Bennet Statement on Park Service Announcement that it will seek Public Input for National Monument Usage

November 9, 2012

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today released the following statement on the National Park Service’s (NPS) plan to seek public input on how visitor activities along Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument are managed.

“Colorado National Monument is a treasure in our state, especially for those who live on the Western Slope,” Bennet said. “The Park Service’s decision to bring the public and local communities together to develop a plan for how the Monument is managed is a significant step. An open and transparent discussion will help preserve the natural beauty of this area, while also helping to develop new ways to enjoy the Monument and bring in tourism dollars to the region.”

The NPS announced today it would develop a plan with public and community involvement to manage requests for special use permits for events, such as those requesting partial or full road closures along Rim Rock Drive, as well as requests from businesses seeking to provide commercial services in the park, such as guided rock climbing or bus tours.

As part of the planning process, NPS will prepare an Environmental Assessment (EA) to assess the impacts of a range of potential management alternatives, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Consistent with the NEPA process, NPS will hold public meetings and offer formal notice and public comment periods to provide community members an opportunity to offer their views and ideas about the monument’s special characteristics, and the kinds of special park uses and commercial services that are appropriate for the monument.

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