Bennet, Tipton Celebrate Passage of Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Yucca House National Monument

Bill Will Protect Ancestral Puebloan Cultural Sites and Improves Public Access

Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Representative Scott Tipton celebrated Senate passage of their bill to expand Yucca House National Monument. The bill, which would modify the boundary of Yucca House National Monument to incorporate a 160-acre private landowner donation, passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February and now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law. 

“Yucca House National Monument has a rich history as a community center for the Ancestral Puebloan people, and it is one of our state’s most important archaeological sites,” said Bennet. “We’re grateful to the landowner, Bernard Karwick, who through his incredible generosity and patience has made this monument expansion possible, protecting ancient dwellings and improving public access to the site for generations to come. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law.”

“I am incredibly pleased that we were able to facilitate this land donation to further protect the archaeological sites and cultural heritage of the Ancestral Pueblo. H.R. 1492 is an example of the importance of local support and bipartisanship when it comes to public lands designations. The bill passed the House Natural Resources Committee, full House, and Senate with broad bipartisan support, and it's only because of a strong bipartisan effort within the Colorado delegation that we are sending it to the president’s desk. I look forward to seeing the bill signed into law,” said Tipton.

The Yucca House National Monument Expansion Act expands the Yucca House National Monument from 33.6 acres to nearly 194 acres, improving public access and protecting important cultural sites by authorizing the acquisition of a generous landowner donation and modifying the monument boundary accordingly. Established in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, the Yucca House National Monument is already one of the largest archeological sites in Southwest Colorado. The site dates back to the Great Pueblo Period. From A.D. 1150 to 1300, it was an important community center for the Ancestral Puebloan people. The existing national monument includes around 600 rooms, 100 kivas (round, underground rooms), several towers, multiple plazas, and one great kiva.