I’m concerned a change to park status will lead to traffic issues and overcrowding on the monument.

The recent study commissioned by Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Scott Tipton shows the rise in monument usage traditionally mirrors that of Mesa County growth. The valley tends to grow an average of 2 to 4 percent a year. Long term growth plans are already in place to handle the Grand Valley’s growing population and any possible increase in tourists. It’s estimated over time tourist visits could increase an estimated 10 percent due to re-designation as national park. Currently, the monument is operating at it’s lowest tourist capacity threshold since 1990 and a 10 percent increase is not expected to pose any traffic issues.   Due to the Valley’s  current projected residential and visitor growth resource managers  are already addressing parking and entrance management to accommodate higher usage.   Because of continued growth these are issues that must be dealt with whether the Monument retains it’s current status or is elevated to a national park.

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