Some have expressed concerns regarding view sheds and/or NEPA regulations should the Colorado National Monument be re-designated as a national park. National monuments and national parks are run under the exact same rules and regulations. The only difference is in name. Any potential issues would be handled the same regardless of whether the Colorado National Monument remains a monument or is re-designated as a national park.
That said, our valley currently has numerous operating industries and none have been negatively impacted by the presence or management of the Colorado National Monument. Air quality status would remain a class 2 with re-designation to a national park. There are no inholdings or businesses which operate within the national monument boundaries so none would be impacted.
Delta County tourism officials tell us that following the re-designation of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to a national park a gravel pit was built less than 30 miles from the national park with no impact or issues. Numerous mines and industry also continue uninterrupted in the Paonia area. At the same time wineries, orchards and hotels in the area have greatly benefited from park status and sales tax and use revenues are up 2 percent in Delta county and Montrose predicts sales tax and use revenues to rise 4 percent this year.
Industry has not been hampered by national park status elsewhere either. Drilling for oil and gas is, in fact, currently happening inside of at least 4 national park units…Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico, Canyonlands of the Ancients (holds the largest CO2 deposit in North America, 80 percent is leased for drilling, with numerous wells and more than 190 miles of oil and gas dirt roads. It is also open to grazing. Glen Canyon is also open to drilling along with Big Cypress National Park.
Currently, 52 of the nations 400 national park units have pending oil and gas leases to drill. Numerous quarries also operate within clear view and in some cases immediately on the border of national parks.
Learn more about NEPA rules and regulations here: