Monument money

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FRUITA, Colo. National parks across the state are creating jobs and millions of dollars in economic benefit for local economies.

But without national park designation for the Colorado National Monument, how much of the economic benefits are we reaping?

According to the most recent National Park Service report, tourism generated by national parks throughout Colorado are responsible for creating over 4000 jobs and generating $330.5 million dollars in economic benefit to the communities they serve.

Although our very own Colorado National Monument does not bear the title of a national park, it significantly contributes to the numbers released in Friday's report.

The National Park Service uses the blanket term “national park” for the over 20 different designations that exist within the state.

“When the National Park Service says that for every one dollar that is invested in the National Park Service by American taxpayers that generates ten dollars in economic benefit to the local community they mean all 401 parks throughout the service,” says Karla Tanner of the National Park Service.

The Colorado National Monument contributes approximately $24 million dollars of economic benefit to the Grand Valley community and generates roughly $600,000 dollars in revenue each year.

Officials from the Colorado National Monument expect to a see a bump in these numbers as the National Park Service approaches its centennial in 2016.