Community reacts to monumental decision


MESA COUTNY, Colo. It's been three years of community groups working towards a status change of the Colorado National Monument to a national park. After a 90 day comment period showed a lack of community consensus and support, Congressman Scott Tipton and Senator Mark Udall announced they won't be introducing any legislation for the name change.

In 2011 and 2013 local industry and economic development groups rallied to change the status of the monument.

In april of 2014 Tipton and Udall announced a public comment period to get opinions from the community on the change. After reviewing the comments they came to their decision to not modify the name citing the majority of mesa county residents who participated were opposed to it.

The tourism industry in Grand Junction is one entity that's disappointed with the overall decision.

"With the economic difficulties that we've had for the last four years that this truly would be an economic driver that would move the needle quickly," Barbara Bowman, VCB.

The boost in visitors is one benefit to national park status, but officials at the monument say they're not having trouble bringing money in.

"It doesn't matter what our last name is we contribute $26.5 million as is to this local economy just because we exist," Lisa Eckert, Superintendent, Colorado National Monument.

The community is coming out on both sides of the situation. Some say along with an economic boost the change would also help preserve and protect the monument for future generations.

"I was utterly shocked turning it down is just insane," Anne Landman, Resident.

Others are taking to social media to share their excitement about the decision citing increased congestion to the area and a decrease in air quality as problems.

Marjorie Haun said the decision would have many negative and permanent consequences to the people of the Grand Valley and Glade Park.

Regardless of the turnout, Superintendent Lisa Eckert said they'll continue to take pride in the beautiful arches.


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