Panel to explore possible upgrade of monument to park

Sixteen people from the Grand Valley will serve on a committee to explore upgrading Colorado National Monument to a national park.

The group, which includes the mayors of the three Grand Valley municipalities, a Mesa County commissioner and representatives of several organizations, were appointed by U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo, whose district includes the monument, and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., who proposed last year that the Grand Valley consider seeking a new name and new status for the monument.

No plans for a meeting of the group were immediately announced.

“The committee is just being formed,” Club 20 Executive Director Bonnie Petersen said. “There are no preconceived notions that I’m aware of” regarding whether to pursue new status.

The monument will be 100 years old May 24. An anniversary celebration is scheduled Saturday at the visitor center.

In addition to Petersen, the members are:

Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon;

Fruita Mayor Ken Henry;

Palisade Mayor Roger Granat;

Mesa County Commissioner Steve Acquafresca;

Former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis;

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Diane Schwenke;

Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau Director of Sales Barb Bowman;

School District 51 Board Member Greg Mikolai;

Colorado National Monument Association Vice Chairman Jack Neckels;

Colorado Canyons Conservation Area Association President Owen O’Fallon ;

Lynn Grose, Glade Park Community Association;

Bill Hood, geologist;

John Redifer, professor, Mesa State College;

Daily Sentinel Publisher Jay Seaton;

A member of the Glade Park ranching community to be announced.

The committee was put together to encourage conversation and public meetings about the proposed change.

Tipton and Udall have said they want Grand Valley residents to be active in drafting legislation should the proposal move forward.


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