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View Poll Results: Colorado National Monument: Make it a National Park or leave it as a National Monument?
Leave it as a National Monument 6 33.33%
Upgrade it to a National Park 12 66.67%
Voters: 18. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-17-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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The Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction is one of about a hundred locations around the country with "national monument" status. It achieved that status through the efforts of John Otto whose wish was for it to become a National Park; to his disappointment it was awarded the lesser status as a national monument.

Wikipedia info about the CNM is here.

Official National Park Service website of the CNM.

There is a story in today's NY Times about the machinations surrounding upgrading the CNM into a national park.

Excerpt from the NY Times:

"Proponents of rebranding the monument as a park said there would be no changes to how the canyons were managed and no new rules restricting local residents from zipping through the area to get groceries or go to work. The National Park Service, which has run the land since 1911, would continue to be in charge. The costs would entail only a few thousand dollars to print up new brochures and install new signs. An act of Congress would make it so. “This is a no-brainer,” said Greg Mikolai, a member of a local committee that has been studying the issue. Sometime in the next month, the group is expected to make a recommendation to Senator Mark Udall and Representative Scott Tipton, who would then make the next moves — if any — in Washington."

A number of PROs and CONs are mentioned in the NY Times article. I suspect that local business types want more tourists to come and leave behind their money and maybe a few added tax dollars for the town and county. Locals say their worry about traffic and litter. I see it as just another case of SSDD when anyone proposes any changes.

Greg Mikolai is an educator and a film maker for PBS who has produced a film on the CNM per the Grand Junction Sentinel, that won two EMMY Awards.

If you have an opinion, which do you prefer: Leave it alone or upgrade it to a National Park status?
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Old 06-17-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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When I first moved here way back in 2009, I kept hearing about the "National Monument". Didn't really want to drive to see it, but finally did. Holy Moly! I thought it was a rock or some plaque, never realizing what a very cool large place this was.

Yes, I think it should be upgraded to a National Park.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Honestly at this point for me it comes down to cost. Will it cost more to operate it as a National Park vs. a National Monument? If so, it can wait until the country's finances are in better shape.
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Old 06-17-2012, 01:36 PM
Status: "Rocktober...well that was fast. :-(" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
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Bluescreen raises a good point about cost. I believe a national park would receive more funding, so that would mean more cost to the taxpayers. On the other hand, this is an awesome location that is worthy of being upgraded. I would support the move if Congress upgraded the site. We waste so much cash in this country, I would rather see some money spent on a worthy cause for a change.
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Old 06-17-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
Bluescreen raises a good point about cost. I believe a national park would receive more funding, so that would mean more cost to the taxpayers. On the other hand, this is an awesome location that is worthy of being upgraded. I would support the move if Congress upgraded the site. We waste so much cash in this country, I would rather see some money spent on a worthy cause for a change.
Agree. The article claims the only costs are for re-printing the site's brochures and road signs to reflect the name change. But I think there has to be more to it than that and I suspect it may put the site in-line for a higher priority for funding during budget drills at the NPS.

If we can shower $4B/year in subsidies to an oil industry that made $140B in profits last year, and $30B/year in farm and dairy price supports, then we can damn well spend a bit on parks for the people. Side issue here is that the NPS budget is way too low anyway, it took them FIFTY YEARS to fund repairs to the main fireplace chimney at the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone NP after earthquake damage in 1958. That really frosts my nads....tax breaks for billionaires but s**t for the people's parks. People should be furious.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
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You realize the National Park Service is already running the place? A few dollars for a sign on I-70 would be insignificant to the local revenue generated by a new National Park.
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Old 06-17-2012, 03:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
You realize the National Park Service is already running the place? A few dollars for a sign on I-70 would be insignificant to the local revenue generated by a new National Park.
Exactly.
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Old 06-17-2012, 04:36 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
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I assume no differences in management policies, although Mike might have a point about national parks being higher on the funding priority list. A down side I see is that national park status might draw more visitors. Those of us who have lived in the west awhile know that national monuments are generally every bit as nice as national parks but don't get on as many people's radar simply because they don't have "Park" at the end of their name.
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Old 06-17-2012, 07:04 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I have been reading about this for some time. I've been there, and like it. But I'm not sure it should be upgraded to a national park. For me -- note, for me, not based on some official policy -- what should differentiate a national park from a national monument is the diversity of the entity. I look at some place like Yosemite or Yellowstone and see a diversity of interesting things -- rivers, waterfalls, geysers. mountains, valleys, wildlife. I look at Colorado National Monument and I don't see much diversity. Sandstone ridges and valleys pretty much sums it up. I like the place immensely, and may even get out there later this summer. But I personally don't quite see giving it national park status.
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Old 06-17-2012, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
Honestly at this point for me it comes down to cost. Will it cost more to operate it as a National Park vs. a National Monument? If so, it can wait until the country's finances are in better shape.
Amazing how we were able to find the money to fix up the parks and our other public places during the Great Depression. Aren't times like now when the government should be spending money on such things?
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