Advocates get signatures to change monument to park

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People outside of Colorado have no say with regards to lands owned by Colorado. Secondly we will be at the mercy of the Federal Govt. to subsidize the tax revenue base which we almost saw the loss of on BLM lands under the Farm Bill. Thirdly, the federal agencies have continually shown the lack of stewardship for federal lands and restricted access to many of these publicly owned areas.

Last July, I wrote at length on the subject of the supposed economic benefits of national park status for the monument. The article can be found at High Country News and The Denver Post, so I won’t resubmit the research here. But since the same old economic argument is being trotted out, I feel I should at least repeat this…

There’s scant evidence of any meaningful economic benefit from redesignating national monuments.

Bankers and economic development people should know that this move will not shake things up. A city this size needs more than a new sign on an old attraction to make a difference. We have a growing university, a burgeoning health care center and world class destination mountain-biking (which is different that pass through tourism).

If we can preserve open space, keep our air and water clean, and build cultural assets that attract professional residents, retirees and clean industry, we have a far better shot at sustainable growth and prosperity.

That, however, takes local investment and commitment. It’s easier to play politics and tell the Feds to change the signs.

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