s monthly tours, Tauck World Discovery, cost the Grand Valley $300,000. The amount lost from all tours could reach well into the millions.
Some considerable study over the past year shows re-designation to a national park would give the Grand Valley and Western Colorado instant international recognition, a place in Rand McNally Maps which highlight national parks, a decided competitive edge in recruiting some of the most coveted companies in the world who list quality of life among their top three priorities for relocation (Headwaters Economics study) along with top physicians and university professors, unlimited research, educational opportunities and grants, higher paying jobs, and a catalyst to boost tourism to already existing Grand Valley attractions like wineries, orchards, the Grand Mesa, skiing, golfing, hiking, biking, birding, rafting, fishing, ATV, hunting, photography etc.,. The presence of a national park has also been shown to attract retirees and enhance real estate values. The closer a property is to a protected space, the higher its value (Headwaters Economics).
Creating a national park is not a monumental challenge but a monumental opportunity and gift to decide how our valley and the surrounding region will grow and prosper in the next 50 years, yet still maintain the highest quality of life. What do residents who love this valley hope it will look and feel like 20 or 50 years from now?
Our committee is a dynamic mix of locals from every spectrum, we are families who have worked and lived in the Grand Valley for generations, relative new comers who started businesses here we hope to pass along to our children, business leaders who would like to stabilize or temper the valley’s repeated boom/ bust cycle and area supporters who want to ensure the dream John Otto and our original city leaders (supported by the Daily Sentinel and historically the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce) began 106 years ago comes to fruition.
We are hikers, bikers, and horseback riders….lovers of nature, geology, history, paleontology, archaeology , education and most importantly this valley and our beautiful, monumental canyons. In other words…, we, are you. We are people who believe the sacred national treasure in our backyard, funded in part by visitors and in part by every American’s hard earned tax dollars for more than 100 years, deserves to be shared with the world.