Support park status for national monument
Redesignating Colorado National Monument to make it a national park would be a boon to this community without creating any discernible downsides, so it is surprising that a relatively small number of people in the valley continue to fight against the change.
Those who believe the change is needed, and that Congressman Scott Tipton and Sen. Mark Udall should move forward now with legislation to effect the change, should make their preferences known either by contacting the senator and congressman directly or by signing an online petition.
The website to do so is http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/make-the-colorado-national-monument-the-nation-s-60th-n.html.
The Daily Sentinel has made clear why it supports the name change. But it is worthwhile to reiterate those reasons.
First, while a change from national monument to national park won’t be an economic panacea, it can provide a solid economic boost for this area. Studies show that monuments which become national parks don’t necessarily see a big increase in the number of visitors. But they do see a change in the types of visitors, with more people coming from outside the immediate area, staying longer in the area and spending more money.
Those benefits come primarily from the increased public awareness of national parks, without a significant cost to the community. Despite the concerns raised by some opponents of park status, the governing statutes for a national monument and a national park are identical. There are no stricter air quality standard or other rules. Furthermore, language is expected to be added to any legislation introduced to redesignate the monument that would specifically prohibit stricter air rules. The legislation is also expected to protect the rights of Glade Park residents who use roads through the monument.
We believe that legislation to change the name of Colorado National Monument to something more easily recognizable and to designate it as a national park — while also protecting the rights of local residents and the economic activity of this area — is in the best interest of this community.
We sincerely hope many others agree and will encourage Tipton and Udall to move forward with legislation to accomplish that goal this year.