Palisade board backs monument upgrade

Count the Palisade Board of Trustees among those who would like to see Colorado National Monument gain national park status, as evidenced by its passage of a resolution stating their support on Tuesday night.

In their resolution, the town recognized that monument founder John Otto had originally supported the idea of it being a national park, and that the new designation likely would increase visitation to the park and “cause increased economic vitality” in the region.

“The designation of the area as a monument does not explain or describe the natural features and beauty that is found there,” part of the resolution reads.

Palisade Town Administrator Rich Sales told the board that the city of Fruita, on the far opposite end of the valley, had similarly supported the re-designation by recently writing a letter in support of the idea.

The board passed the resolution during its regular twice-monthly meeting. Two weeks earlier, a representative of the Grand Valley Citizens for a National Park, Terri Chappell, addressed the board and pressed the trustees to formalize their support for the effort.

Chappell told trustees the Grand Valley is missing out on potentially thousands of visitors every year, many from foreign countries, who arrive in Grand Junction to tour national parks here in Colorado and in Utah but mostly skip the spectacular 20,500-acre canyons of nearby Colorado National Monument. Her group is leading the effort to get greater support from area municipalities for the redesignation.


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