Lack of leadership derailed park status

Citing a “clear lack of community consensus or support for a change to park status,” Congressman Scott Tipton announced he won’t carry legislation to make Colorado National Monument the nation’s newest national park.

Gee, what a surprise. At this point we question why Tipton bothered to take a role in the proposed conversion at all. It certainly wasn’t to lead on the issue. He simply sat back and waited for a few shrill voices to dominate the debate and then used lack of consensus as the handy justification to do nothing.

The same might be said of Sen. Mark Udall, except that Udall has at least acknowledged the economic benefits of park status. Tipton, on the other hand, has sounded the alarm that park status could invite federal overreach and regulatory overkill that threaten jobs.

It’s disingenuous to carry that belief and still be willing to introduce legislation to make the monument a park. But that’s what Tipton said he would do “with consensus from all sectors.” It would have been more productive for Tipton to say he opposed park status from the get-go. That would have spared us all from a fruitless endeavor. It certainly would have been more honest.

Consensus is achieved. It does not simply materialize over the course of a few meetings. It needs to be nurtured by leadership, and discourse. Udall and Tipton went through the motions of gathering public input without attempting to assuage fears or defend the benefits of park status. All of the concerns Tipton summarized in his statement opposing support for park status are just as valid under monument status because the rules for managing parks and monuments are the same. So what then? Should we convert the monument back to BLM land because it threatens our prosperity?

As we recently observed, Udall and Tipton didn’t have a statistically relevant measure of public opinion upon which to base a decision regarding park legislation. They only got loud, polarizing views. So, yes, citing a lack of consensus is a legitimate legislative response if you’re into the superficial.

But surrendering to the notion that a national park somehow creates a police state in the Grand Valley is disquieting to say the least. It hardly inspires great faith in our elected officials. How about doing the right thing by the community and then fighting like hell to make sure the federal government doesn’t infringe?

All in all, the park debate was an exercise in futility. Without bold leadership — without Udall and Tipton making a case for a national park — the process was always vulnerable to loud dissent. Why propose park legislation if you’re not convinced it’s in the best interests of your constituents? If you think it is, why not zealously argue the merits?

The bottom line is this: Park or monument, we’re living with the National Park Service as a close neighbor. With a park, we get the opportunity for more tourism dollars. With a monument we get the same old, same old. We’re disappointed, but not surprised by this outcome.


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Does this writer have evidence or research results that a National Park status will increase tourism dollars in our area? If so publish it and the source. If not then it is just an opinion that easily has a number of opposing opinions. As for being an exercise in futility to gather public comments, our representatives were at least listening to their constituents.

The whole question of changing the monument status is superficial, in that the supposed increase in tourist dollars will be greatly offset by the supposed congestion and increased construction and maintenance costs.

A Monument is created by presidential decree and National Park status is a legislative act. The author argues that it should be a Park and then fight the federal government. Wake up, we already have had to fight them as a Monument.
the suggestion of giving it back to the BLM (the federal government) is noxious also as BLM has been closing access to recreation areas and trading our public lands for private property when they only have a proprietary jurisdiction not ownership. 

Why not return the land to the state of Colorado as was required 138 years ago at our statehood. The US constitution does not give the federal government the authority to create either a Monument or National parks. That right is reserved to the states and the people.

The Sentinel’s latest editorial is an instructive tutorial on the subject of the Vestigial Dinosaur Media’s (VDM) transparent concern that the Internet has for the most part removed money’s influence over politics. Today, every person who wants to can put up a website. Every person who wants to can get on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. One no longer needs a brick and mortar building complete with a multi-million-dollar press, scores of employees and huge overhead to get ideas out to the public. Citizen journalists and citizen bloggers abound (see, e.g.,,, and Today, everyone is equal in the world of propaganda and public relations contests, and such a REAL free marketplace of ideas definitely bums Good Old Boy (GOB) elitists and other ipse-dixitism proponents out.
But I digress.
Conspicuous in said editorial are typical GOB avoid-the-real-issue ad hominem manipulations such as “a few shrill voices”, “loud polarizing views”, “if you’re into the superficial”, “loud dissent”, “the notion that a national park somehow creates a police state in the Grand Valley”, etc, which are commonly used against those with whom polemically-challenged steal-your-labor control freaks happen to politically disagree at any given time.
America’s self-ownership-based can-do culture is dying, poisoned by the divisive Hegelian politics of “victimology” and ipse-dixitism polemical misconduct. An individual paying for her own birth control is now called “persecution” and/or “war on women”, never mind the millions of pro-life women who don’t share that intellectually fraudulent point of view. The old “if you don’t want to pay more taxes so I can have more freebies, you’re a ‘racist’” scam practiced by politically correct speech-nazi race hustlers is pandemic. It uses deliberate racial division to completely repress all meaningful public discussion on the subjects of Economics 101, Politics 101 and sustainability versus unsustainability. Never mind the millions of blacks who don’t share that intellectually fraudulent point of view.
The Sentinel did say something constructive: “Consensus is achieved. It does not simply materialize over the course of a few meetings. It needs to be nurtured by leadership and discourse.”
In my view, the Sentinel should consider the possibility that there was leadership and discourse on the monument versus park issue. It just wasn’t leadership the Sentinel is willing to recognize, and the discourse didn’t happen with the Sentinel acting as controlling intermediary.
Lastly, the Sentinel might want to consider that “consensus” doesn’t necessarily mean agreeing with the Sentinel’s (or anybody else’s) preferred position. There isn’t going to be “consensus” (which implies compromise) on every issue. Sometimes you just get outnumbered and should try to be gracious.

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