Udall, Tipton Release Community Proposal to Redesignate Colorado National Monument as National Park
Lawmakers Urge Mesa County Residents, Businesses to Comment on Community Recommendations
U.S. Senator Mark Udall and Congressman Scott Tipton unveiled a bipartisan proposal today — stemming from their years-long discussion with Mesa County residents, businesses and leaders — to redesignate Colorado National Monument as a national park. The community-driven recommendations, developed by a committee the lawmakers assembled in June 2013, reflect local residents and stakeholders' concerns and interests about a possible redesignation.
"From Colorado's earliest days, when John Otto first proposed making the Colorado National Monument a Park, through today, Mesa County has discussed making these iconic red rock canyons a national park. I have been proud to lead this community-driven process with Congressman Tipton, and this proposal reflects the ideas and concerns of local leaders, businesses and residents," said Udall, chairman of the U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee. "I strongly urge local residents, businesses and stakeholders to study this proposal and provide us feedback. This step will hopefully provide us with a bipartisan, common-sense way forward to honor John Otto's original vision for the Colorado National Monument."
"The Colorado National Monument is one of Colorado's most scenic natural wonders and plays an important role in the lives of all who are blessed to live in the Mesa County region. When it comes to our public lands, the Monument included, I believe that any possible change in designation or management should be done through a bottom-up process, driven by community support and broad consensus," Tipton said. "To be clear, I have not drafted a bill in the House of Representatives to change the designation of the Colorado National Monument. Any potential legislation to change that status of the Monument first must be community-driven and locally supported. I look forward to the community's comments and ideas on the committee's recommendations, and will take them into careful consideration as we determine what's next."
"The committee members were honored to represent the citizens of Mesa County for this very important task," said Ginny McBride on behalf of the Drafting Committee. "This proposal is the product of much discussion and compromise. We look forward to hearing the feedback of the broader community."
The release of this proposal follows nearly a year of work by the drafting committee and more than a year's worth of work by the Colorado National Monument working group, which explored the implications, benefits and possible issues of redesignating the monument as a park.