Welcome back, Eckert

Lisa Eckert has taken the leadership reins at Colorado National Monument at an important time.

There are renewed discussions about whether the monument should become a national park. There is continuing interest in at least two bicycle races — one professional and one collegiate — involving the monument.

And there is a perception among many people in the community that the previous leadership regime at the monument had little interest in what the people of Mesa County wanted for the monument.

Fortunately, that’s something Superintendent Eckert may change.

“I want to be an active listener,” she told The Daily Sentinel’s Gary Harmon. “Communication is big for me.”

Good for her. That doesn’t mean we expect Eckert will overturn Park Service decisions made in Denver and Washington, D.C. However, we hope it means she will not only listen, but look for ways to work with local people on projects that may advance both local and Park Service goals.

To be clear, Colorado National Monument has done much to work with the community to accommodate local desires over many decades and with a variety of superintendents.

Although the two mentioned bike races have been rejected, monument officials have worked to make the spectacular ride on Rimrock Drive across the red rocks both inviting and safe for cyclists. Park officials have also worked with area teachers to conduct field trips and to better educate youngsters about the area.

Eckert no doubt is aware of this and much more about Colorado National Monument and its history. She served as a part-time and then a full-time, ranger here during the mid-1980s and early 1990s.

Now she has returned as monument superintendent. We join many people in the community in welcoming her back.


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