Park status boosters launch viral campaign

Backers of national park status for Colorado National Monument are turning to social media to drive up support for the change of designation.

Grand Valley Region Citizens for a National Park also is collecting signatures for an online petition urging Congress to change the designation.

The supporters have set up a website, gjforparkstatus.com, where individuals can follow a link to sign a petition urging park status.

There also is a Facebook page, Grand Valley Region Citizens for a National Park, where visitors can click the Like button.

The group describes itself as a grassroots gathering of residents, businesses and organizations whose members “passionately believe our national monument is worthy of ascending the ranks to become our nation’s 60th national park and that re-designation as a national park is critical to stabilizing and growing our regional economy as well as ensuring our community’s quality of life for generations to come.”

The website keeps a running log of local governments and organizations that have come out in support of the upgrade, including the Fruita, Grand Junction and Palisade councils, as well as the Palisade Chamber of Commerce and tourism board. The sites aim to demonstrate support of the change to U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo, who said they hope to decide by summer whether to introduce legislation that would make the monument the nation’s 60th national park.

The monument, designated by President William Howard Taft in 1911, was the country’s 15th national monument and is the 25th unit of the National Park system.


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